I posted about the challenge and the early 1970s pattern I used here. I got this in for the deadline by the skin of my teeth too. I meant to have the post up earlier, but was totally tied up Fri & Sat and yesterday was my birthday. Since I couldn’t spend it with my husband I decided to spend it watching Trueblood instead of blogging.
This was also my first time taking photos with my new shutter remote:
I ended up making a little unanticipated change to this dress as I was sewing it up. You may notice that there’s no collar on this dress like there is on the pattern. Turns out I’ve made up this pattern before – and it’s actually one of my favourite dresses, go figure I forgot about that. I had traced it and did great fitting on it so I was happy to not have to worry about that. Unfortunately, I didn’t think the check the neckline of my tracing against that of the original pattern. I forgot that I opened up the neckline a little and drafted a different (flat) collar for it the first time I made it. So, this means that the neckline of my new dress was too big around for the collar piece that’s supposed to go on this dress – which I didn’t realize until I went to sew the collar onto the neckline. I meant to take a picture of the collar basted onto the dress to show you just how big a gap there was at the back of the dress between the two ends of the collar piece but of course I forgot to before I took it off. It was pretty funny-looking, you’d have got a chuckle out of it.
So anyway, the collar was a no-go – I had NO fabric left over. I’d had to get pretty clever to get the sleeves and the collar piece I did cut out of my yardage. There was literally just enough fabric for this dress. If it seems I’m stressing this much it’s just because this rarely happens to me. I kinda wish it happened more; usually I’m left with an awkward remnant at the end. I think I may start trying to use those remnants for contrast pocket pieces, it looks so great when other people do it! Anyhow, I digress. I was pretty disappointed about the whole collar thing, it was going to look so cute. Fortunately I had some rust-coloured velvet piping I’d bought when purchasing the load of trimmings I got for the dolman (finished photos of which will be posted soon) that wasn’t going to work out. It did match perfectly with parts of the embroidery on my purple corduroy. And it also goes perfectly with these tights!! I had already sewn a line of the piping into the waist seam of the dress and was wondering where else I could put it since it’s pretty nice stuff (though not cotton, which makes me a little naughty for the sewalong challenge, I guess). Aha! Put it on the neckline! So I found an ok design re-think for my collar situation. I still think I’d have preferred the collar, but this is totally live-with-able.
When I’d nearly finished the dress I decided I wanted still more of the piping on it! I went with a suggestion my friend, Sarah, gave me about adding it to the sleeve hems. I had to get a little creative to make it look decently clean, but I’m happy with how it turned out.
Here’s how I finished the inside of the sleeve hem:
Another part where I fudged the rules a bit was on the lining. I used a brown cotton to line the bodice, but bemberg rayon (in purple) to line the skirt. This is a method I use fairly often if I’m doing a full lining on a dress for fall/winter/spring. The reason is that while I really appreciate the smoothness of the rayon in the skirt for wearing over tights, I actually don’t really like the feel of it against my skin, cotton feels more comfortable to me. I didn’t take a picture of the lining, so here’s a rather silly picture instead:
I’m still so glad I found a good use for this piece of fabric at last, and even with the collar snafu I know this dress is going to get a lot of wear this season! Thanks Fall for Cotton Vintage Sewalong!