Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blue Summer Dress

I watched a lot of old movies growing up and loved much of the clothing from those eras: the slinky gowns of the 1930s, the cute suits of the 1940s, the flowing A-line dresses of the 1950s and the form-fitting pencil skirts of the 1960s. So I like clothing that has a nod to the past and wanted to make a light summer dress from a retro-style pattern that I had.

The bodice of the dress is self-lined, which basically means I had to make the bodice twice; I’ve made a couple of garments thus far that are self-lined and I actually kind of like it.

The first time I looked at instructions for a pattern that was self-lined, I looked upon it with dismay because it appeared as though there were a lot of steps. Sewing the bodice of a dress twice seemed like a lot a work and I wasn’t terribly excited about doing it. However, once I did a self-lined pattern, I realized that it had some upsides: I didn’t have to worry about finishing the raw edges since they were encased within the two fabric pieces and it also gave a fairly clean-looking finish to the inside of the garment. So while it looked like extra work in the instructions, it didn’t really feel like it was extra work.

Since this dress has some flow to it, I decided on using cotton broadcloth, which is a light fabric with some movement to it. My initial thought was to make it in a cherry red color, but while at the fabric store I wasn’t terribly impressed with the color selection available. I wanted to use the fabric that was on sale, and given the color choices open to me, I decided that I liked this cobalt blue enough to make the dress out of.

The pattern was fairly easy to follow, though I couldn’t help but make some mistakes along the way. As usual, the finished dress isn’t perfect (as everything I make tends to look better from a distance than up close), but I like it enough to wear and think it turned out pretty cute. The part I love most about this dress are the tie ends that wrap around the waist and tie in the back; it creates some nice directional movement and acts much like a belt to cinch everything in.

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