Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring for Cotton and a dress I think I love, but I'm not sure that I do...

Have you heard? Lucky Lucille is starting a sew a long. Following the template of Fall for Cotton, Lucky Lucille is bringing us Spring for Cotton. The requirements for this sew a long? 100% cotton and vintage pattern inspiration. I know it sounds simple but isn't that what is so amazing about it? I've done the Fall for Cotton sew a long before and it was so much fun. I drafted my own pattern, and it was wildly successful.

Naturally I was once more inclined toward making my own pattern. I was inspired by a pattern book my friend gave me from 1947. There is this image in it that has this great rolled collar. I was fascinated by it and by figuring it out. It was like a fantastic puzzle! I just kept looking at it and I just wanted to know how it "rolled" to use the pun.

They classify this collar as a vest. It says it right there in black and white, but for some reason I kept trying to make it attach to my bodice. I was saying to myself, "Where does it attach to the bodice?". The answer is that it doesn't, it doesn't at all, it's a vest, and vests don't often attach to things, that is what makes them vests.

The whole process for this dress was fascinating to me and at the same time I wasn't sure that I liked it. Have you ever had that moment when you are drawn to a project and you cannot explain or understand why? I think that is where I am now. In theory I love this dress, in practice however, I am not sure that I do. 

I have decided to combine my late 40's bodice and vest with a more 50's inspired dirndl skirt. I want something that I can wear for spring and will look crisp for work. I drew it out and I was still oddly attracted to it but vexed as to why. Also at the time I drew this I was still thinking that this was not a vest and that it was part of the bodice some how. ***It took a while before I figured this out. It wasn't until I actually made the darn thing that I realized how it worked. I did not even learn this in the pattern phase. It made me feel a little dim, but it did actually work, so I guess it works.

Once I had my design worked out it was time to start patterning. I started by draping a simple two dart sloper. One of the reason's I went the direction of creating a sloper is because the 1947 pattern book uses a sloper as a starting point for pattern modification. On a side note I haven't had a sloper since I lost all my weight, so it was good to create a jumping off point for this and future projects.

After I had a draped sloper I commenced with the pattern modifications. All the while I was questioning this project and yet at the same time being drawn in further. It is a very strange and new sensation for me to be on the one hand incredibly certain and on the other hand highly suspect. It's exciting and a little scary.

When I first made up the muslin I was appalled by the collar. I think that the reason I was so repulsed by the collar was because it wasn't until I made the muslin and tried to attach the collar to the bodice that I realized this pattern piece needed to be a separate vest not an attached collar. It was very vexing. I wanted this collar to be attached and this pattern was being willfully disobedient. 

The more I looked at this collar and bodice, the more I began to love them. Like really love them. Once it really sunk in that the collar needed to be a separate vest I began to embrace it. Something that I also began to think about was what this dress may look like without the vest on. I mean if the vest was going to be separate, then the dress had better be cute! That part I am still working out, but I Have an inclination toward a fold back collar with an abstract mandarin stand. I haven't tested it out but I think it will work.

Another query I was having was how this collar was going to stay in place on the dress. Now that I have accepted that this collar was actually a vest I wanted to know that once on the dress it was going to stay in place and look cute. I think that I have realized that by employing a series buttonholes, loops, and belt like waistband, I could keep the vest where it needs to be and make it all work.

For now that's the where I am on this project. I have more questions than I usually do when I start a new endeavor, but that in and of itself is exciting. Who knows what road this dress will take me down, but it's exciting. I'm going to make this look GOOD!.


  1. The drawing looks great, I'd love to see what your finished dress will look like!

    1. Thanks Juliette. I'll be posting about the next step soon. I'm having a time of trying to figure out what the dress will look like under the vest. I mean if the vest is removable the dress better look cute on its own.