Sunday, 22 June 2014

Bridie: My Vintage Shirt Dress

So for my second dress of the challenge I decided to buy a pattern instead of make one myself. This was purely a time factor if I'm honest, little man is sleeping well these days but I still only have at the most four hours a night, before exhaustion sets to work on any projects I have. I called this time my stitching hour (a play on witching hour because its magical).

The pattern I chose was this lovely vintage style shirt dress by Burda from Minerva Crafts. I fell in love with it, vintage is always a win with me plus it looked casual enough to wear to the shops and would be nice to wear in this heat we're having. I went through my fabrics looking for the perfect match and found this pretty plaid vintage fabric another of the many pieces I inherited from my grandma. The colours in it are those of strawberry bonbons, sherbet lemons and parma violets yum. I should really call it my sweet shop dress.    

When I got my pattern I decided to read through it a couple of times because its been quiet awhile since I last made anything with a collar. All I had was a vague memory of it being fiddly and required a lot of unpicking. I thought I'd play it safe and make a toile. Which would help me remember how to do it and then my finished collar would be perfect. My plan well and truly back fired. Instead of my toile helping me gain more confidence for my final piece, it actually made me want to pull my hair out!     

This is my sorry attempt at my toile, shocking I know! In the end I just thought sod this I'm making dress. I'm so glad I did and didn't give up because it was so much easier using the fabric I'd chosen. I think my toile fabric was too thick.

Needless to say I took my time with the real thing, reading and re reading each step. omparing it to the diagrams to make sure I was getting it right.

So far so good!

This bit was tricky if I didn't get it right there would be a hole where the back collar and front met. It took a couple of attempts but I eventually got it. Could of done with a glass of wine at that point to celebrate but had none in. Sad times. 

The rest of the dress went well. I didn't have any trouble with the pleats and the sleeves were simple enough. I thought I was on the home stretch at this point, once again I was wrong! You wouldn't think button holes would be that tricky but this was the first time I'd made button holes using Fred (my machine). I had no idea that stitch to use what length or anything. It wasn't until I remembered there was a is a secret panel above the foot compartment that I started to get some where. When I found the switch and revealed the panel it felt like there should of been a beam of light and a choir singing. Not that I like to be dramatic or anything! 

It had all the information I needed in a handy little chart. My Fred is good to me!

Things got scary at this point I set Fred to the right stitch, length and needle position and started to practice my button holes. Oh my I have never heard such painful clunking noises coming from her. All I could do was pray to the sewing machine gods that this was meant to happen. Thankfully no machines were harmed in the making of this dress!

After many attempts I finally got the hang of it!

Eventually I took the plunge and made my finished button holes which thankfully went well.

I went through my button stash for something suitable and found some nice purple buttons which I had more then enough of. I would of preferred it if they were lighter. 

Although after adding them I quiet like the finished look!

This is the finished dress I'm really happy with it and think I did really well with my pattern matching.  It's a little off at the back but didn't realise until it was too late. It's not too noticeable so shhh our secret! 

This is me wearing it. I styled it with a lovely blue belt and teal shoes which surprisingly works! I love the way it looks and it feels great on I will definitely be making it again!

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