Friday, 6 January 2012

Flippin' 'eck - It's Finally Finished Friday!

Far in the mists of time 
- well, the summer before last, at least - 
I decided I would climb back on board the whole dressmaking thing, which had seen me through my teens and my twenties, before being abandoned to the demands of family life.

Not sure how it would go, and seeing the price of fabric, I decided to have a look in one of my favourite charity shops, in case there happened to be a good length of fabric to me practise with.  Sure enough I found a piece for ten pounds that was plenty long enough for a dress, although it was made of something synthetic-y (which I'd not normally chose, though this was redeemed by having a good weight to it, and it doesn't set my teeth on edge when bitten) and with a rather bold print.

{Please let me assure you right here that I do not go around biting fabric in shops.  
But I do in the privacy of my own house. 
It helps me sort the man-made from the natural.
To each his own.}

Here it is, with finger to show the scale of the daisies...

I found a pattern...

...selected View F...

...and got on with it.

As I stitched, I got to like the fabric more and more and was really quite in love with the idea of wearing a big, bold pattern.  The dress had quite a vintage look to it, and the fabric hung really well.  I couldn't wait to finish it.

I so nearly did!  Just short of stitching the facings down, a hook and eye in place and hemming it, I decided to try it on.  

And it didn't fit!

I won't be too specific about which bit didn't fit - suffice to say men may have been ogling had I gone out in it!

In the old days dressmaking patterns always came up big, so I made it the size I normally wear.  I hadn't even thought of measuring myself and comparing my measurements to the pattern - oh, no that would be too simple!

So since that time, the dress has languished - first in a heap on top of my trunk full of fabric in the attic office (where it was flung immediately after being tried on) and then on Buffy, my dressmaker's model, who had been looking a tad embarrassed without a stitch on.

Yesterday I stitched down the facings and made the sash I cut out to go with it.  I call it finished now, as there's no point doing the hook and eye and the hem when maybe I can pass it on, to someone a little smaller than me.  

And here it is...

I like the collar...

..the crossover front...

...and the sweet sleeves...

...and the sash is quite sweet, though if I made it again I'd  cut each piece twice so as to have it double layered   - this is a single layer, hemmed, which I think a little sloppy!

So is there anyone out there who'd like it?  

It's a dressmaking size 12  (34-26 1/2-36) which isn't the same as a shop 12 it would seem! I'd be happy to send it off to somebody who could get some wear out of it (as long as they promise not to show off about how well it fits them!) And if there's more than one interested party, I will let the mice draw a name out of a hat!


  1. Hi Alex, it's gorgeous. I'd love it if my name could go in a hat! Xx

  2. Well I love it and it's the right size!!

  3. Heavens...I had a dress in the same style in the 70's. I loved that dress. I'm afraid a size 12 wouldn't fit me anymore though...LOL You did a lovely job and it's a pity it doesn't fit.

  4. What a shame after all that work! The dress does look good, hope you get someone to take it over.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  5. It's lovely - such a shame it doesn't fit you. Unfortunately, those moments on my lips have put too many inches on my hips and your lovely dress would look like a sausage skin on me :o(

  6. shame but I ain't been a size 12 for years!

  7. Hmm, I'm a shop 12 usually, but I fear my funbags may spilleth over. You did a great job though, and someone's going to love you!

  8. Wow well done! Yes pattern sizing and shop sizing are rarely the same I'm afraid I always just go by the measurements, it's easier, but darned good job!

    We went to the Maltings today it was awfully quiet so don't blame you for not being there!

  9. Could you wear a camisole top under it? It's so pretty.

  10. Very nice Alix shame it isnt a bit bigger I would love it.Love Jill xx

  11. What a shame after all your hard work ! I did have to giggle as it wouldn't fit me either & would be a bit of an eyeful. I found a lovely dress on holiday but it was a chest flattener !

    If you bit the fabric in the shop where I work you'd fit in very well !!!

  12. What a great dress, I'm another one who would find it more than a little tight but someone is going to look lovely in it.
    Carol xx