June 16, 2010

Another dress!

One of the pictures I promised yesterday: my new dress. I told you I'm on a bit of a spree... I stuck with the retro-thing as well.

This dress is made from fairly thin and drapey cotton satin with a huge grey-on-black paisley print. The pattern is very simple, I thought that would suit the big print. It has cut-on cap sleeves (the simplest sleeve option ever), a cowl neckline (see this page at vintagesewing for drafting instructions) and a plain circle skirt. I went with a zipper at center back because that allowed me to cut the back of the skirt in two pieces. That was necessary because I had only 2 meters of this fabric, and I just had to have a circle skirt. That and it made putting in pockets a lot easier.
It's a light and airy dress which will be good in the warm days to come and to be honest, I never expected it to top my previous dress-making effort. There is one thing which bugs me slightly about it: the skirt stretches on the bias. It shows at the hem. I know you are supposed to let circle skirts hang out for a day, preferably on a dummy, and then mark the hem with one of those chalk spewing marking-thing-y's... But I was impatient, my second hand dummy is stuck at its lowest setting, I don't have a marking-thing and most other common tricks for marking hems on you own wouldn't work on so big a skirt.
In my other circle skirted dresses, I have always cut the skirt in 6 pieces to save fabric. Now, I think the extra seams may have helped to keep the stretching under control. And of course, this effect is different in each fabric.


  1. Very pretty! I wish I could whip out a pattern like that - having just spent a good 6 hours tweaking a muslin, it might be time to learn how to draft. I love the pattern of the paisley.

  2. I feel you on the bias-circle-skirt problem (actually, I'd say hanging for a day is minimal. I've heard recommendations ranging from weeks to months, or wetting the whole skirt down and letting it hang dry... but these are probably longer, fuller skirts too). One of the main reasons I want a dress form right now is so I can hem circle skirts myself. I love all your creations, by the way, and I'm especially enjoying watching those 9 little dresses come to life :)

  3. Just lovely! I'm digging this retro dress phase you're going through. It inspires me!

  4. Your concerns with the hem aren't really noticeable in the photo. I think your dress is an absolute winner! Thanks for the tip about hanging a circle skirt - I didn't know this.

  5. You look gorgeous in these full skirts with your ultra-slim waist!

    By the way - in my latest blog post I've tagged you in a game of 8 questions if you'd like to play!

  6. very nice dress! and I love the cowl neck...