Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Summer Dresses

My latest project is the perfect example of how a relatively small project exploded into a big pain in the behind.  It all started quite a few years ago with this photo and yards of vintage dotted Swiss fabric.

Photo by Frances McLaughlin Gill

Oh my gosh, I LOVE this dress so much!  When I first saw this picture, I knew I had to make it.  At this time, I don't know who designed this awesome dress.    The only information that I have is it's from 1952 and is modeled by Jean Patchett.

In 2012, I was cutting out the blouses to for this "Sound of Music" inspired suit.  My grandma had given me about four yards a nice dotted Swiss when I was in my early 20's.  Well, I decided to plan ahead and cut out as many skirts for the dresses as possible while I was cutting out the blouses.

I probably cut out about 8-10 flared skirts and that ended up biting me in the butt a couple of years later.

It turned out that a flared skirt was not the best skirt shape for this dress.  I wanted to make a tuck at the bottom of the skirt to make it look like the ruffle was attached to a petticoat under the skirt.  The rounded bottom of the skirt made that technique a challenge.

I think I made it work though.

I had just enough fabric to make a dirndl skirt for my pattern prototype.  The straight bottom of the skirt was much better with the ruffle.

The bodice and sleeve tabs are a great detail.

Of course, I had to make my life harder by making the pattern project bigger....

by revisiting this dress.

 "Rear Window"

 Introducing "Rear Window" inspired print dress part 3
 Part 1- I wish I had bought more of this fabric originally.

 Part 2- this fabric wasn't a very great match for the original dress, but it turned out cute.

I was so excited when I found this fabric a year or so ago, best match ever!  I was so excited that I bought one whole yard of it.

I was only able to make 4 dresses out of a yard of fabric, two for Gene-
and two for Franklin Mint's Grace Kelly doll.
Part of me wishes that I had bought more fabric, and the other part of me is glad that I didn't.  But wait!  I'm not done yet.

It turned out I wasn't so keen on making 8-10 of the original dress with the cute tabs, piping, and ruffles.  So I made a few adorable sleeveless dresses with piping.  I had also decided that I couldn't make a successful sleeveless dress by just omitting the sleeves.  This called for a new bodice pattern.

Still not done though.

What about a basic sleeveless bodice with a dirndl skirt?

and the basic sleeveless bodice with the flared skirt?
Can you even tell the difference?   When I get around to updating my pattern blog, I am going to write about the pros and cons of these two different skirts.
Ugh!  I thought I was finally in the home stretch, but then I wanted to improve the fit of the Tonner/Grace Kelly bodice and make a bodice with buttons down the front.
So I made this cute dress out of this fun print, one for Gene-

and one for the bigger girls.
The end!
To purchase the pattern, click here.