Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Last of the Summer Whine

I promise, this is the last time I'll whine on about our dismal summer and instead we'll look at one of the last cotton dresses to come out of the sewing room for this year - ever the optimist! 
Continuing my quest for the perfect summer dress I purchased some more fabric which turned out to be the same as the 4 day dress but in a different colourway.  I searched through the pattern stash which I believe the pixies have riffled through and have really made a mess of my careful ordering and categorising techniques, and eventually found Vogue 1121. You may remember I made this before but in navy wool crepe and with relative success. I know the shape suits me and I do feel comfortable in it - so why not try it in cotton? The pattern is quite involved - lined, bound seams, multiple panels at the front and a fiddly neckline.

For a summer dress I tried to simplify things - I avoided the lining but used the facing to tidy up inside and hand stitched it to the - please note - totally finished seam allowances on the front.

At the shoulders I folded down 1cm of the seam allowance and slip stitched this to the shoulder seam and the same at underarm.

This dress has a slightly strange neckline, in that it has an inset behind the front. Usually this is what the lining is attached to so I had to do some dinky-dooing to this. When I first put the dress on it gapped at the front - every time I moved there was a full frontal display. The neckline is also wide, wide enough to go beyond bra strap territory. So I rigged up a system of gears and pulleys to hold it in place - close to the chest, so to speak.

In actual fact the system is a very old-fashioned one - some ribbon and snap fasteners.
One in the centre that clips around the centre part of the bra

Then two others at the wide sides to hold bra and slip straps out of view. This was a problem with the navy crepe version - visible straps - so when that one comes back out again in the autumn I'll add these little inside secrets. They really do make the front of the dress super secure, and decent!

Other changes I made include lengthening the pattern by 7", same as the navy wool: replaced the kick pleats at the back with a small centre split.

 Here I am shooting the breeze with Mr C.S. Lewis.

I think he's looking for a lion and a witch in that wardrobe....

I'm advising him to write a book or two about it.

C.S. Lewis statue : Connswater, Belfast
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  C.S. Lewis


  1. If this does end up being the last dress for the year (yeah, right!) it sure was a beauty!!! Fabric colourings really suit you...

    1. OK maybe not the really last one.

  2. I agree with Judith, lovely dress really suits you.

  3. It looks great on you, lovely shape and colour!

  4. Lovely as always. I can see Mr Lewis eyeing you, admiringly.

  5. Lovely dress, looks great, thanks for the review and all the photos.

  6. What a great pattern to use to get such a wonderful fit. The fabric you chose makes the seams disappear. Really lovely.

  7. Thank you everyone for such positive comments. The bad weather has made me put on weight (not eating too much you understand) so I really appreciate compliments right now.

    1. I'm sorry you've had a rubbish summer, weather-wise. But you've been so (sew?) productive and the latest creation IS a triumph!!