You may remember, in a previous post, I was wondering if there was a collective noun for dresses/frocks and, in the absence of any definitive answer, came up with ‘a flounce’. This time the ‘flounce’ is bigger.
As the weather’s been so hot I couldn’t countenance wearing my usual style of dresses and tops which tend to be quite fitted. I just wanted something I could pull on and float around in when I need something more than shorts and a t-shirt – nothing too dressy, just comfortable and cool in the heat. I searched through my patterns and the only one that fit the bill was this one which – probably due to the fact there is a very young girl modelling it and it’s very short – I bought to make for the Mademoiselles some time ago but never got round to it.
I made the first one in some cotton chemise in grey which looks really boring until you get up close and there are some sprigs of embroidery on it. It creases a lot like linen but it’s supposed to be a ‘washed/distressed’ look so I guess it fits the bill.
It’s meant to have a back zip but what a pain they are to do up if you’re on your own in the house when you want to wear it – am I right? So, I thought I’d try making it without a zip at all and see if I could pull it on over my head. I know I can insert invisible zips quite efficiently so I wasn’t being lazy or a scaredy cat here, honest! The dresses are lined so there are no facings or bias trims but you have to do that cool trick of partly constructing the dress and then pulling the backs through the shoulder seams to turn it all right side out. One reason, I suppose, why I wouldn’t be able to cut the back on the fold instead of in two pieces if I want to use this lining method.
The dress was slightly too big for me on the neck and above the bust so, next time I made a size down but graded the back seam out a little around the area of the bust darts.
For the second version (my favourite so far) I used a rayon I’d bought in the Goldhawk Road a couple of years ago when I was there with Mlle Tialys the Elder where we went just a little bit crazy.
So, this one is almost perfect and I’ve worn it quite a lot so I thought I’d make another in a ‘distressed’ linen which I like but there are some flaws in the linen – a faded stripe here and there – one of which I managed to place just above my bust and the other just above my bum. It’s almost as if I planned it like that. Then, when I was using a tracing wheel to mark the darts on the fabric, I blindly reached for my small rotary cutter instead and ran it over one of the ‘legs’ of the dart. The blade is getting a little blunt and the linen is quite tough so I thought I’d got away with it but, after construction, I noticed some of the threads pulling out so I did a bit of a repair, fortunately hidden on the inside by the lining, which may or may not hold. Typical!
I’m hoping the white lines will blend in a bit more with washing but it’ll be fine to wear to go to the supermarket etc. so I’m not too bothered.
The last one – because I was definitely on a roll this time and had all the alterations marked on the pattern – I decided to make with a round neck instead of a split neck. However, the neckline is far too high for my liking so I scooped it out a bit more – another pattern piece change that I’ve remembered to mark in case I ever decide to made a 5th one!
Some of you might remember the rather odd fabric I bought in a charity/op/thrift shop for 4 euros a while back. Something about it appealed to me but I had no idea what I’d make with it.
A maxi skirt would be good but the style might be a bit ‘hippyish’ for me. Anyway, I thought it could work with this dress……
…and so it did (just needs hemming).
So, I should be able to see the rest of the Summer out with these handy little dresses that I can just pull on over my head and be done.
This pattern can now join my list of other ‘go to’ patterns which I know will turn out well without too much fuss. Sewaholic’s Renfrew top is there at the top of my list too.
And, just to prove I do actually wear them and don’t just use them to dress up my mannequins –
Do you have a favourite pattern you keep going back to?