(This sewing post on a handmade 50s dress was originally on Bourbon and Bras on 3rd July 2013)
Years ago when fabric shopping, a kind yet mad woman wrapped me up in a makeshift sari, telling me that I would look make a “beautiful bride” for her son. I laughed the whole thing off, unwrapped myself and bought what I needed.
What I hadn’t seen is she’d thrown in a length of the fabric she’d wrapped around me! She told me “not to tell her husband” which confused me at the time, but once I’d got home and seen the fabric, I promised to make something pretty out of it and fondly remember that crazy woman.
Approximately four years later – I’ve finally used the fabric in a dress!
This dress uses the bodice from Butterick B5880, omitting the neckline notches, and has a pleated dirndl instead of the sarong skirt – and pockets!
I’m going to assume the fabric is a voile of some kind, and it’s frankly slippy as f-. Trying to get the checks to line up was a time consuming and ultimately fruitless labour of love.
But the fabric itself was nice to work with – it presses really quite crisp, isn’t so bad for fraying and my favourite part – you can shove it in a washing machine with no problem!
The dress itself, I love – it’s my favourite make so far. The bodice is roomy without making me look frumpy – and although .
I’d never made a pleated skirt before this, and it went by with only one problem – I had to take out pleats in the front for not having enough fabric. But it worked out nicely, I like the flatter front as it doesn’t make me look pregnant, which is always a bonus.
The only problem is that this fabric completely absorbs sunlight – whilst I was standing directly under the sun whilst on the Isle of Man, I was certain I was going to end up catching fire.