Friday 29 July 2011

My Sewing Pattern Hoard: Playsuits

Lately I've been thinking about how to catalogue my expanding (largely vintage) sewing pattern collection. To be honest, this is something of an impossible task because my pattern collection is generally in a constant state of being added to and whittled down, but I still think trying to do so would be a valuable endeavour. My patterns currently reside on a shelf at work, so unless I go and flick through them, I often forget what I've actually got. I try to sew (almost) exclusively with secondhand fabric and textiles, which is obviously more difficult as a starting point than if I allowed myself to wander into a fabric shop and pick whatever I wanted in whatever quantity I needed. As the fabric lengths I get hold of are finite, it's often tricky to marry up those pieces of fabric with suitable patterns, so listing my patterns here might help that process a little.

Also, reminding myself of the patterns I already have might steer me away from purchasing more when so many in my collection have yet to be tried out. I'm going to comment on each pattern, which should help me figure out what appeals to me and what the issues are with each. If anyone reading these posts has any useful comments, they will be gratefully received as they are likely to help my analysis still further.

I plan to tackle this task in catagories (though I'm going to have to sub-divide the 'dress' catagory somehow!) and today's is 'playsuits'. It's almost the beginning of August, not that we've had much in the way of a summer so far, but any remaining opportunity for making and wearing such a warm weather item is fast disappearing so I thought it'd be a good place to start. Vintagey inspired playsuits are all over the high street and internets right now, so I found these original vintage 50s playsuit images (and Dita) as a bit of scene-setting inspiration. Not that I'm necessarily looking to create a completely vintage/retro feel garment, but let's face it, if I'm going to make a playsuit, it probably will have that flavour!

For the purposes of this post (and to not confuse my tired brain) I'm defining 'playsuits' as a one piece item, the bottom of which is shorts, meant for summer. I'm not including those shorts and bra/bikini type separates, or one-piece items where the bottom part is a skirt. Perhaps those type of outfits/garments could equally lay claim to the title 'playsuit', but I've drawn my line in the sand. I guess you could also refer to them as jumpsuits but that tends to conjure more '80s type garments than I feel I'm aiming for here. (Having said that, it was Veronica Darling's incredible candy-striped '80s jumpsuit that got me even considering this whole garment genre in the first place, but I think if I'm venturing into this trend, I'd best head for a more mid-20th century vibe.)

Let's start with my most recent pattern acquisition:

I bid hard for this beauty, completely blowing all my usual self-imposed ebay bidding limits. But it's such a nutty pattern. I didn't include all the line drawings, but the panels and style lines in the bodices are unusual, bordering on bizarre. It calls itself a 5-piece holiday emsemble and although I have yet to fully investigate, I'm assuming all three bodice options could be paired with the shorts to create a playsuit.

It was the buttons and contrast collar that initially lured me in:

But on closer inspection, it was this strapless bodice alternative that really got my heart racing (it looks similar to the beautiful picture at the top of this post, don't you think?). I LOVE those crazy style lines. Might be hell on earth to fit. If I make this, I'll probably add straps like my Summer Holiday Dress's so I can wear a normal bra and comfortably omit the boning that I noticed the pattern requests for this bodice option:

HOW beautiful is the artwork on this pattern? One day I'll have a sewing room and I'll frame and display my favourite pattern illustrations and I'm pretty sure this'll be one of them. Unlike the pattern above, no-one challenged my ebay bid of this stunner and I snared it for bugger all! Seriously. Where were you all?!:

Anyways, what I don't like is the pleating at the front of the shorts, so if I deploy this one, I'll probably try and frankenstein this top with some other bottom section. However. This pattern is labelled size 14, but it wasn't until I got it in my grubby mitts that I realised it pertains to a 32" bust, which will mean some grading and hefty alteration if my body measurements are to be alligned to its!

A more modern interpretation that has done the rounds a bit in blogland:

I like the cross-over top version with the shorts, as illustrated in green. Having read mixed reviews of this on Pattern Review, I started some preliminary toiling and the initial signs are not great. It's one of those patterns that has been published in two size chunks, I went for the smaller that goes up to a size 12, as per the measurements on the back of the envelope, but maybes I should have gone for the larger pattern and started with a size 14. I can probably tweek the copy I have, but either way I really can't see how you are meant to get in and out of this without a major struggle. I'm really not sure about this pattern, any opinion?

An older, '40s one:

I was lucky enough to acquire this pattern as part of the Brighton meetup and fabric swap last month. I'm slightly allarmed by the shoulders, and in general how the proportions of the illustration bear so little resemblance to what I see in the mirror; I just haven't a clue how this would look if made. Considering the summer weather/time restrictions I'm facing, the amount of toiling required makes me think this isn't the playsuit pattern I should start with.

So, lovely readers, how should I approach this? Is there enough summer left for this to be a worthwhile endeavour? What's going to look the least silly on a curvy 31-year-old whose not afraid of a tiramisu or 3? Maybe I should use the top from a halter neck dress pattern instead? One that potentially requires less of a faff? Have you made/fitted a playsuit? Nightmare or joyous success? Help!!!!!

Sunday 24 July 2011

Summer Holiday Dress

Now, apologies for the photo-heavy post this is likely to turn out to be. I'm just basically in love with my latest sewing creation so I've taken a rather large quantity of paps so you can see it in its entirety. It's a fun retro-y vaguely Rockabilly sun dress along the lines of late 50's/early 60's styles. It seems to make the most of my curves and feels super-sexy to wear!

The fabric is some amazing vintage stuff that's been in my stash for as long as I've had a fabric stash worth speaking about. I can't exactly remember, but I think it was an ebay purchase about six years ago, when 50's/early 60's stuff wasn't really my thing. Something (maybe the colours?) must have attracted me though, and I'm so glad I bought it. I'm equally glad that a younger, less capable seamstress-me didn't get her mitts on it and make a hash-up of a project from it. Indeed, miraculously this fabric evaded all scissor-happy endeavours until I rediscovered it in a box at my folks' house a few weeks ago. The print is so amazing, it features little vignettes of some non-specific Mediterranean holiday destination in that really early 1960's idea of foreign travel and life. It's so evocatively kitsch, I could weep! Wouldn't you just love to order a sangria/ouzo/pastis/grappa at this little al fresco bar?!:

As you can see, it's a wiggle dress consisting of a basic bodice and A-line skirt with the additions of wide shoulder straps and red ruffle detail. I begun by using the strapless bodice pattern pieces from Simplicity 4070 (pictured below), which was also the pattern I used as the starting point for my Frida Kahlo dress. Actually, I think I'm getting better as seeing the potential in an initially unappealing sewing pattern. I made a size 12 toile and fitted it (I found I needed to make additional darts at the front side panels towards the bust to stop some unpleasant side gaping).

I used the skirt pattern pieces from some bland 1990's wiggle dress pattern, adding to the side seams to make sure the top of the skirt's measurements corresponded with those of the bodice. Once the skirt was attached to the bodice, I tried it on and found the skirt section was too bit so I skimmed off some of the side seams to fit nicely over my hips.

I considered making this a halter dress, but I really wanted to feel comfortable wearing this dress so didn't want to have to wear it with a strapless bra and therefore be constantly aware that the bra might be visible at the back. So I opted for nice, secure, wide self-straps instead. I got my boss to help me position them exactly over where my bra straps normally sit so they are completely covered and that whole area is not a concern!

As awesome as this fabric is, I felt it needed something extra to really pop, so before I added the shoulder straps, I decided a contrast red ruffle would give it the constrast pop I was looking for. I found some nasty synthetic blend fabric that was more or less the same red as the red in the fabric's print design in the fabric bins under my bench at work and fashioned myself a ruffle. Initially, I had the ruffles going all along the top of the bodice, but it didn't work around the underarm area as moving my arms around meant the ruffle tended to get flattened down, so I unpicked it and respositioned it to feature just around the front area instead, tapering down to nothing towards the underarms.

Because the fabric is quite floppy, I felt the bodice needed some help to keep its shape. I decided to line it with more of the nasty red synthetic stuff. I chose not to line the skirt, as I tend to wear tights or holdups when wearing dresses and skirts, and I thought tights plus skirt plus skirt lining might end up feeling too bulky and hot.

Having had our little trip to Bologna back in May, I'm not going away again this summer, but with the spirit of holiday so very present in this dress, I feel it's pretty much a constant party whenever I'm wearing it!

Friday 22 July 2011

Simplicity Spring/Summer 1958

About a month ago someone on ebay was selling a whole load of vintage pattern catalogues, mainly Vogue and Simplicity ones. This naturally stirred up quite a bit of activity, not least from myself. I bid on a bunch of them, but most flew well out of my budget, particularly the Vogue ones, but I did manage to snare two Simplicity catalogues (pictured below) one Spring/Summer, one Fall(AKA, Autumn)/Winter both from 1958.

Now these acquisitions are pretty exciting for me because the late 1950's-early 1960's is firmly becoming my favourite era of fashion. There are other eras that interest me, but it's this time frame that seem to get my juices flowing (so to speak) more than most. So I'd like to share with you the contents that I find most inspirational. I'll cover the Autumn/Winter one later in the year, but despite the week of rain and jackets the UK has just experienced, let's take a look at the Spring/Summer gems. These images and commentary are just in the order that they appear in the catalogue, in case you thought there might be some kind of order to my witterings.

First up, you know how the 50's tends to have a rep for being a very staid, repressed decade? Have you even seen this manic button-eyed leopard ad?!!! Makes you re-think that stereotype somewhat, eh?!

As my current-favourite skirt will attest, I'm developing a serious print-crush on fabric with big cabbage-y roses. The more they look like that have been painted with a paint brush, the better in my view. I'm not sure I would personally rock pink and white fabric, but this image reminds me how a well-fitting simple garment such at this dress performs as a great canvas for an awesome print. Like, just shut up dress, let the print do the talking here.

What a medley of cuteness!!! Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable in the stomach bearing variations, but how amazing would it be to have a well fitting collection of little summer bustiers? So rockabilly. Plus you'd probably be able to use up all sorts of little lengths of awesome printed fabric that you've been hanging on to that are too small for a skirt or full blouse. Nom!

The outfit from the front cover. Now, to my mind these shorts are not disimilar to my self-drafted high waisted shorts, which is pleasing as it means I'm half way there! I think I'll bypass the cumberbund/belt, and instead focus on trying to knock up some sort of sweet boxy little top with awesome buttons like hers.

Now, don't get me wrong, Ms Brunette on the right there looks great and all, but for me the star of this pic above is the lovely dress on Ms Blonde there. Doesn't it look so wearble? I bet it's her favourite dress for throwing on when she's a bit late but needs to make a good impression that day! I've gone on about these types of sleeves many times before of course, I don't know what it is about them but I'm thoroughly obsessed. Look how the simple addition of a plain belt is all she needs to rock this dress even harder! She hasn't even bothered with a bag.

Another undisguised obession of mine is, of course, basically anything nautical. One of these days I'd like to have a go as making a dress or blouse with a sailors' collar but haven't figured out how to do it subtley, but this dress above give me a glimpse! It's also reminding me how the application of some simple trim on a plain fabric in a smart way can really elevate a garment from 'hmm...and?' to 'wowzers!'. I don't think I will be rocking white anytime soon though, I don't trust myself to keep that clean!

How delicious is a scoop back neck? How even more delicious is it when you've got some gorgeous added detailing like this above? I really feel that's one major difference between expensive and/or vintage garments and the majority of modern-day high street offerings: back detailing. The standard high street garment is made as basically as possible with as many corners cut as can be got away with to keep costings down and profits maximised (I've seen the calculations that go into this, not a very inspirational process!) so extras that don't have obvious instant hanger appeal (like something that is on the back and might be initially hidden to the potential buyer) are often avoided. Well, I'm going to bring sexy-back, ummm, back.

I just loves me a boxy little jacket like the one above. Statement buttons? 3/4 sleeves? Grown-on sleeves, for godsake?!!!!! I wish I could yank this illustration out of the catalogue and tape it to me! I've got a few pattern contenders for my next foray into boxy cropped jackets, but I'm going to get me a book about drafting linings to maximise the final garment's usefulness.

Actually, it was really difficult to choose just two boxy cropped jackets to feature in this post. Look at this one! Look how a simple contrast neck detailing makes it looks about 30 times more special than if it was left off.

Phew! The problem with these catalogues if that obviously I now want all the featured patterns (clearly the point of producing the catalogues in the first place anyhow). But I reckon I've got enough similar shapes in my pattern stash to give me options for interpreting much of what the above images have taught me. Hope you have enjoyed seeing them too.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

The Final Skirt

Well, unless I meet with a horrid accident before my resolve weakens, I guess this blog post title is actually a lie. It's incredibly unlikely that this skirt will be the last I ever make myself, but I felt I needed to make a strong statement of intent to drill into my brain that I really don't need any more. Including this one, I have eight in my wardrobe plus a couple under my bed (all of which are made by myself I should add) yet due to my preference for trousers, it's unlikely that any of these will see their number of 'wares per year' reach double figures. Anyway, let's actually meet this recent addition shall we?

I've had this awesome piece of vintage printed cotton in my stash since around Christmas time. I'm finding it really difficult to date as to my eyes it doesn't scream any specific era, but I'm guessing either late 50's or late 60's/early 70's. Anyway, the piece wasn't big enough to make a dress and a co-ordinating plain piece of fabric that might make a dress plan viable failed to materialise. Yet it took my boss to connect the dots between this piece of fabric and my current obsession with Simplicity 2451. She noted that I had yet to make myself the longer version. As I wise philosopher one said, I love it when a plan comes together. I'm going to bust me some stash...

'Yes' is the answer to the question you are probably currently asking, 'Yes, that print does seem to consist of bandstands in the undergrowth'. I have no answers beyond that!

In general I think this skirt came out really well. There is one thing that I am unhappy about though: I was careful to cut out the front yoke and front skirt pieces from different sections of the print so that they didn't look wierd when stitched together. I congratulated myself on being so foresightful and organised and then directly went on to fuse interfacing onto the back of said front yoke and made it part of the facing instead, leaving me with the facing part to use as the yoke which had been cut from a part of the print that looks too similar to the top of the front skirt section. Arse.

Now, because this fabric (which had been half of a curtain in another life) is actually quite thin, I decided to line the skirt using some turquoise lining fabric we had laying around at work. But I didn't want to create too much bulk behind the front pleats, so I decided to underline it. Well, I'm not entirely sure if the method I deployed is actually underlining, but it seems to work well so I'm happy. (I'm planning on putting a book on linings on my Christmas list. Does anyone have this book or something similar they have found to be useful?)

Note: I really eeked the fabric out as much as I could (hence my inability to recut the messed up front yoke piece), which is why the keenest-eyed among you may spot I had to cut the back facing pieces out of an alternative fabric:

This skirt is not perfect, but I do think it's pretty good and has made good use of lovely fabric which seemed to be begging to be made into something when it was folded and piled up in my stash. Its turquoises and goldy-mustard shades are firmly on my list of favourite colours to wear. It works well with my mustard top, so it's no orphan despite it's crazy print.

I cannot promise that I won't be making myself another skirt before long, but by declaring that I don't intend to, I'm putting myself in the mindset to enjoy what I have rather than concentrate on what might be missing and constantly looking towards the next project. There are some holes in my wardrobe that I feel are worthy of attention, but they are more of the layerable knitwear, multi-functional day-dress and lined jacket varieties. Skirts, I've got covered.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Does anyone want this pattern?

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed, sorry!!!!

Hiya peops. This blog's been a bit quiet for a week or so which I can assure you has been due to a lack of time rather than lack of things to say. Tonight I'm putting an end to the unusual silence and kicking off a hopefully productive week of posting and doing by hosting a quick, unflashy giveaway.

I can't remember how I came by this vintage dress pattern but it's been in my stash for an age. I recently went through them all to weed out some to put on ebay and became reacquainted with this one. I don't need it because I already have a very similar shift dress shape that I'm really pleased with plus I am not selling it on ebay because, IT HAS THE COLLAR PATTERN PIECE MISSING. So I'm giving it away instead. It is a bust 36" published by Simplicity in 1968, all other pieces and instructions are present and in good condition. The collar piece is simply a rectangle, so with the measurements from the front and back pieces you could recreate it without too much hassle if you wished. Alternatively you could draft yourself simple neck facing pieces and use it as a round neck pattern, or draft a peter pan collar, or a myriad of other options. It might just form a good basic block shape for other shift dress ideas you may be harbouring.

So, if you understand that the collar piece is missing but feel you could use this pattern to further your adventures in sewing, and you live in Europe (sorry extranjeros, I'm super-skint 'til payday) and wish to receive this pattern at no expense to yourself, listen up. Drop me a quick email including your postal address to the email address written in the 'About Me' section at the top right of this blog. The first person to convince me that they will actually use this pattern rather than let it sit around for yonks like I have done, will get this landing on their door step. I say this is a quick giveaway because I'll be heading to the post office after work tomorrow so if you fancy it, get on this asap. Please note: I will not be using your email or postal addresses for anything other than dealing with this giveaway and I will most certainly not be passing them on to anyone else.

There will be more giveaways (internationally friendly ones, promise!) and other varied bizzle on this blog in the near future, so stay tuned and happy Sunday evening.

Saturday 9 July 2011

Poetry and Clothing Project: June

Time for another installment in my year-long 'Poetry and Clothing' project where I make at least one garment a month for my ultra-inspirational friend Harriet. If you wish to have a catch up on the garments so far, take a squizz at April's and May's. I wanted June's package to contain garments which answered more specifically Harriet's requests, I could no longer ignore her plea for a 'narrow plain high waisted skirt (PLEAAAAASE!) any colour'.

The eagle-eyed among may notice a distinct resemblence between this pale blue high waisted skirt, and my own pale blue high waisted skirt. Indeed I used the exact same fabric and exact same pattern, if it ain't broke.... Except I embellished Harriet's with some white buttons instead of a massive anchor to hopefully create a more versatile garment. The back was finished in the same way: with a neat CB slit to make walking in it an option.

But what I did not want to create was a skirt that would become a wardrobe orphan if she had few or no tops to pair it with. So I made a T-shirt refashion that would begin to answer her cry for 'plain but cute things!' that could also be worn with this skirt.

It's a fairly simple semi-fitted slash neck T-shirt made from two old men's large white T-shirts. I cut the front, back and sleeves from one (making sure all those pattern pieces were lined up with the existing garment's hems so I didn't need to finish those myself on the final garment) and harvested the bottom edge to bind the neck hole and large strips for the ruffle detail from the second old T-shirt. The ruffle detail was very easy but a little time consuming to create. I folded the strips in half then created two rows of stitching to form the gathering. Having checked the gathers were even, I positioned the gathered sections evenly on the front and top-stitched them in place.

Here are the June garments together. When Harriet received them, she decided she would wear them at the graduation ceremony of the school she works at. I hope it went well and she felt nice.

Myself, I am the lucky recipient of another poem written by Harriet. This one was inspired by a trip she took to the beach (I'm assuming in Barcelona or nearby) whilst wearing the navy spotty sateen skirt.

A Skirt on the beach (May 2011)

We were polkadots on the sand

clustered up at one end of knowing.

We started out small and,

as the day wore on, we gave weight

to the air, tip-toed across

wet patches like darting atoms. We

found ourselves scattered as

little thougths germinated in

the sandy soil, quiet behind voices.

We gave in to the drip of ice cream

and the whizz of frisby with knickers

hitched up, under the shade of blue trees.

That's right peops, the 'So, Zo...' blog: where art and design meet and mutually inspire!!!

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Lunch-hour Baby Trousers

Now, I've mentioned on this blog before that I'm currently in the first wave of the 'friends having babies' phase of life. It's an exciting, if slightly scary new phase, but one that I'm tackling head on in the manner I usually tend to tackle new scenerios: by doing some sewing.

My first attempt at sewing for a wee person was the African wax fabric dress I made for little Surayya. But I really want to get the hang of making other types of baby clothes that are both quicker to make AND more useful for the parents day to day. The pattern I used for the wax fabric dress was actually part of a small haul of 1970's and 1980's babies and toddlers patterns I got from Snooper's Paradise here in Brighton, another of which is the one pictured above which was published in 1984. It cost £1.50, which was pretty good IMO, considering this one offers more or less a whole baby's layette and is multi-sized.

When my lovely Brighton-based friends Ben and Sophie had their second baby, Joe, I thought I'd skip the gold, frankincense, and myrrh and instead offer a gift of jersey trousers. So I traced off the smallest size (two months) of trousers from this pattern, adapted it a bit to make the waistband less fiddly to sew, and dug out this cute stripey jersey (pictured above) that had been lurking in my stash for a while that was leftover from making a T-shirt.

One of the main factors of this project was speed, so I did away with frivolities such as pins when cutting out. The leg pieces were stitched together by overlocker in what felt like three seconds. Then I overlocked round the waist and the bottom hems and used a normal flatlock sewing machine to make a casing for the elastic and hem the bottoms in contrast red thread. Popped the elastic through the casing, stitched up the hole and Bob's your uncle:

Now, Sophie reckoned that these are more like trousers for at least a four month old, rather than the two months the patterns stated (and yes, I did take into account the 1.5cm seam allowance included in the pattern which was intended for woven fabric by overlocking off the extra as I constructed them). I also had to guess the length of elastic needed at the waist, as the original pattern only had elastic at the back. So I'm going to have to wait a couple of months for Sophie and Joe's review of this garment. Not that I let that stop me from going ahead and making some more in the meantime.

I'd had this pretty piece of jersey (given to me by Harriet) sitting in my stash for a fair few months. Such a ditsy cute print looked to me to be destined for a little lady, and I didn't want to give Surayya the opportunity to forget her Auntie Zoe, so I set to work on that and some stripey stuff I found in a tub of jersey remnants at work.

The result of another lunch-hour session: two more pairs of baby trousers. Well, one pair of trousers and one pair of shorts as the ditsy floral piece wasn't very big. However, the ditsy floral piece was actually the lower half of a T-shirt, so I was able to cut the pieces to include the original T-shirt hem so I didn't need to bother hemming that pair.

Back in the day (about five years ago but it feels more like 15), I used to make and sell a little range of customised baby T-shirts on a market stall. I had some little labels made, most of which I still have knocking about so I used a couple on Surayya's bottoms to distinguish at a glance the back from the front.

Once again, I have to wait a while to hear if these are any good, or if adaptions of some description need to be made. I hope to refine these as I can easily make at least one pair during a lunch break, including taking 15 mins out to eat a sandwich and check my emails! There's a certain joy to be found in starting and completing a project so quickly, especially when you have some other more time consuming, arduous projects on the go. Plus, it's a great project to bust any little pieces of jersey stash that are too small for other projects. Presumably these could also be made in soft woven, but I think I'll stick to jersey for maximum freedom for explorative little legs.

Has anyone else had any experience making a similar baby garment? Please share how it went/what you learnt!!!

Monday 4 July 2011

Frida Kahlo Dress

Ok, we need to talk about something. 'Something' being what on earth I was wearing on the last day of Me-Made-June '11. I promised you a full unveiling, so here we are:

This is something of a departure from my usual clothing, and to be honest I'm not quite sure yet what kind of occasion would be best to wear it to. But I have to say, despite questioning looks from my boss when I wore to work for the final day of the challenge, I really like this dress. It amuses me no end.

This dress kind of developed itself. I started with a metre of Frida Kahlo fabric that my best mate bought me (along with some other lengths of incredible novelty print fabric, I must add) for my 30th birthday. So it can easily be calculated that this has been in my stash for over a year and a half. It wouldn't have stayed in there for that long if I had figured out how to use it sooner. It was 1m long and not particularly wide, so my options were limited if I wanted to use it for clothing. Eventually it became clear that the bodice of a dress would be the way to get the most out of this fabric (which I made somewhat peachier when I washed it with a red blanket!).

Normally I have an aversion to princess line bodices for some unexplicable reason. But we'd been using the bodice pieces of Simplicity 4070 (pictured below) at work recently, and when I tried it on I was really impressed with the fit, so I made that my starting point. I redrafted the neckline to make it wider and a little more boat neck, and drafted a new neck facing to correspond. I decided to add little cap sleeves when I realised I had just enough fabric left. They are attached to the bodice in a manner that would make my Manufacture tutor from university weep, but if you don't tell Rita, she'll never know.

I was careful with the placement of the print (first time for everything!), because I really wanted to emphasise my favourite parts of the design, like getting the sacred heart that says 'I love you alot' over my heart. This means that I end up with what looks like a garlic bulb on my belly, but hey! There's usually garlic inside my belly, so why not have a picture of it on the outside too?!

The plain red fabric was from a large roll we have at work which matched the printed fabric close enough to avoid a guilt-inducing trip to the fabric shop. I tried to balance out its plainess by adding a row of the cream lace from my stash along the hem that I also used for my New School Vintage lace embellished dress. I actually think Frida would have approved of that addition, not being particularly afraid of decorative dress herself! I made the skirt from three rectangles which were joined at the side seams then gathered into the bodice when I stitched the waist seam.

I like to think of this dress as a kind of updated version of something Frida would have worn herself. The elements are there: celebrated imagery of Mexico, vibrant colours, a full skirt, modest neckline, traditional lace detail. It is also a surprisingly comfortable garment. This is the first full 'twirly' skirt I've worn in a squillion years, so it's fun to experiment with a different silhouette. It does feel pretty 'party dress', but not too 'little girl'. As I say, I'm not entirely sure at what event this dress belongs, but it most certainly needs to involve a Margarita, which to be fair, is how I feel about most events anyhow.
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