One of the things that I wanted to make this year was a dress that can look like separates - one that has a contrast to the bodice and skirt. I’ve seen many lovely ones including Mena’s statement necklace dress and what I wore’s ray of light dress.
I cut the bodice from a Liberty Tana Lawn, which I bought in Edinburgh (Crafters’ Ceilidh). The print design is very busy, so I thought a block of colour for the skirt would be a good contrast. I found a cotton that perfectly matched the lovely teal colour that can be found in the print design.
The pattern is a contemporary one - Simplicity 2444 from the Project Runway series, but the shape of the neckline and full skirt has a retro nod to 1950s/early 1960s shapes. The diagonal pleating detail in the skirt is really lovely - ‘architectural’ almost, and the plain colour fabric really sets it off well. The skirt is my favourite part of this dress.
I always have to redraw the waistline when I make dresses - as there is a one size difference between my bodice and skirt size. I’m learning slowly what I need to do to try and resolve fitting issues with bodices. I moved the point of both sets of front darts one inch higher.
There are still some improvements I can make to the front bodice pattern to make it fit better, as I’d like to use this pattern again to make other variations of this dress. I found some good instructions on how to eliminate darts, so I might remove the outer darts as I don’t think I need the extra shaping. I think also I could also redraw the centre front line about 1cm in at the neckline to eliminate a little excess fabric there.
This is the first garment made on my new Singer sewing machine - which is lovely.
Spring will be here soon, and I’m really looking forward to wearing this dress.