I thought when I bought this fabric that I had only bought just enough to make the dress I was planning to make out of it, and no more. When I went to cut it out, though, I found I had at least twice what I needed. No wonder it was taking up so much space in my stash. Really, this dress moved to the top of the queue just because I was tired of seeing this fabric in a giant blob on my shelf.
The dress I made for myself is exactly what I intended when I bought it. I’ve made McCall’s 5780 once before, so this time I made the view with the full pleated skirt. I did do a full-bicep alteration on the pattern this time, since I’ve noticed that when I wear the first dress the sleeves have very little ease. The fabric was probably intended to be for curtains or some other home decor application, but I like it as a dress. I think it was labelled as cotton when I bought it, and I would believe that’s probably true. It has great drape, but less structure than I would expect in a home dec fabric. When you look at the pictures, you’ll see how that plays out as far as some wrinkling with movement and blousing in the bodice, but overall it isn’t bothersome.
I had so, so much more of this fabric than I thought I did that I decided to make Guinevere a matching dress with a full circle skirt. It’s probably a better color on her than it is on me anyway. I used another vintage pattern, Simplicity 4924, in a size 6 for the bodice and self-drafted the circle skirt for it. The pattern comes with a gathered skirt pattern, but for all its drape, this fabric is kind of bulky, and I didn’t think it would gather well. I did think about options for embellishing Guinevere’s dress a little. The fabric is busy, but there doesn’t seem to be a focal point with such a plain pattern. She didn’t like my ideas. Belts, brooches, fabric flowers…all were rejected in favor of keeping it simple. She knows what she likes, so I guess that’s good.
She looks so cute pulling that curtsy pose that I thought I’d try it too. The effect isn’t quite the same, but you can see how full my skirt is.
Here’s a back view for both of us. You can see what I mean about getting some blousing in the bodice of my dress. It seems to like to work it’s way up, especially after I lift my arms, and needs to be pulled back down occasionally. I really should train one of the boys in some photography assisting skills, so they can point out stuff like that for me during photo sessions and I can fix it before the pictures are snapped. Romeo was the one taking the pics here, so he was too worried about working the camera to be worried about clothing details. The camera did not want to keep the busy print of the dresses in focus, so Romeo had his work cut out for him.
I did take some detail shots while I was making this dress. Most of my in-progress sewing pics get posted on Instagram where I have the account handle @carihomemaker. The skirt of my dress has a nifty feature where the pattern was cut with enough width to include a pleat that falls over the zipper. I thought this seemed unusual, since most dresses with pleats that I’ve encountered just stop the pleats in the zipper area. I’m thinking I didn’t really follow the pattern instructions as far as what to do with that pleat, but here’s a 15 second video (originally posted on Instagram) that shows the finished waist seam detail and how the pleat covers the side-seam zipper on my dress. (Warning: Just in case you click play somewhere where you’re trying to be quiet, I am talking in the video.)
One last picture of both of us together. We really coordinate well with the living room.
Stash-busting stats: 17 projects this year. 48 1/2 yards.