I suppose now that Fall has well and truly set in that it’s about time I get a blog post up about my favorite Spring and Summer outfits! I made my dress in time for Passover/Easter this year and finished Evelyn’s matching dress in time for us both to wear them for her birthday the next month. Words cannot describe how much I love our outfits! This dress is seriously everything I love in a dress – pattern clashing, bright colors, bold florals, empire waist, sundress and apparently even ruffles (a trend I was very late to jump onto but I seem to have embraced wholeheartedly).
For Evelyn’s dress I used Simplicity 6184 from 1983 (though it could easily be from any number of decades). Since I cut and sewed my dress fist, Evie’s dress fabric choices were constrained by what I could fit on the scraps I had left and between our dresses I pretty much exactly used up what I had of the floral fabrics and ruffle trim! The yellow fabric is the same fabric that I previously used for a high waisted skirt. Amazingly enough, I found the two lengths at the same thrift store a year apart – the fabric I used for my skirt had pretty noticeable fading as if it had been made into curtains and this second length was what had been left behind and sat unused in a bin! The sateen floral I used to make curtains for Evelyn’s room (yes, curtains are a recurrent theme in this outfit, cue songs from the Sound of Music or Gone with the Wind now).
I rounded up on sizing with the dress so that Bug could hopefully get an extra year of wear out of it. It will probably go from dress to tunic/shirt but that’s fine. She enjoys it and loves dressing like mama, so that’s a win!
My dress is vintage McCalls 4470 from 1975. The patten I had was a little bit small for me and if I was a diligent sewist I would have transferred the grading changes I made to a new pattern piece for future reference, but all the pieces were gathered other than the upper facing, so that’s the only one I really had to make fit – I could just guesstimate the others. So, of course, I’ll have to do it all again when I make another version. Oh well. That’s usually the way I roll.
I love that the straps are wide because it makes it easy to wear a bra. The length of the dress and the ruffles were entirely constrained by how much fabric I had – I made them as long as I could given the odd sizes of stash fabric I was working with. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out okay as I like the proportions. The gingham trim was pre-made so I didn’t have to do any gathering on it. I did line the pockets with a white batiste so they’d have a bit of extra strength as the yellow fabric was closer to a lawn in weight.
The ruffles on the sleeves do slightly constrain when I can wear the dress because it doesn’t really work well under cardigans (without making me look like I have linebacker shoulders or huge, misshapen shoulder pads). No ragrets, they’re adorable if I do say myself. This dress is an unqualified success and I’m already looking forward to pulling it out of the closet next spring!