Experimenting with dresses!

I have loved sewing for as long as I can remember. It has always seemed natural to me to make things. The fact that you can take some cloth and turn it into something useful or beautiful seems magical! Cloth starts of as a flat flowing piece of potential and it’s only limitations are one’s imagination. I have always made my own clothes since I was about 11 and it still excites me! Walking into a fabric shop brimming with wonderful cloth is heaven. When buying fabric you should always feel it’s texture and it’s flow, letting it fall down your body to see how it will hang. choosing the right cloth is crucial to the success of your finished garment. Years ago it was easy to find an array of wonderful fabric but it is much harder now. Despite the popularity of The Sewing Bee there’s limited chose in the few fabric shops there are. Etsy is an option for linen, this being one of my favourite fabrics. Also Linnet in Japan has wonderful fabrics and simple dressmaking patterns, all available on the internet.

I recently found some patterned cotton fabric in my local Fabric shop desperate to become something exciting! It had been hidden away for many years, possible 20 plus, and had re-emerged due to an ownership change. Lovely quality with a vintage feel about it……so what to do? Having rooted through my ‘stash’ I found some complimentary stripey cotton fabric and some decorative braid. An interesting mix, and then some old lace was asking to be added to my creation!

full dressdress back

The dress falls from under the bust in gentle gathers and buttons up the back. I can’t decide if I’ve made it to folksy! It has turned out beautifully, with the combinations of fabric and embroidery, but I do feel a bit ‘Little house on the prairie!’

back detail dress side

neck detailside dress

I really enjoyed doing the embroidery, in colours to match the braiding at the hem. The buttons are a lovely muted cream like the lace at the neck edge.

skirt hem

I have enjoyed making this dress, merging different patterns together and using bits and bobs I have collected over the years. It does look a little like a costume dress, but so much more interesting than the regular fashions available in the shops. I have always enjoyed making historical costumes and have made many over the years for different events. Dressing up in the fashions of another era is such a pleasure and allows you to be someone else! I’m hoping there will be an occasion when I can wear this dress, but then perhaps everyday should be a dressing-up day!


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