Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Summer Dress in the Middle of WInter : The Lipstick Dress

I love Decades of Style's patterns - they do great vintage style patterns for several eras, but they also have their own pattern line called Decades Everyday.  The latest release is called the Cats Cradle Dress, and I fell in love with it immediately.

Ok, so at first glance it might not look like a pattern I would be interested in, but what I've learned to do with vintage patterns is look at the DETAILS.  So, with that in mind, look at the illustration again.  Look at the neckline.




I purchased the PDF pattern and looked through my newly organised fabric stash and waited for inspiration to strike.  It didn't.

A week or so later I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw this photo:

Bingo!  There is my fabric!

This dress is a Bernie Dexter dress that is being sold exclusively by Unique Vintage.  Because I pay attention to these kinds of things, I had noticed that quite a lot of her dresses were made from quilting fabrics designed by people like Robert Kaufman... so I jumped on to (who have a fabulous search engine of the extensive fabrics they stock - you should try it) and found the fabric!

Except they were out of stock of the black *eye roll*.  Back to google, which lead me to an etsy seller... and Taa-daaaaaa!

Its so fabulous in person, I can't even.

I had been thinking of making a few modifications to the dress.  The bodice was perfect just the way it was, but I thought a circle skirt rather than an A-line skirt would be much more 'me'... and some pockets, of course.  The fabric isn't very wide though, so I had to agonise over a few design decisions with the skirt.  It was either make it much less than a circle so the skirt could be two pieces, or have it be a circle cut in four pieces forming a chevron pattern.  I thought about it, and eventually went with the full skirt with chevrons option.

After cutting it all out I got to sewing up the bodice, and making the fabulous neckline.

The neckline is done with the help of tearaway, which is something I haven't used before.  It was fun!  I had three choices for the ribbon, and I chose gold because... well... why not!

Basically what you do is you trace the shape on to the tearaway, then you tack the tearaway on to the bodice, tack the ribbon down over the shape you traced, stitch it, then tear away the tearaway!

Tearing this off was pretty scary - I was worried about breaking the stitches.  It didn't happen.

I couldn't wipe the smile off my face when the bodice was finished!

Then I moved on to the pockets.  Patch pockets are fun.  There are so many great designs, and I always save the photos of the good ones I see for reference later.  These ones are based on a gorgeous green vintage dress from Canary Club Vintage on Etsy. (Dress has sadly been sold)

I love the scale of these pockets, and I love the darker green contrasting border, and thats what I wanted to try to capture with mine.  But I also wanted to echo the neckline.  This is what I came up with.

I am really missing the natural light that was in my old sewing room for photos...

Looking back on it now, I should have used black for the pocket outline, but at the time I chose red so thats what I've got.

I put the whole thing together and then it hung about for a week waiting for me to hem it.  And then once I'd hemmed it, it waited around for several more weeks waiting for the weather to warm up so I could get some photos in it!  I mean, I love you guys, but wearing a summer dress in winter and freezing my butt off just for photos doesn't sound like fun!  Thankfully the weather has been superb recently - I think spring has arrived early!

Photo time!

I am completely over the moon about this dress and I can't wait until the weather warms up properly so I can wear it out somewhere.

I really can't recommend this pattern enough.  The PDF pattern was simple to work with, and the design is amazing.  I even think its a pretty good price!  If you decide to give it a go I'd love to see your finished dress - post it on my facebook page, or tag me in a photo on Instagram (@beccieleathley).

I hope you have enjoyed my first sewing post after my hiatus.  I promise that the next one will be a doozy!