So over the summer I must have had a real hankering for a yellow sun dress, because not only did I refashion a vintage one to fit me, I also cut out two different patterns in yellow fabric. I still hadn't gotten around to sewing them together by the start of September, so I've pledged to get them, plus a couple of other WIPs I have lying around, finished by the end of the month, before I can start any new projects. I'll tell you, that is incentive as I've got two brand new Deer and Doe patterns waiting for me to play with!
Here is my first finished dress, a yellow strapless sun dress (totally weather appropriate!).
I've used Simplicity 4070 for the bodice, which I've used before a couple of times, here and here. This is one of my favourite patterns, I love both versions of the bodice. The bodice is a super simple princess seamed, sweetheart neckline strapless design. This time of making up the pattern I changed the skirt- I've decided to move away from circle skirts and gathered skirts in my day to day dressmaking. I love circle skirts, but they arn't particularly practical for day to day life, and gathered skirts just don't suit me.
Enter the humble pleat. I cut out a rectangle and spent some time playing with the pleats to get the look I wanted. I tried to get the stripes on the skirt to match up as best I could and match up the pleats with the seams front and back too.
I inserted a lapped zip from my vintage stash, I had to shorten it though as all I have in cream are either 7" or 20", and I really needed one about 14". Easy to do though- using a longer zip than you need, measure the length you need on to the zip and sew over and over, backwards and forwards with your machine over the zip so it stops there.
The fabric I used for the dress was a vintage curtain I found second hand in Loughborough, about a year ago now. I've already made a skirt out of it, which I wore last Easter and had soo much left over. I've still enough scraps to make an apron or some tote bags for my market stall :D
Here you can see I lined the bodice, but not the skirt- the fabrics quite thick and heavy, so it really isn't necessary, especially as it is a summer dress. I finished of the waist seam with bias binding, giving it a lovely neat finish I'm dead proud of- I'm telling you, now I know how easy it is to neatly finish of the inside of dresses I'm never leaving them all raggedy again! Plus it gives me lots of extra opportunities to improve my top stitching through practice.
I left out the boning in the bodice as this is a day dress, so comfort is the name of the game. If I was making this pattern in to an evening gown I would totally included it.
And I used the prehemmed edge for the bottom of my skirt, so that cut a job off the list!
I'm so happy with how this dress has come out- I can see a huge difference in the quality of this version compared with the white one I made just last summer. It's such a shame I have to put it away until it warms up again. I put it on to take photos and was shivering the entire time!