Ok, so here's what's happening today. I'm going to show you a dress that I finished weeks ago but have been waiting to get hold of the pics which were on Patty's camera. This dress was made to wear at the wedding of one of Patty's sisters. It was one of those occassions when the pattern and fabric appeared to me together like an apparition, I was given little choice but to go ahead and get the damn thing made!
I made it using one of those re-pro patterns, Butterick 6582 in this case, which I'd got hold sent from the US earlier this year. So, what's the deal with these re-pro patterns? Are they meant to be exact reprints? Or have they been adjusted to accommodate a more modern figure, by lowering the bust darts, for example? I couldn't really tell from this one as it gets its bust shaping from shoulder gathers instead of bust darts, and there seemed little in the way of other clues to go on.
Well, I think I was made aware of this pattern over on Sew Retro, but I'd only seen people make the full-skirted version (view C). I can't really understand that as the wiggle versions look so hot! The fabric is a lovely cotton sateen with a decent stretch content which makes the dress far more wearable than I imagine it would have been if I'd made it in 1960 with only non-stretch wovens at my disposal. It has a retro-y mid-century style paint effect cabbage rose design in magenta and turquoise. I saw this fabric last year in a fabric shop in Leigh in Essex with my mum. As you may know, I don't buy new fabric when I can help it so pawed at the roll for a bit and walked away. My lovely clever mum clocked my fabric-love and went back and bought me a couple of metres which she gave me for my birthday last October, bless!
Now, I decided to make life easy on myself and cut out the need to make a toile. I frankenstein'd this pattern with the one I made my coral dress and leopard rockabilly dress from. When I made that first coral version, I'd taken a lot of time to get the fit perfect and even found the motivation to transfer those markings back onto the pattern for future ease. It seemed silly to disregard that hard work. However, the frankensteining process wasn't as easy as I'd imagined it would be as the shoulder points and waistlines of the two patterns didn't tally up particularly well. I fudged it a bit then added a bit extra to the side seams to allow for any early-middle age spread that may have occurred over the last couple of years, and called the job a good 'un.
The construction process as dictated by the instructions bothered me somewhat, but I didn't have the time to spend on figuring out an alternative. In the end, I decided their way was actually pretty good, though I did the facings/zip insertion differently than instructed. (I'm such a rebel.)
A mid-way fitting proved that I needed to remove much of the extra width I'd added around the bum and hip area (woo hoo!). So with that skimmed off again, I finished it up. In general, I'm really happy with the outcome, however there are two inperfections that might niggle me if I were to let them. The first is that the 'V' of the cross over at the centre front isn't quite perfectly central. The second is that the fabric I used was a bit too heavy for the gathered shoulder detail. If I'd felt I needed a third from the same pattern, I might have done better to use this fabric with the original coral/leopard rockabilly dresses pattern to keep the fabric smooth. But I do think making another of those would have been pretty boring (actually I made another one of those this year for someone else, so it would have been my fourth) and the print disguises the shoulder imperfections.
What's left to do but DANCE??!!!!!!!!!!!!