Thank you so much for all your affirmations about Clare’s and Stella’s dress up costumes! They had such a fun day, and it really was worth the effort of making their outfits. I normally hate to make costumes, but have to admit that I felt a deep sense of satisfaction seeing them as their characters on the day. The red is slowly washing out of Clare’s hair, and we watched the first three hours of Anne of Green Gables on DVD yesterday.
But now onto my first make from my recent Sewjourn trip! It’s Vogue 8904, also known as the shingle dress.
This pattern was designed to show off stripes, and it looks highly effective when made using striped fabric. Take a look at Sham’s striped wiggle dress for a brilliant example (and she is looking SO good in it!). I decided to use what I had in stash for my first attempt (there will be another, in stripes). Luckily I was able to find a few shades of pink and plum all in stretch fabrics, so decided to go for an ombre effect.
This dress is actually quite simple to construct. There is a base dress, with “shingles” of contrasting fabrics laid on top of it and stitched down, each overlapping the one below. Then it is all sewn together. I used Vliesofix tape to secure the shingles in place before zig-zag stitching each one down. This held each very nicely and prevented any stretching out as each layer was attached. The notches and markings are very useful when making this dress – I didn’t transfer any stitching lines to my base dress, but just laid each shingle down using the edges and notches as a guide, and it has all worked out beautifully.
I made this dress in size 14, and used narrow seams. It was all constructed on the overlocker. The edges are left raw, other than around the neckline. The neckband encloses the seam allowances with what was called a “chanel trim” back in 1990 when I did a Knitwit course.
I really, really, really like this dress! Yes, it is very body-conscious, but hey, I have a body (although not a terribly trim one) and in the size 14, with the double layers provided by having a base dress with overlaid shingles, it doesn’t feel tight.
I think that all the fabrics may be from Darn Cheap Fabrics, although there may be one from Rathdowne Fabrics. I used five different fabrics. The base layer is a substantial knit with a crepe appearance, and it’s terrific to wear. The top tier is a fairly open weave knit, and unfortunately it suffered a little in the wash (despite me washing the dress inside out on a gentle cycle). It could have benefitted from a finished edge rather than a raw one. Lesson learned, and it’s still fine to wear, but a little disappointing.
I made a coordinating scarf from the top pink tier, and had lots of compliments when I wore it to church on Sunday. I was asked if it was by “mesop” – I was able to respond that it was by “me”!
I suspect that over time there will be many of these dresses popping up on the blogs. Such a fun design! There is more about it on the designer Marcy Tilton’s website here.