It's done! And I'm so, so happy with it. I can't believe it worked out so well! Before it was even finished I wore it to the theater and--yet again--finished all the hand-sewing in my dressing room and wore it out. And once again I forced everyone to give me lots of compliments. I'll take 'em all!
Would you like a back view?
And how about a closer look at the collar?
You are also seeing a well-disguised mistake at the point of the collar, oh-by-the-way. I still don't understand what the pattern was telling me to do there but some cleverly-hidden hand-stitching seems to have solved it.
I was going for a sort of modernized 1930s look (as I usually am, let's face it). Unfortunately, the mid-calf length of that time period doesn't do my shrimpy frame any favors, so I went with what suits me best: above the knee length.
(More pictures of it on me for fit here.)
As you can see--the side zipper ended up being a little bananas but I'll just have to be patient with myself while I try to get better at them.
The fabric was something I had bought a year or so ago and never got around to using. I always really liked it--not sure if you can tell, but there's a tiny tweed-like pattern made up of cream, brown and orange that all comes together to look a little dusty-tan. But it's a good flowy crepe-type feel that looks period but doesn't wrinkly terribly. Ideal!
As I mentioned before--I used this 1960s pattern (procured from ZipZapKap on Etsy) as the base and then made a lot of adjustments.
The silhouette I wanted to be a little more feminine and less shift-like (though I can see making this pattern in a red cotton for an easy summer dress too) so I took it in at the waist about 4 inches and added a back pleat/placket which I think turned out really cute:
It was during the first round of making this particular feature that I sewed the front and back of the dress together. There was much swearing and throwing of notions.
I really concentrated on patience and precision on this project and I have definitely gotten so much better. But I can spot lots and lots of uneven stitching and accident cover-ups like the little placket above. I wish it was neater but I was too mad (read: impatient) to completely start over. But there's always next time...
I also made the sleeves 3/4 and in doing so, mis-measured and made the sleeves too narrow for my arms, which affected the way I made the cuffs. They still turned out cute--I covered the mistake fine and you'd probably never be able to tell, but I know what I meant to do... :) I swear--the math part of sewing absolutely stumps me sometimes. I'm just not a numbers girl.
The buttons are vintage and I used the same ones on the fabric belt:
I used the same black cotton as the collar and cuffs, and doubled up on the iron-on interfacing.
Essentially it doubles around with 3 hidden snaps to hold it together. I sort of made this one up as I went along since I had no plan for it initially. But I got lucky since it works well and I seem to have gotten the sizing right on this one shockingly, enough.
Yay for sewing skills! It only took me about 9 hours total, including mistakes. I can't accurately calculate the cost, but I would guess under $30. Not too bad :)
And now--believe it or not--I am starting another sewing project. I'll be back to show the sketches and the progress and hopefully--the result!
(P.S.: Here's a little interview I did should you be interested in my illustrious beginnings :)