Blue Seersucker Doris Dress

I happened to look at my recent postings, only to realize that I have nothing recent. The best way to fix that, as far as I know, is to write a new post.

Blue Doris 17

This dress was already blogged on The Monthly Stitch, but Guinevere took some really cute pictures, so I think I should put them here too. The dress is a pattern by Sew Over It, their Doris dress, to be specific. They offer this as either a pdf or a print copy. I bought the print copy from their shop. Yes, this is an expensive way to get a pattern from the UK to the US, but that’s just how much I wanted to try this pattern out. I love the idea of shirt-dresses, but tend to have problems in the wearing of them, more so when they involve buttons that go all the way down the front. I suspect that this particular dress would fit slightly better if snugged in about the neckline area, maybe making a sloping shoulder adjustment and adding just a smidgen of an FBA at the same time. Be that as it may, I didn’t make those adjustments and ended up with a wearable dress anyway. I did worry about having pulling or gaping between the buttons, so I sewed up the front and the buttons are purely decorative. There’s a side-seam zipper anyway, so functional front buttons aren’t necessary.

Blue Doris 1
Buttons inherited from my grandma. Finally put to a good use.

I originally picked out a rayon challis from my stash to pair with this pattern, but it turns out that it’s a real fabric-hog, so I didn’t have enough of that fabric. The bottom of the skirt is extremely full, though it’s fairly slim in the waist and even in the hip area. I don’t really have any other dresses with this skirt shape, so its a fun to have one now. Its also a rather practical shape. Fabric-hogging tendencies aside, the skirt seems to mostly stay put even in a breeze. I don’t know that I’d want to be caught in a true storm in it, but it is much less prone to trying to get me to flash my knickers than some things I own.

Blue Doris 15

The back has these cute self-fabric ties. I’ve been staying away from such things, usually preferring a belt, but for this dress I rather like it the way it is. Hopefully its not giving off too much of a “diner waitress in a movie” vibe.

Blue Doris 10

The front bodice has pleats instead of darts, similar to the BHL Anna dress, but with only one on each side. In my fabric they are a little pucker-y, but not bothersome. That reminds me, after all my talking about not being able to use my rayon challis, I never mentioned what I did end up using. This dress is made up in a light blue and white stripe seersucker. The kind that shows up year after year in every chain and discount fabric store until you actually want to buy some, and then its like trying to find the treasure of the Sierra Madre to locate some. Yeah, so I had an impulse to stash some away for some use, and I think it worked out quite well as a Doris dress. It’s a poly/cotton blend, nothing pretentious, but highly washable, and one of the few nicer dresses I currently own that is truly wash and wear with no ironing required and that didn’t have a ton of wrinkles, even after I got creative with my posing

Blue Doris 6
Yes, that is a vintage Nancy Drew book

What size did I even make? I think I went with an 18 for the shoulders/upper bust, then did the slopping grading out thing where I went and followed the cut lines for the size 20 for the waist/hips. That sounds about right for my curvy figure.

Blue Doris 12

I just can’t seem to get away from the vintage look, even when I use newer patterns. At this point, I think I’d feel like I was trying to wear a costume if I tried to go all modern and minimal in pencil skirts and button-front shirts or made up some of those knit slouchy pants that everyone seems to look great in, but would just look like sloppy pajamas on me. I don’t even know what I’d do with my hair if I was trying out one of those looks. i can foresee this being something of a problem in the upcoming future, since my usually from-home job is going to involve going into the office a couple days a week for an indeterminate length of time. They’ve shuffled things around a bit staffing-wise, since I last was going up there on a regular basis, so I’m finding that the current office attire is quite a bit more “office-y” than what used to pass for office casual on my floor. I may find myself needing to revisit some more business-like attire. It is, after all, an office in Portland, Oregon, so there is quite a bit of allowance made for people to express their individual style, and I don’t want to completely lose myself in some idea that I need to go corporate formal. Even just the fact that I wear colors instead of black, beige, and grey, seems to be unusual at the moment, and I’m definitely not going to go monochrome without a protest. I may need to start a new pinterest board to get some ideas of what I’d like to add to my closet. I do think the 1940’s had some great looks, especially as far as jackets and blouses and garments that kind of are both, like Heather made recently. Any other suggestions from anyone about what works for them to keep the vintage look alive in an office environment?


3 responses to “Blue Seersucker Doris Dress”

  1. Susan Avatar

    This is beautiful, Cari! And nooooo monochrome wardrobe, surely such a drastic measure isn’t necessary. I don’t know WHAT I’d do if I had to office-up my wardrobe again, but Austin and Portland have similar aesthetics, so I think there’s some flexibility. 😉 Guinevere did a great job as your photographer!

  2. Sarah Jane Avatar

    Beautiful Doris dress!!! It’s definitely one of my favourite patterns and I too love the fact that it has a nice full bottom of the skirt but doesn’t seem to have near as much knicker flashing potential of a lot of the other dresses I’ve made. I absolutely love your poses too! Such great photos!

  3. Lynn Avatar

    Very cute! I have been wearing so many vintage inspired dresses this summer that they don’t even seem vintage anymore. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to dress for an office job. I’d probably just throw a little summer jacket on over my retro summer dresses and pretend that I am just so fashionable the rest of the world can’t keep up. 🙂 And monochrome? Just no. Oh HECK no!

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