Last week I discovered, having got up to the neck!, that I had made an irretrievable mistake on a jumper I was knitting. The pattern is a repeat of squares and I'd managed to get an entire vertical row off centre!!!! After throwing it across the room and having a right royal tantrum, I pulled it back to the rib (2 weeks work ruined) ready to start again. I was somewhat cheesed off and simply couldn't face picking up the needles again - I'm sure I'm not alone in that :o)
An entire change was needed and, having seen some other bloggers showing off their beautiful creations, I was desperate to sew a dress. After much sorting, I opted for this fabric.
It was bought last year in a charity shop for just £5 and at 4 yards long by 45" wide, I think it's safe to say a bargain was had. Although not an original 1940’s fabric, it has a very pretty print and does the “40’s look” perfectly. The fabric is a soft cotton which made it really easy to work with (not at all slippery) and it’s so floppy that it hangs beautifully.
hoarder collector of 1930's and 1940's sewing patterns, I have quite a collection. They are mostly American and many of them are for very small garments - 32" bust anyone? Not I :o) Because I had oodles of fabric, I thought I’d be sensible and squeeze the biggest dress out of it that I possibly could, opting for this pattern by Simplicity, dated 1940.
I went for the option on the left because I like the puffy sleeves and I didn't have enough fabric to do the long sleeved one :o)
I had grand designs to do the contrast collar and trim but just couldn't find suitable fabric. Buttons and a buckle were, yet again, impossible to match so I had to opt to cover the buttons myself and it was surprisingly easy. It involved cutting a small circle of fabric and running some stitches round the edge before putting the button into the middle, pulling the thread tightly to create a bag and then fastening it off. There is a little plastic piece that looks like a washer that slips firmly onto the back and your done - simples :o)
Not so simple were the damn buttonholes! Bound buttonholes are not a favorite of mine, I find them awkward and fidly and incredibly difficult to line up. I know it would be easier to use the buttonhole function on my sewing machine but it wouldn't give the finish I was after. To help me, I made use of a most brilliant book called "The Complete Guide of Sewing". It was printed in the USA in 1943 and is an absolute gem of a book with clear instructions to complete even the simplest piece of sewing.
I fluffed the binding on the sleeves by machining it onto the wrong side of the fabric, that'll teach me to concentrate harder! I also ended up not having enough fabric to make the belt in one piece so had to match the fabric on an all blue section and join it together - make do and all that :o)!!
In all, it took a week to make and the sun was shining beautifully yesterday so I could finish the hem, sitting in the garden - perfect! Here are the snaps I took today. The camera isn't doing the colour justice, not sure what happened there and the breeze was doing funny things to the skirt!
|The belt doesn't stick out like that normally, the dummy is smaller than the dress so I had to make the belt far smaller.|
|Oops - I should probably have ironed it before I put it on the dummy!|
Here’s hoping for beautiful sunshine :o)