Added Feb 10, 2013
When I saw the contest announcement I didn’t think I’d be able to enter since my book hadn’t arrived yet. But the postie came through and delivered my book a couple of days later. I hunted through my stash and I came up with the perfect vintage fabric – some sheer turquoise cotton that was a set of curtains once upon a time (very Scarlett-esque). Of course, I couldn’t go past the Elizabeth Dress since it bears my name and is just a great classic vintage style.
The main change I made to the basic pattern was to convert the gathered skirt to a box pleat. No matter how much I try, gathered waists always look terrible on me. It took a bit of fiddling but managed get to get the pleats nicely lined up with the bodice darts and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I also moved the zipper to the centre back since I usually need to take some fabric out at the back neckline to stop gaping but in the end I needn’t have worried.
Since the fabric is very sheer, I underlined bodice and also lined both the bodice and skirt with black cotton. This also meant I could omitted the facings (I hate facings!). To attach and turn the bodice out I sewed the back and front pieces together at the shoulder then placed the lining and shell right sides together, sewed the neckline and armhole seams then turned it right side out though one of the shoulders. Although I liked the high neckline, it turned out a little too high, so I lowered it by 1.5".
I also added pockets since all my dresses and skirts must have pockets. To attach the bodice and skirt I first sewed the front skirt to the front bodice and the same for the back pieces (2 because of the centre zip). Then I finished the sides in one continuous seam from the bottom of the skirt through the bodice shell and lastly the bodice lining. The bottom edge of the lining was press up and slip stitched to the shell. I was so happy with my matching of the fabric weave down the front centre and seam matching across the zipper, both on the first go – that never happens to me! I pinked all unenclosed seams – pinking always makes me feel a little retro! Finally, I shortened the skirt length to a 23" drop from the waist so it sits just covering my knee.
I’m really excited by how it turned out. The cut has a great vintage feel and the colour gives it a modern pop.This will be a great party dress.
PS I couldn’t resist adding a pic with one of my pups.
Thrifted vintage curtains, cotton blend
Black cotton lining
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