Tuesday 3 February 2015

Dustbowl Dress

Ok. First, a quick introduction. I've been sewing my own clothes for many years, and have thought on and off about starting a blog, and now have finally decided to take the plunge. I'm new to all this, so please be kind!

It's currently summer down here in Australia, and it's been pretty warm. I found this fabric at Rozelle Markets (so much great vintage/second hand stuff there!) and thought its airy softness was perfect for a summer dress. I looked through the patterns I had to see if there was anything that suited this fabric, and came across Simplicity 2995. It's a Project Runway pattern, so there's a lot of flexibility and options to work with. In the end, I largely based this dress on the bottom right version (see the bottom picture), although where the bodice lines are simply stitching, mine are separate pieces.

 As the name of the post suggests, this dress has a 1930s influence to it. I adjusted the pattern slightly by loosening it, taking full advantage of the drape of the fabric. As you can see in the pictures, any bit of breeze moves this fabric, giving it a lovely and lively flow. The colour, print, and cut of the dress really seemed like something a character in a Steinbeck novel would wear, so it is the Dustbowl Dress.
 The loose fit at the back keeps it nice and cool, but the tie waist keeps a bit of shape in the dress. I should also say the fabric is very thin (another thing that would have been common in the 30s!) so the dress does need to be worn with a full slip, but that just adds to the old-world style of it.

I tried to roll my hair up in a 1930s style for the photos, but you can kinda see that it's falling out a bit on the right-hand side here! Oh well, the dress is meant to be the focus anyway, isn't it.
 These sleeves were a little terrifying to do! I wanted something a little different, but not so different that it would overwhelm the dress. I settled on a curved hem up to the centre of the sleeve. It took a lot of time and effort, hand basting, machine stitching, and some redoing to get it right, but it worked in the end. And the final look is, for me, perfect. Although next time I should probably decide how I want the sleeves to look before cutting them out, rather than just playing around until I find something I like.
And here's the original pattern, Simplicity 2995, with a close-up of the bodice piecing. I've also posted about this on Burdastyle http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/dustbowl-dress

So thanks for reading my first blog post!

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