So. We’ve established by now that I’m useless at sticking to deadlines, right? Right.
This gingham swirl dress was made for Sew Retro Rose’s Swirlalong… which finished in NOVEMBER.
Yes, a whole seven months after the deadline closed I’m showing you my dress! I finished this in March, actually, and was left aside for so long because it went so wrong. I’m not sure about you guys, but once things start going wrong I have to walk away. Especially before I cut the damn thing to pieces – and sometimes it just takes months to come back to it!
The pattern for this dress was McCall’s 5411 – Which Beccie (Sew Retro Rose) turned into a PDF for those joining the sewalong. I love a Swirl, and it’s one of those vintage dress styles I knew would get on well with my shape and style, so why would I not give it a go? I set off to Rolls and Rems in Holloway Road to grab my favourite gingham fabric and set down to make this up.
However there were a few issues – the bodice ended up five or so inches short, and when I lengthened the pattern back, I forgot to true up the backseam so it hit the right side seam, which caused serious gaping issues, length issues (it screwed up the back bodice so that it was suddenly 5 inches too long. Nightmare) and screwed up the whole fit of the dress.
So like the slapdash sewist I am, I hacked off the excess fabric and added in a series of buttons down the back to keep it closed without gaping. “It’s not a mistake, it’s a design element” I chanted to myself whilst rocking back and forth.
And to add to my further dismay – I somehow managed to cut the neckline so wide it shows my bra straps (which you can see above and below) which bothers me to no end.
But despite all that? This is the dress I wear most often. It’s fully lined in a lightweight cotton so it’s good for sunnier days, but with correct undergarments can easily be worn in the winter for a pop of summer memories when it’s grey and dark.
And the thing I love about this swirl dress? I look so put together regardless of how my hair looks or if I’m wearing makeup, and I love that!