Silk Sway

At long last I finished sewing my Papercut Sway dress. Swingy trapeze style dresses caught my eye this spring. Lots of examples on my summer dresses Pinterest board. I especially liked the idea of black silk, so I decided to make one for my birthday.

Silk Sway front 2

The fabric is a sandwashed silk that I bought back in February. I wasn’t sure what I’d make with it, but figured it would easily work for about a million different garments. Actually, I’m surprised I’m not still trying to decide! And yes, I should have bought more…

Silk Sway front

I made the dress using the same modifications I used on my muslin. I cut between an XS and S, used 1/2″ SA and french seams throughout, and did an easy rolled hem a la Grainline’s tutorial. I skipped the facings and used bias binding for the neck and arm scyes. I made it a length between the long and short versions provided with the pattern – since I’m only 5’3″ I thought the long version would be too long, but I wanted a little more coverage than the mini. The only new technique I tried was cutting the fabric out between layers of paper – also courtesy of Grainline. This worked really well. I’ve never had such a crisp cutting line on any fabric!

Silk Sway front 3

I let the fabric hang for several days before hemming. Then I used Megan Neilsen’s simple trick to even out the hem. Added bonus – since I waited to hem it I got to use my new sewing machine! It’s a Bernina 350 and was a birthday present – so exciting!

Silk Sway back

The fabric has great drape and a ton of movement – especially on a windy day. I am tempted to try this in a fabric with more body, perhaps Linen like the Papercut mini version. Linking up with Gray All Day’s Sew it Chic in a Week – check it out!

Details: Papercut Sway dress, sz XS/S, used 1/2″ SA, used bias binding instead of facing, length between the short and long versions included in the pattern


  1. A little late, but: happy birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you had a fine day, Bernina 350 sounds a great day actually ๐Ÿ˜‰ I want that machine! I hope you have a lot of fun with it! Your dress looks adorable, it has such a nice drape! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I really like the shape and all those tips/links, thank you for those! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • pinned says:

      Thanks Katharina! It was an awesome birthday present. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Definitely a step up from my old machine! I love online tutorials – I’ll try to remember to share the ones I use.

  2. Inder says:

    Gorgeous!!! I bet it would look cute belted too. I love that back neckline. And thanks for linking to the Grainline tips! I’m reading all about rolled hems and cutting silk now! I love learning new things.

    • pinned says:

      Thanks Inder! Good idea – I haven’t even tried it with a belt… You bet – I love Grainline tutorials especially!

  3. Meg says:

    Beautiful dress! The shape is lovely and that fabric is gorgeous!

  4. Ingrid says:

    Hi love this silhouette! So classic and so COMFORTABLE. You’ve inspired me to put it on my to make list ๐Ÿ™‚ Gorgeous!

    • pinned says:

      Can not wait to see what you make with this pattern Ingrid! It’s very comfortable and perfect for HOT days.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Oh, this is really beautiful! lovely shape and perfectly chic for summer. Now you’re making me WANT a swingy black dress for summer so bad!!

  6. lsaspacey says:

    Happy birthday!
    Wow, this is gorgeous! I love sandwashed silk and the fit and drape on this is so lovely.

  7. SaSa says:

    Such a lovely dress! I love the swirly fabric and swinging shape! Happy birthday lately! I sew with a Bernina, too, and I love her. I like to use some of the feet. For french seams I take the patchworkfoot with guide which is 1/4′ so it is really easy to do. There is a rolling hem foot I discovered at Megan Nielsen’s tutorial, and I use it a lot (after some practice). Have a lot of joy with your machine!

    • pinned says:

      Thank you! I’m getting along very well with my Bernina! Good idea to use the patchwork foot for french seams – I’ll try that. I haven’t ever used a rolled hem foot, but I might need to look into that now that I’m enjoying sewing with silk. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Kelly says:

    I love it!! This dress is really tempting me, every version I see is beautiful. Your simple, luxurious silk is perfect!

    • pinned says:

      Thanks Kelly! Wish I had more of this fabric. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I highly recommend the dress – a quick and easy sew, even in silk!

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