The “Ladies A Plate” dress

The Theme
This week’s Sew Weekly theme: The Colour Purple.

What can I say? I was pretty happy with this theme. I do like me some purple. All shades of it – deep dark purple through to pretty pale lilac and lavender.

The Facts

  • Fabric: 2 metres of purple cotton drill with polka dots and cakes all over it, gift from my lovely mother (for which I’m Sew Grateful!), and some scraps of white cotton drill
  • Pattern: Druleigh 932 for the bodice, a modified version of Butterick 9336 for the skirt
  • Year: 1950′s for the bodice, 1960 for the skirt
  • Notions: 55cm invisible zipper ~$6
  • Time to complete: 3 hours
  • Will I wear it? Yes, much to the delight of Steve (sarcasm)
  • Total cost: ~$6

The Story
My mother presented me with this cute fabric a while back. It’s light purple, with white polka dots and pictures of cakes all over it! How cute is that?!? The purple challenge seemed like a very good excuse to finally turn it into the dress it’s been waiting to be.

Only problem was, I only had 2 metres. I went hunting through my stash, and dug out this vintage Druleigh pattern. How cute is that cuff around the top? <

I figured I could use the cuff to break up the purple cake-ness of the fabric, and add a sash belt to provide a bit more contrast.

Sadly though, when I went to use the pattern, I found that 5 of the 15 pieces were missing. *sob!* Don’t you hate it when that happens? :-( Both skirt pieces were missing, so I had to compromise. (Admittedly, I would have had to do this anyway, since I didn’t have enough fabric for the full gathered skirt.) I pulled out one of my tested patterns, and modified the skirt of it to fit onto the fabric by overlapping the edges of the gored sections (so I only had a front section and two back sections, instead of seven gored sections) and then narrowing the skirt’s flare by rotating one of the overlapping sections inwards towards the other one. (If that makes any sense at all?) I barely managed to get it out of the fabric, but manage it I did!

As to why I called it the ‘Ladies a Plate’ dress? Over here, it used to be a common thing that when you got an invite to a party, it said ‘Ladies a Plate’, meaning that you should take a plate of food with you. Since this dress has cakes all over it, I’ll be wearing it to any ladies afternoon teas and taking a plate of cupcakes to match it. :-)

The Pattern
I did my usual small bust adjustment on the bodice, and this time got rid of the side dart (leaving just the dart that goes up from the waist). Nice ‘n easy. I also adjusted it to get rid of the buttons and replace them with an invisible zip instead.

Surprisingly, the bodice of this is very loose up the top. I’m pretty certain I adjusted everything correctly (in fact, I KNOW I did), yet I still had to take it in by 2.5cm on each side seam. Yes, that’s a total of 10cm around the upper bust. Two full sizes, in fact! Not quite sure what happened there…..

The pattern itself was reasonably easy to put together. Very very minimal on the instructions, and I couldn’t quite figure out how they were doing the cuff and facing, so I just invented my own way of doing it instead. Next time, I think I’ll persevere with their instructions, as I suspect it’ll end up a bit neater at the top. There’s a lot of ease given on the shoulder straps length – I’ve probably got around 10cm on each strap hidden inside the bodice, so no need to worry about running out of length.

The Verdict
I like it.

Steve doesn’t.

When I wandered into the lounge holding a partially-made dress, he looked at it like it was a dead rat and asked “What is that purple thing?” “It’s my new dress!” “It’s hideous.” Clearly, not love at first sight.

Or at second sight, for that matter. When presented with the finished dress, I had the following comments directed at it:
“You look like some sort of Japanese maid.”
“It’s like a full body apron.”
“You’re a cartoon character.”

Is it wrong that I have no problems wearing a dress that apparently makes me look like a Japanese cartoon character maid? I’m tempted to wear stripy tights with it, just to add to the cartoon nature of the thing…..

Cup of tea, anyone?

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8 responses to “The “Ladies A Plate” dress

  1. Well my first thought when I saw the photo was ‘wow!’ in a totally good way :) I love it, love it! I’m glad you were able to make it work even with the missing pattern pieces.

    My Thomas doesn’t much like my most recent creation either and I think it’s one of my all-time-favorites so far! So I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

  2. I think the pattern is lovely, the fabric is cute and you have done a great job. If you like it that counts !!

  3. Steve doesn’t like half your wardrobe, so that’s telling of his taste. And also, everyone knows boys have porridge for fashion brains. I, on the other hand, LOVE this dress on you. Not many people can pull off these prints, but you definitely do. I miss our tea parties! :’(

  4. I totally LOVE this dress too – fabulous design, fabulous fabric for a fab you!

  5. I adore this dress!! Rob has said similar things to me on occasion, and sometimes I’ll take it into account if he says the fit is off or the hem doesn’t look straight. As far as colors go, he knows I will wear it regardless :) So I hope you wear it all the time, girlfriend, and wear it proudly!

  6. Pingback: Druleigh 932 « Patterns patterns patterns

  7. Pingback: Dressember 2011 – part 3 | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

  8. Pingback: Bib bop a lu-la | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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