Wednesday, June 29, 2016

• 4th of July Polka Dot Dress •



Since I missed posting (again....) last week, I thought I'd take a break from the Civil War series and share my latest creation; a 4th of July-themed dress! 

This fabric was originally intended for my birthday dress, but the lemon fabric ended up taking its place.  Finally I decided to make a fun 1950s dress that would be suitable for the 4th of July!  Although it's not quite your typical patriotic blue color, it has enough fun flair to fill the gap, don't you think?  ;)




I really wanted to use ricrac on the dress, but not just around a collar or some such; I wanted it sewn into some seams, like on Tara's polka dot dress.  I finally settled for this late 1940s Chicago Tribune Pattern (side note to Gina: based on the postmark on the envelope, this pattern is from 1949 or before!), with a circular skirt.  Thankfully, earlier this year when I purchased the fabric, I got 6-1/2 yards, plus an additional 1-1/2 yard piece, so I had plenty for a nice, full, circle skirt.  I didn't end up using the 1-1/2 yard piece, but that should make an awfully cute little girls' 1950s dress.  :)




The pattern I used has two tucks coming down from the yoke seam, with gathers on each side at the waist.  I really didn't want it to be blousy, but rather more fitted, so I narrowed the bodice pieces down and drafted darts instead.  Let's just say it's a miracle that the fabric survived that many unpickings!!  ;)  I was only basting the darts in each time, but it still ended up being an awful lot of sewn and removed stitching lines.  The end result is what counts though, and I am very happy with how it came out!





The ricrac I used on the bodice was from a vintage packet, but the ricrac around the skirt was new.  I went to the local fabric shop to get some, hoping to get 7-1/2 yards, because that's what I thought I would need, based on a preliminary measurement around the unhemmed skirt.  They only had 6-3/8 yards at the store, but I bought it anyway in hopes of it....growing.  ;)  Thankfully, once the skirt was hemmed, I ended up only needing approximately 6.12 yards, so I had a nice little piece leftover.  Happy day!!!  :D




Since I was going for a fun, casual look with the dress, I opted for a contrasting sash, rather than a belt.  

One feature I really love about this dress is *the pocket*!!!!!!!  :D  I used to be a total anti-pockets-in-the-side-seams person, until I was reminded of the fact that certain types of side-seam pockets are actually really nice.  As long as they are sewn into the waist seam and not just the side seam, they lay beautifully and are downright handy to have!  Hence, my first side-seam pocket.  And I am officially a convert.  ;)

Since I haven't wrapped my mind around how to insert a zipper and a pocket in the same seam yet, I'm sticking with a right side pocket for now, since I've noticed other seamstresses doing the same.  Easy, and too much fun!




When one is wearing a circular skirt, one simply *must* take the obligatory melting-dress photo.  ;)




I mentioned having changed the tucks into darts earlier; it was not such an easy feat on the back bodice!  At first I made the two little tucks on each side at the top, with a dart coming up from the waist below them on each side.  What resulted was a nice, big bubble on each side.  Hmm.  Then I tried just taking a couple of tucks at the waist on each side.  More bubbles.  Finally I had to just continue the tucks down to the waist on each side, taking in the needed amount of fabric at both the yoke and waist seams.  It worked, and hopefully doesn't look too out of place.  




This is actually the first real circle skirt I've ever worn!  I have made two of them before, one in a green diagonal plaid, that sadly did not fit, and the other being on my remade 1950s dress.  Although the '50s dress has a circular skirt, being it was taken off of my original walkaway dress, it does not hang quite like a standard circular skirt would because of the original way it was cut out.

Happily, this dress convinced me that I do indeed like circular skirts!!  :)  They might be a little frightening in wind storms (check the forecast before choosing outfits, perhaps?), and a little painful to wear when one is cutting out a project on the floor, but other than that, they are a delight to wear.




I was able to do a little over a 1" hem on this skirt as well, which was fun!  I was afraid it would have to be eased in an awful lot, but it really didn't, and was surprisingly easy to hem.  And perhaps the slightly heavier hem than on my previous circular skirt will help ward off the inevitable results of those undesirable gusts of wind.  ;)





Thanks to my mom for the gorgeous buttons!  I originally planned to use some rather monstrous red ones that I purchased at JoAnn, but they were utterly too big.  These were just the ticket, and beautiful to boot!  :)




If you haven't done so lately, do stop by my Etsy shop!  I have recently added several garments to the stock, one of which is in a smaller size, and can be custom ordered in a different fabric of your choice.  And there is a sale on through July 4th; receive 20% off when you use the coupon code HAPPYFOURTH.

I hope you all have a lovely week and a very enjoyable 4th of July!  Let us pray for our country, that the Lord would grant us a revival, and our country would return to the values and beliefs that its founders stood for.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord! 
Follow Me on Pinterest

18 comments:

  1. Esther,

    I just love the style of this dress! The circle skirt and ric-rac are perfect!

    I could not agree more with your last paragraph, and do pray for a revival.

    May you and your family have a blessed 4th of July!

    -Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  2. This one is a winner, my friend! The tucks in the back are the perfect touch, and I am glad to see a side-seam pocket. :) Hurrah for long circle skirts, big red buttons, and a fluffy sash bow. And, yes, even for polka dodtz and ricrac. :) I hope the Fourth isn't too windy for you to wear this! The perfect prop for such a summery dress would be a frosty root beer float. Hee hee! Love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Sarah A.!!! Hmm, why didn't I think of the frosty root beer float?!! I think another photo shoot is in order! We could have our very own polka dot day sometime, you know..... ;)
      Love you!

      Delete
  3. This dress is gorgeous, the detail you put into your sewing always brings a smile to my face

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Kaitlyn!! You are so kind; I feel like I don't put enough detail into my sewing, so to hear you say so makes me feel wonderful! :)

      Delete
  4. "Melting dress" - what a perfect term for the display of a full skirt (or dress). :)

    This is such a fabulous frock! I adore the cheerful colour palette and eye-catchingly lovely rickrack placement.

    Have a stellar 4th of July celebration!

    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jessicai!! :)

      Delete
  5. It's so twirly!!! I love it. The colors are fabulous. I really like that blue instead of a more traditional navy or royal. Too cute!!!😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Miss Michelle!! :) I love this color too!

      Delete
  6. What a pretty little dress! The contrast colours look amazing together. And ricrac inserted into seams is genius and looks amazing in this style dress. Super inspired make!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Christina!! You are so sweet!

      Delete
  7. Oh my giddy aunt! I LOVE this dress! The fabric and the ric rac make me so happy and the melting dress shot is perfection! Great choice for a 4th of July dress!
    Blessings!
    g

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Gina!! You are always so sweet! :)

      Delete
  8. Ooooh.... Circle skirts forever! I'm glad you are enjoying your first circle skirt Esther, they are so fun and twirly! Plus, I do love your subtle nob to the red, white, and blue. I adore these lighter shades teamed with the bold red, they have a marvelous effect of balancing out the color palette beautifully! ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bonita!! Yay, I sure am enjoying my first real circle skirt! They are indeed very fun and twirly. ;)

      Delete
  9. Such a beautiful dress! The colours go so well together and I love the rick rack x

    ReplyDelete

Your comments always make my day!! I will reply here on the blog, so be sure to check the "Notify Me" box or check back soon! Thank you :)