Pink Gingham Picnic Dress
I rarely do refashions or revisions, but sometimes a bit of a re-do is in order. Years ago I made a rather pretty pink gingham skirt. I made a top to go with it too and I wore it some. Over time, though, I found that the top worked with more than just that skirt, while the skirt didn’t have any other blouse options in my closet. The top was made of ponte while the skirt was a lovely sturdy cotton, so the difference in number of wearings made a very big difference in a short amount of time. I toyed with the idea of making another top, but found that what I really wanted this summer was a gingham picnic dress. It’s a good thing I kept the leftover fabric when I made the skirt.
I made the bodice using one of those vintage mail-order patterns that are so hard to determine the exact age of. They were often marketed to people in rural areas who didn’t keep up with current trends and the packaging didn’t change much over the years. This particular pattern has a bias band across the top of the bodice which I thought would be fun in the gingham. The bodice has darts, so I didn’t have to try to match the gingham across princess seams. The weird thing about this pattern is that it was intended to be custom-fit. That’s not so weird; when I tried it on though, there were major inches to be taken in, rather than being just a quick double check to make sure that it did fit, and that seemed weird. Why wouldn’t they have made it closer to the measurements it was drafted for? Even if they had made it closer to the intended size, it made sense that the fitting was specifically a part of the directions because the bias band is all one piece and it would be hard to do any alterations after the band is sewn on.
The skirt was already put together. I took the waistband off and took the zipper out with my trusty seam ripper. Fortunately the skirt did fit into it’s new bodice without any trouble. I took the opportunity to move the pocket to a better angle; I don’t know what I did the first time, but it was at a weird angle and it bothered me every time I wore it.
I always liked this gingham as a skirt, but I find it infinitely more wearable with an attached bodice. The twirl factor is still incredible and a petticoat gives the heavy skirt a little bit of structure.
I guess this is a lesson to me to periodically review my closet and see what I might need to do to things I’m rarely wearing so that I can make them easier to wear. Have you reworked any of your me-mades lately?