Mary’s Dress

This is dress number one!  It stopped raining this afternoon so I dashed home from work and grabbed some photos.  I also discovered I can do up these centre back zipper dresses on my own!

Any way, this dress is named for the party it was made for – Mary and Adrian’s party to be precise.  But calling a dress Adrian seemed a bit, erm, odd!

So here’s the info:

Pattern: Simplicity 2588

Fabric and Notions:
Poly cotton vintage bed sheet (from eBay or Etsy, I can’t remember which) £8, poly cotton white bed sheet (charity shop) £4, Ribbon £0.50, Zipper £2, Thread £1.65, Hook fastener £0.65 (Vena Cava Designs), Petersham ribbon £0.50, Pattern £0 (free with a magazine)

Total Cost: £17 give or take a few pence

I cut a size 16 and added my usual FBA.  I opted for the wider yoke option and the short two piece sleeves.  I used my self drafted circle skirt instead of the ones included in the pattern and changed the invisible zipper to a lapped one.

I shortened the bodice by about 1″ and it took two toile’s to get the FBA right.  Well to get the seam positioning right!

I underlined everything as the rose fabric on its own was a little sheer and I would have felt slightly uncomfortable without the underling.  I hand picked the lapped zipper and then finished the zipper inside by hand sewing some ribbon over the zipper tape.

The sleeves were hemmed with a double fold and then catch stitched to the underlining so nothing showed on the outside.  I’m really pleased with the beautiful finish this gave to the sleeves.

The skirt was hemmed with a narrow hem and I added a waist stay to support the skirt’s weight.

I think the finished bodice at least looks like the pattern sketches.  I maybe should have added some piping to the yoke seam where it joins the rest of the bodice to draw out this detail as it’s lost in the busy print.

The instructions in the pattern were fine – not as clear as Colette’s but there was enough information for me to make the dress with no head scratching or confusion.  As it’s a Project Runway pattern and has loads of options I did find the instructions jumped around a bit.  Writing down which steps I needed though and crossing them off as I completed them helped me stay on track.  It also really helped me feel like I was making progress – but then I love crossing stuff off on lists!

I love the bodice lines and the two part sleeves.  It made fitting quite straight forward.  I think I probably would sew it again, but not immediately.  I think I may go to the pencil style skirt though to make it more of a dress suitable for the office.  Whilst I adore the circle skirt it did use up the vast majority of the fabric.

I felt brilliant wearing this dress and got so many compliments on the night.  From the incredibly fashionable girls who are at Uni to the older generation who liked the classic styling and that the dress reminded them “of the skirts I used to twirl in when I was a young”.

I think it looks best with the crinoline but I also like it without.  Sans ‘pouf’ also makes it a much better dress for day to day wear.  I hope I’ll end up wearing it quite a lot…

25 thoughts on “Mary’s Dress

  1. The fabric is lovely and you look very good in this dress! I adore your finishes, that’s the part I typically go for a shortcut 🙂

  2. Wow Vicki – look at you! I can see from the pictures that you are happy with this dress, and you sure look beautiful in it. This is my favorite thing that you have sewn thus far.

  3. It’s fabulous, looks a great fit but way to go on the photos girl!!! Love the twirling!!! Gorgeous dress, I’m glad you got so many compliments, you deserve it

    1. Thank you! I tried to relax and have some fun. I nearly fell over into the bird bath that’s just out of shot whilst spinning around! Soft grass, heels and spinning are a bit of a dangerous combo LOL!

  4. Looks great on you!! Great idea adding the waist stay, and I like the idea of finishing the zipper with ribbon; so neat and pretty 🙂

    I TOTALLY relate… I love crossing things off lists as well; in fact, that’s how I break down all my projects!! 🙂

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