Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Winter Pansies Afternoon Dress

I have completed my first sewing project of 2012. I can feel that my sewing skills have improved loads in the year or so since completing the apple dress, though I'm still at a pretty basic level. Anyway, completing this means I can finally tick off a project that's been on my sewing list for, oh, eight months! One reason it's taken so long to come to fruition is that I simply couldn't decide on the "right" pattern for such a busy print. If you 'like' me on facebook you may recall I even considered going down a Mad Men early 60s sheath, but in the end the Deco era won out, and I think this pattern works well.

And yes, the lamppost outside my apartment is my new favourite photo prop.

The pattern instructions were very clear and easy to follow. In fact the only real problem I ran into was that despite doing a bodice muslin I managed to make it an inch too large on the waist, so I had to unpick and re-sew the side seam, which was a little fiddly since the midriff is topstitched to bodice and skirt. But other than that it went together pretty smoothly.


Pattern: Butterick 2592, from 1943. I have a weakness for patterns with shoulder gathers and fitted midriffs! Though disappointingly it doesn't make me look as svelte as the models on the pattern envelope.


Fabric: Liberty cotton/wool blend with a Deco-esque pansy print. The colours are a little obnoxious up close, but from a distance they blend nicely to burgundy. The fabric has a nice drape, though probably not quite enough for the gathers in the skirt, which really call for a lightweight rayon crepe de chine.

Alterations: Full bust adjustment (I'm not sure it was strictly necessary and I'm slightly worried it makes my boobs look enormous - but it does mean I can actually raise my arms above my head, which I can't in many of my vintage dresses!). I gathered instead of darting the sleeve caps to give the shoulders a touch of puff. I also straightened off the bottom edge of the midriff section (but didn't properly adjust the skirt accordingly - I tried, but didn't do it right - which is why the gathers fall a little weird).

Techniques: Using bias binding to face the neckline and sleeve hems; Hemming with seam binding; Interfacing the midriff (with curtain lining, since that's what I had hanging around - I use it for muslins) to stiffen it slightly.

Make again? Although I'm pleased with it, I probably won't use this pattern again any time soon - I have too many other patterns waiting to be turned into garments!

19 comments:

  1. Very pretty! I thought about getting that liberty in a cord. It looks great on!

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  2. I love it, it really suits you! I like gathered shoulders and a fitted midriff too- a lot of my 60s-70s style stuff has elements of the 30s-40s in it. I think it's a slightly classy take on the classic 'belted at the waist' look.

    My forays into dressmaking depend very much on when my husband completes his latest rainy-day hobby...restoring a sewing machine! :)

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  3. That's really stunning dress!

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  4. Lovely!! I've seen the fabric too but I talked myself out of it, now I wish I hadn't! It looks great, a good job well done.

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  5. Love it! And, of course, you've styled it perfectly.

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  6. Really liked it, the color and designs are perfect. The classic style that i love.

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  7. I love it! I made this same dress 2 summers ago (the cap sleeve version) but used a bad fabric. I think I will try it again with a better quality fabric so the skirt drapes properly. The print is very pretty! x

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  8. Beautiful dress! Good work! You look wonderful as always.
    I like your hat - the colour, the veil, the shape. Is it vintage or modern? Selfmade or from Fairheads Headwear?

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    1. The hat is vintage 70s or 80s; the veil is actually a full birdcage, but I tucked it inside as I didn't want my face veiled.

      xx Charlotte

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  9. Love the fabric and the pattern. You did very well. It looks flawless^^

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  10. LOVE.IT. So pretty and that fabric is perfect!!! YAY! I'm with you that I tend not to revisit patterns too much as there are so many other ones I want to try!!! YAY! can't wait to see what else you've got lined up!!

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    1. Oh there's SO many more exciting projects to come throughout the year - I'm really hoping I can achieve my sewing goals!

      I bought the fabric that day of the Sew Weekly meetup in Goldhawk road, I don't know if you remember it.

      xx Charlotte

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  11. I adore the fabric so so so much! I think it's perfect with this dress too. Also if I had a lamp-post that nice, I'm sure I'd pose with it all the time too.

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  12. "Though disappointingly it doesn't make me look as svelte as the models on the pattern envelope. " That, Charlotte would be because the models on the envelope would in real life be so reed thin that the slightest hint of a breeze would see them being blown down the street all topsy-turvy! The dress is great for your shape, looks smokin!

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  13. That is gorgeous. I absolutely love it!
    Funnily enough I prefer your dress to the pattern. It looks a lot more fun and sexy on you than the rather serious pattern...

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  14. Wow, this looks GREAT! I agree with Nathalie, your dress looks even better than the pattern!

    Emy
    xxx

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  15. Also - I would use that lamp post as a photo prop all the time too, if it were outside my house!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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