The Most Recent Duro

silk duro

I actually made this several weeks ago (in fact, it was the dress being made in ) but I wasn't able to get the traditional in-my-back-yard picture until this past weekend. So here it is!

This is the first silk one I've made, and, thanks to Sullivan's silk stabilizer spray, it wasn't too messy. I changed it to add the back neck band, and I lengthened the ties to wrap to the front, which I prefer, not least because I have a hard time untying the ones that go behind the back!

The body fabric is fabric I bought nearly a year ago in Beijing, and the contrast is fabric I picked up at the local Vogue Fabrics in Evanston. I bought it on pure hope, without having a swatch of the floral with me, and when I got home and found out that it matched PERFECTLY, I jumped up and down for joy. Quite literally. Here, check it out:

silk duro

I thought I would never get the blacks in the same tone AND that greeny-gray-tealish color to match. But hey. Sometimes the universe wants you to have another Duro dress!

This silk version is incredibly comfortable — even more so than the cotton ones. I've worn it twice so far on very hot days and it's held up beautifully. Also, since I prewashed the silk on a very rough setting, I can just throw this in the washing machine. If I hang it up while still damp it doesn't even need ironing.

Needless to say, I'm planning a couple more silk Duros. It's worth the extra aggro when putting them together.

Here's the back view:

silk duro

And yes, I do realize that all the T's are facing right-way-up except the midriff band. I meant to do that! Mostly.

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0 thoughts on “The Most Recent Duro

  1. Erin,Lovely. The fabric Goddess was smiling upon you indeed. Made up super swell. I have never sewn with silk. Pros? Cons? What is Sullivan’s silk stabilizer spray? What does it do? If it is a sewing gadget/notion of any sort, I think I must have it. The gadget addiction runs a close second to my pattern collecting. Fabric hoarding comes in third. Every new Duro I call my fave. This one is no exception. I am so fickle that way.-Janet

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  2. You’ve got me inspired to make one of those fabulous Duros! though, I might have to make mine sleeveless…hmmm. *starts plotting*

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  3. I thought the same thing about the T’s as the anonymous poster above – it’s the MBTA symbol! Cute dress, and if it were me, I would have never found matching fabric.

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  4. Gorgeous. Seeing this kind of chic, well-executed home sewing is the perfect incentive for working on my own sewing skills (and, oh, do they need the work…).

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  5. Esther.A (account not working for some reason)Silk Stabilizer? Haven’t heard of this. As for the ties at the back of a dress, I find a man is very handy on these occasions – especially as the invitation to ‘undo my dress’ will usually lead to other delights.I have to agree that heaven was on your side the day you bought the contrast. You can now wear this wonderful dress knowing the gods are smiling.It’s lovely.

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  6. Yea! Another duro! Can’t get enough of this dress! I’m also dying to know about silk stabilizer and any other tips you have for sewing/cutting with silk. (It intimidates me!)Also, can you tell us what pattern size you’re using?

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  7. Wow! I love the combo of different fabrics. They match perfectly! Well done!I’ll have to pick up a can of that silk stabilizer. Sounds like a great way to stop it from being so slippery.

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  8. The stabilizer is wonderful stuff. You have to wash the silk in HOT water first, because you need to wash it in HOT water to get the stabilizer out. But you spray the stuff on, it dries, and boom! The silk sews up like cotton. I find my at Hancock’s; I’m not sure where else it’s sold. It’s about $8/can and one can does at least four yards of fabric, maybe more. I also bought a spray-nozzle handle, too, for about a dollar more, and now I don’t get graffiti-artist finger from holding down the button.

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  9. I’ve heard the sizing for the duro pattern can be tough. How much did you have to size down, and did it come out to fit well? (I have a tendency to make sacks as opposed to flowy dresses)

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  10. I really like this. Comfortable enough to wear casually, but cute enough to wear for dress up (with the right shoes). Most excellent!

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  11. I cut the size 8, which gives me a couple inches of wearing ease in the waist to take in with the ties. I think if I cut by their measurements I would have had to do a 12, which would have floated right off me! If you’re more pear-shaped, you might want to do an 8 in the bust and a 10 in the skirt; it’s not narrow but you really want the ease there.

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  12. There was another clue that this dress existed, in addition to your play. I puzzled over this line in your shoe entry:But they don’t look good with the black Duro dresses I made, so I had to go and order these from Zappos…”Black dresses?” I thought, since I’d only remembered one. But the mystery is now solved.

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  13. I immediately throught of the “T”, Boston’s metro line, when I saw the band. Love it. A wonderful dress and homesick, but happy, memories of Boston in one picture. Thank you!You’ve pushed me over the edge–I will attempt a Duro dress for myself. I hope I am as successful.

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  14. You can also buy Sullivan’s stabilizer spray at Vogue Fabrics and at on-line stores. You can find it in quilting shops too.

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  15. Great combination. Lucky you that you could find the perfect match for the contrast. I really like the look of this one. Wish I had extended the ties on mine so I could tie to front. If there is ever a next time, I will do that.

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  16. I LOVE it!!! I must credit you and the Duro for my sudden and intense need to learn to sew so that I too may enjoy the comfort of a perfectly fitted dress.

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  17. May I ask, Is that the Simplcity pattern, by any chance? Or perhaps the McCalls? I saw them both today and thought immediately of yours. There’s also one from hotpatterns that reminds me of yours. Must have one too. Or two. Love the fabrics.

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  18. Wow! Looks fabulous. I think i’m going to practise a bit more with cotton but definitely want to try working with silk and this pattern – looks so good. Well done!Sharon (UK)

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  19. So pretty! Thanks for the tip on the silk stabilizer. I don’t sew a lot of silk but I keep wanting to…it’s a matter of swallowing the gulp at the price.

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  20. That dress is SO lovely. I hope my version turns out half as well.What does the silk stabilizer spray do, and where do you use it? Is it to keep the edges from fraying, or what?

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  21. Oh my! Where can I find that pattern? And can the dress be made in any old fabric, or just silk/silk blends? How gorgeous!

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  22. I’ve just moved back to a sometimes humid climate, and gotten back into silk big time. When it’s hot you need something loose. But when it’s humid you need silk – there’s nothing like it. Good for you for prewashing so you don’t have to poison yourself with dry cleaning, that works really well. Love that geometry/flower contrast too…

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  23. Rachel – the Sullivan’s stabilizer temporarily stiffens your fabric. It doesn’t prevent the fabric from fraying. You spray, spray and spray your fabric until it’s as stiff as you would like it, then you sew.After you’re finished stitching, you wash out the stabilizer. Ta-da! The silk is as soft as ever!btw, you can use the Sullivan’s spray on other fabrics. It’s fab with chiffon. 🙂

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  24. I saw a lady wearing duro today – she was mid 40s, short hair, perfectly matched red shoes – duro was a bit of a variation with a stiffer fabric and the bottom of the skirt looked more like a 50s circle – but she had the NASTIEST expression of her face. Think cat’s bum with laser beam eyes. Duros… they do not look good with the pinched face settings AT ALL! Somehow brings “mutton dressed as lamb” instantly to mind.That said, I’ve no idea how anyone could possibly feel anything but happy wearing this particularly lovely version of a duro.

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  25. This is my first time seeing your Blog. The beautiful Duro Dress is a masterpiece of sewing expertise. Bravo. I am dressmaker too. Would you explain to me what a Duro Dress is?I never made anything retro, I don’t know what this trend actally means in todays time.Thanks, Rita

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  26. You have given me a serious desire to own a Duro! I have not seen anything like this in my local stores, but I must have a dress like this. The shape looks like it would suit my Rubenesque shape. I guess I will have to put my rudimentary sewing skills to the test :-).

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  27. Sneaky Sewing Tip:If you can’t find the stabilizer spray, after you’ve washed your silk, iron it with spray starch. I trepidatiously took a slithery pile of silk one day and sprayed it into a reasonable facsimile of a board, and it tamed it right down while I sewed, and it washed out. I’ve done the same thing with chiffon, too. If it’s crawly or slithery, and I’m going to wash it (and I wash virtually all fabrics) – I starch it, then stitch it. (Ordinary Niagara spray starch, works wonders.)

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