Life can get so hectic and stressful at times, and as such blogging gets put onto the back burner. Thanks so much for bearing with my crazy and impromptu schedule though. :)
Today I'm sharing another dress I made for my vacation back in August. I wore this dress on the day I left, making it my airplane-travel dress. It worked amazingly well for that purpose and was extremely comfortable, which is a huge bonus! So yes, I was that gal trotting around the airport sporting milkmaid braids, a goofy dress covered with yellow bows, and hand-sewing a colonial corset for a doll. What else would you expect from me?!! ;)
This dress from Raleigh Vintage was always one of my favorites, so when I happened upon it again in a search for plaid dress styles, I knew that it was the one to make. The fabric I used is from the Aunt Grace Ties One On collection by Judie Rothermel for Marcus. It is an absolutely lovely fabric that is comfortable to wear, nice and thick, and doesn't wrinkle much at all!
For the front bodice, I used Simplicity 3688, cutting the neck a bit bigger (I think?), adding a center front seam on the yoke, and spreading the gathers out a bit more on the yoke front-bodice front seam. I also took in the bodice quite a bit at the waist for a more fitted look.
The original dress actually just has a bias-bound keyhole opening in the front, but since I didn't want that much neck showing, I opted for a little zipper instead. At a glance, the original dress actually looks like it has a zipper, so it works out just fine! ;)
The back bodice is also (sort of) from S3688, modified to have a back yoke and a gathered back bodice. In essence, the top of the bodice was cut wider in order to gather it onto the yoke, but the bottom was then cut narrower than the pattern in order to have it be fitted without darts.
Since I have always found the sleeves from S3688 to be terribly restrictive (I can't raise my arms without the whole garment shifting), I used the sleeves and armscyes from Simplicity 3847. That worked really well, so much so that this dress features some of the most unrestricted arm movement of any of mine! Hurrah!!!
The skirt is comprised of two pieces, a front and a back. The front features two large pleats that are topstitched down, and both the front and back pieces are flared. I had to cut the skirt approximately 11" longer than the finished length (adding 4.5" for a 2.25" finished width tuck, plus 5" for the hem and 1.5" or so for seam allowance and hem adjustments). From what I could tell, the original dress had a deep hem that extended up beyond the base of the tuck, thereby hiding the stitching line. So I did the same with my dress! I sewed my tuck all the way around, then used some gorgeous blue 1" rayon seam binding from my stash to hem up the skirt. It worked famously, and I was able to machine-stitch the hem with no guilt whatsoever! (Actually, I do sometimes machine-stitch hems that are going to be visible, and really don't feel guilty about it at all.) ;)
The skirt hangs so nicely with such a deep hem. Too bad there isn't always enough fabric to do that!!
Sarah made me aware of the gorgeous Kona cottons at JoAnn to my attention, and I couldn't be any happier with them. Great quality, nice and thick, and a far better price than one can purchase an equivalent for at a quilt shop! I found some perfect yellow and white solids that were just what was needed for the accents on this dress.
The bows are just tacked on so they can be easily removed for washing. The upper one is tacked to the zipper pull, thereby disguising it. ;) The collar was a bit of a trick to draft, and I didn't quuuiiite get the shape right, but it's pretty close. Close enough to be quite satisfied with!!! ;)
Sometimes, like with this dress, you need a plain fabric tie-belt. But I always hate wearing them because of the way that they scrunch up as soon as you start moving around. So with this one, I was determined to figure a way to stiffen the thing in order to prevent that! I finally came up with the solution, which was to sew wide grosgrain ribbon (exactly like what I am wearing for a belt in these pictures) to one half of the belt before sewing it together. The ribbon only extends around to within about 2-3" of the knot on each side, so it doesn't interfere with the knot at all, but stabilizes the belt perfectly!!! I couldn't be any happier with how it came out. No fuss, no muss, no constant fiddling, yet it is just as comfortable (if not more so!) as a plain fabric belt. I can't wait to use this trick again!!! :D
An extra bonus? The ribbon is yellow and polka-dotted, so it not only matches my belt, but makes it super fun to look at when taking it on and off. ;)
This was such a fun dress to make, and I love having my own version of that pretty green one. And it really brought home the point to me once more, that you can quite easily recreate a lot of dresses just by combining patterns that you already have. It might take a little bit of finagling, but it's so worth it in the end. Have you ever reproduced an original dress? I would love to hear about it!
Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely week!! Enjoy these last weeks of fall! :)