This pattern wooed me for not-very-long before I caved and whipped this dress up in what felt like no time. I had a more challenging project on the go, felt like I hit the wall with one part and needed a quick success to give myself a boost. I had this lovely/weird length of fabric (since identified as moss crepe) that was passed on to me in a lucky dip of a suitcase, and that coupled with a piece of fabric from nana’s stash I had dress fabric and lining sorted. Both synthetic, the dark dress fabric has this wonderful depth of colour and a luminosity all at the same time. It also seems to be fairly hard-wearing, a bit of a must given life with small ones can get a bit messy – and I don’t have the time for fussing with laundry tasks…
I picked up this pattern with a number of others, some rather fabulous more challenging ones, this, as you can see is ‘Easy to Sew’. It had been used before, and I love it when a pattern comes with these sorts of ‘extras’, McCall’s Easy Rule.
I don’t love it so much when a pattern has been cut and cellotaped – gah! So I spent some time restoring it before I could use it for the garment I planned. By ‘restoring’ I should say, using the dreaded cellotape to put it right, I know, I know, not ideal.
It was super fast to cut out – except the fabrics, both were like some kind of liquid in the form of a textile, not my favourite to work with. It was a case of laying both fabrics down, pinning to the floor (horray for carpeted floors !) then cutting ever so carefully. I zig-zaged the pieces together, then assembled the dress, easy (bar having to unpick and resew caught fabric in the underarm gusset) – no fit issues, it pretty much went just, well, perfect!
Action shot, joining the bodcie and skirt.
Perfect….until it came to hemming the skirt!! I let it hang for a few days, and as you can see the hem was out about 100mm at some points, this was even with me obsessively pinning and measuring to define the skirt length and keeping the fabric pinned together ! Sewing Nightmare.
So, when it came to actually hemming, I was all, “What would Claire Shaeffer do?” “She’d hand baste that sucker together and make it work!” So that’s what I did
I love hand basting, it’s speedy and now it’s my go-to technique, I use it to check fit, and it’s saving me time, especially with projects like this one.
It’s hard to see, but I used some vintage red thread from my stash, as it is thick and easy to use, hemmed it, tried it on, then let it hang again. This was ok because I was working out what I’d do with the neck line, the pattern illustration has a pretty detail at the neckline, and I was stepping out of my ‘non embelishing’ comfort zone by trying a bias strip in black. I know it’s not that adventurous really, but it felt like it at the time! Is it too much??
Here it is sans embellishment, just a nice slim belt and a petticoat.
The thin bias strip was great, I think it works really well, and I love this dress! I wore it on Fashion Revolution Day with happiness (it was that long ago since I have made it!)
Twirl that skirt!
Please excuse the pale face, life has been busy and stressful lately, so not much sewing and not much sunshine! But take a look at that neckline, I’m so glad I went for the subtle embellishment.
Oh and that pocket. I love pockets more with each new garment. I can’t live without them now.
And my favourite new-old shoes! Thanks David Elman for another stylish pair, 1980s I think, another good op shop find.
lovely dress, the colour is a great shade on you. the bias detail is perfect
It’s gorgeous! I love that fabric.
On a side note, where did you get the petticoat? It’s just the size I am looking for to wear under a vintage dress.
Thank you for your comment! Actually, I found the petticoat at an op shop, it is one of those three tiered retro petticoats, it has no label, but I’m sure they’re available online. I have a couple of vintage ones too, and I have replaced the elastic in one, and notice one of the has been taken up, so they can be altered to fit!
If you are DIY, this is an excellent tutorial: