This week it's been incredibly hot and humid, and I realised while staring at my closet trying to pick clothes that I don't have many good "every-day" summer dresses. I needed to fix that! So I dug through my fabric shelf and pulled out this blue and white gingham, which was actually a queen-size sheet from the thrift store. It's sturdy and fairly crisp but very soft, and I thought it would make a nice dress.
It was not entirely a success. Do not be fooled by look of extreme happiness in most of these photos. It was HOT and the sun was in my eyes and we kept having to stop so I could wipe sweat off my face and neck, and as you will read I was less than content with the fit of the dress. But I like some of the images we got even if I don't love the dress! I think I'll keep my sister as my official photographer - she does a geat job.
The pattern I chose is Butterick 5209, one of their "Retro" series from '47. I really don't recommend it! I'm not at all sure how it's supposed to fit a normal human being. My first version of the bodice didn't even begin to fit - it was huge, and gapped unpleasantly through the bust, and looked nothing like the illustration. The sizing seems to be way off on this pattern - according to my body measurements, I should have made the size 20. I cut the 18 instead, since when I compared the supposed finished garment measurements to my own, the 18 seemed closer. But it was still way too big. I think this pattern is a victim of the pattern companies' insistance on adding lots of ease even to designs which shouldn't have it... but whatever the reason, it didn't work out.
|Darts which shouldn't have to be there. I do sort of like the effect, but it's the principle of the thing!|
And the dress still doesn't fit completely the way I'd like. I think I need to take in almost another inch from the back midriff panel so that it really sits snugly and doesn't sag with wearing. The halter straps could probably be even a little shorter and tighter. I don't love the way it sits under the bust, but I haven't figured out how to fix that yet. I think if I made this style of dress again, I'd put interfacing in the midriff panels and maybe even some boning on the side and centre back seams, to counteract the wrinkling and scrunching. I love the way the dress looks when I first put it on, but after even just a few minutes of wearing it shifts out of place. I spent a lot of time on Wednesday readjusting the bodice, and I'd rather not have to pay that much attention to my clothes.
|We found a snapping turtle in the side yard whilst taking photos...|
|I'm really much more satisfied with the way my hair turned out than with the dress itself!|