What could I possibly be looking at? My shoes, of course.
I’ve had these shoes for a few years now, and while I’ve worn them with this or that (mainly black skirts or trousers), I’ve always wanted to have a dress that I could wear them with. Unfortunately, the shoes themselves, while quite awesome in my opinion, tend to evoke a certain Strawberry Shortcake cos-play vibe. I needed a dress that was thoroughly grounded in reality, preferably a pink reality.
I finally decided that what I wanted was a pink shirt-dress. I like the look of the Colette Hawthorn (especially this one), but after doing one muslin, I realized I will need major adjusting of that pattern, lest the buttons go flying across the room evoking a scandal on it’s first wearing, so it’s been set aside for a time when I feel like messing around with it. In the meantime, I had this pink chambray in my stash that I had originally bought to make up a Hawthorn, but it’s on the heavy side, and it’s stretchy. It may have been marked as cotton, but there has to be a significant amount of lycra in it too to make it stretch like it does. I’ve heard tell that the Hawthorn collar has a lot of layers in some places, and I think the thickness of this particular chambray calls for fewer layers to be sewn through at a time. Enter a new pattern, the Winifred Dress from Bluegingerdoll Patterns.
I had originally seen Heather B.’s version. Of course she had one of the first finished versions, she was a pattern tester (do I sound too jealous?). Anyway, I liked her dress so much that I up and ordered the pattern for myself. The Australian post finally got it to me (well actually the US post delivered it to me, but by way of Australia). Yipee! I got it in time for the sew-along.
Minimal adjusting was needed to get this to fit me. I used the size 18, the largest size included in the pattern. I added to the sleeve circumference as shown in this sew-along tutorial. No other changes. I do wonder now, looking at the pictures whether my darts/tucks are a little low, but it might be just a trick of the stretchy-ness of the fabric instead. The pattern comes on a very large sheet of thick (ok, not that thick, but heavier than pattern tissue) paper, so if you’re planning on getting the printed pattern, you might want to plan to trace off the pattern rather than cutting it apart, since the large pattern pieces on thick-ish paper could get unwieldy.
Moving from pattern/fitting adjustments to design changes, you might notice that I added buttons. These are purely decorative, the seam down the front of the dress is sewn down tight. I just had bought the buttons thinking “shirtwaist dress” so I wanted to use them. Plus this gave me the pink/red combo I needed to coordinate with the shoes. How cute are these buttons? How could I not use them?
There are no closures on this dress, making it super-quick to put together. There is a belt on the back which covers the elastic and gives it a more finished look than leaving the elastic-waist exposed. I bought a vintage belt buckle (labelled by the seller as Bakelite, but I don’t know enough about it to know whether it’s the real deal or something else entirely). It matched my buttons well enough, since I couldn’t find a heart-shaped one.
Overall, I’m really happy with this pattern. It hits just the right note between being a casual dress vs. a dressy-dress. The skirt has plenty of moving room, but not so much swish that going outside in the wind becomes hazardous. The lack of zipper in the back means that I can get myself dressed without having to ask my kids for help. I’m pondering over the other fabric options in my stash to make another one at some point, since I bought another vintage belt buckle at the same time as the red one.
On an unrelated note, please just try to ignore that I was having a really, really bad hair day today when I took these pictures. I’m thinking I’ll bob it off later this month when I see my hairdresser.
Stash-busting stats: 20/50 projects. 39 yards.