Before that though, here's my latest make: my Giveaway Dress. I'm calling it that because I won both the fabric and the pattern, along with lots of other goodies, in Sarah of Fabric Tragic's giveaway earlier this year. This fabric was the main reason I entered. I love its slightly retro feel, and to me it was a perfect match for the shirt dress pattern that came with it. Oh, I do love a good shirt dress!
Slightly dodgy, last minute, night time photo there, sorry. Navy, red and white always suggest summer to me - maybe it's that nautical connection - so I decided to do without the sleeves and finish the armholes with self bias binding. There was a generous three metres of fabric, but even so I only just had enough. There's quite a bit of fabric needed for the skirt - it's not a circle skirt, but it's not far off. Plus even though it looks random, the pattern is actually repeated; there's a fairly strong diagonal "line" happening there. I matched it up fairly well on the skirt, but miscalculated somewhere along the line with the front pieces; you can see that the red "Ls" (for want of a better term!) are bit off along the centre front. Still, I can live with that. If anyone points it out I can just tell them to stop staring at my chest...
Would you believe it? The bodice fit perfectly straight from the pattern! Hurrah for low-maintenance patterns :) You can see from the pattern envelope it blouses at the waist a bit when belted, but there wasn't quite enough fabric leftover to do the matching tie. I'm fine with that though; I can always add a belt. And it's really comfy like this. I did take it in a bit under the arms ( about 1.5cm I think), and I took the shoulders back by 4cm, but that was just to make it sit well without the sleeves.
I also took 1.5cm off the width of the collar. It's still substantial, but it's a bit less obviously "of it's time" now. They did like them big in the seventies, didn't they!
I've decided I really like the seventies' aesthetic. I haven't sewn many vintage patterns, but I think I may have found my decade :) I always thought it was the forties, so there you go! Thanks, Sarah ;)
One thing I really like about this pattern is the fit of the back. Like I said I'm no expert at vintage patterns but all the ones I have sewn seem to have little fit-related details that you don't typically see on modern patterns. This one had shoulder darts at the back, and I love how nicely that shapes the bodice.
The other "vintagey" detail I liked (but didn't actually do since I would've run out of fabric) was the generous hem allowance - 7.5cm / 3". Does anyone know why that was done? Does it make the hem sit more nicely, or help the skirt hang better? I'm curious...
The only other modification I made was to add pockets into the side seams. Because a summer dress absolutely needs pockets.
I'll definitely make this again sometime, perhaps in something a bit drapier like rayon or silk. And I very much like the contrast collar in the example. In the meantime, this version will be getting a lot of use. It makes me feel like going on a picnic, or on a beach walk....in short, it's an ideal summer dress!
Before I get started on my shorts I have a bit of unselfish sewing and knitting to do. Several family members have December birthdays, and the baby quilt for my nephew is well overdue. Not too much more to go, happily.
Are you sewing/knitting any gifts this year? Hope they're all going smoothly... and quickly!
Have a truly wonderful Christmas and festive season,