The Mod Ascot dress

A little bit late for this weeks At The Races Sew Weekly Challenge, but better late than never, right?!

I present to you, what I’ve named the ‘Mod Ascot’ dress…..

The Facts

Fabric: A black-and-white tartan A-line skirt I made ages ago that’s been sitting in my mending/alterations pile for a couple of years. Not 100% sure what it’s made of, but some sort of soft, heavy stuff with a fair amount of stretch to it. Also some black cotton drill that was in my scraps bin.
Pattern: Simplicity 8381
Year: 1969
Notions: 60cm invisible zip ($8), two vintage buttons from my Great Aunt’s button stash, hook and eye at the back of the collar
Time to complete: 5 hours
Will I wear it? I’m not too sure, actually…..

Total cost: $8 (dratted expensive invisible zip!!)

I had a couple of hiccups with getting this dress made in time – I was really wanting to get it finished before the weekend as my mother came up to visit from Dunedin (hi, mum!), but I didn’t quite succeed so it got put on hold until after the weekend. At which point I discovered I didn’t have a zip long enough, so had to wait until a day I could get to the fabric store. Today, at 2 minutes before they closed – yay! (Thank you lovely fabric store people for letting me run in and get a zipper while you were closing up – you’re awesome.)

My other hiccup with this was trying to figure out what fabric to use – after so many black based Sew Weekly challenges, my black and white fabric supplies are running somewhat low! After debating about what to do for quite a while, I remembered this black-and-white tartan floor-length A-line skirt that I made ages ago and that’s been in my things-to-mend-or-alter pile for a couple of years. Voila! Fabric for the black-and-white challenge! There wasn’t much of it though, so a paw through the pattern collection yielded only a couple of dress patterns that it would fit onto. One of which was also, conveniently, in my Sewing Through the Decades plan. Pretty convenient, huh? I managed to bust some scraps, sort out a reconstruction, and also knock another item off my Sewing Through the Decades plan! (Which also handily fits in with the new Sew Weekly challenge – Refashionista.

I’m not 100% sure about this dress though, I must admit. The pockets and the collar just don’t seem to work. Or maybe it’s just that it’s so not my usual decade that I feel kinda weird in it. I don’t know. I tried putting a belt with it, in case it improves it. What do you think? Is it wearable at all? Should I try removing the collar and/or pockets and see if it makes it better? With or without a belt? (Argh! I just don’t know!!!)

I did a small bust adjustment to the pattern and shaved some off the bust curve, but other than that I left it alone. (Although the sleeves are about 2cm shorter than they should be, as I ran out of fabric to make them the right length!)

This pattern was reasonably easy to make up. The pockets were a bit of a pain, though – I just couldn’t get the cotton drill to press into a nice curve. Gah. Next time I might try cutting out a template from cardboard or similar and pressing around that and see if that works……

I didn’t have a hat to wear for this, so thought I’d do the mix-and-match black-and-white theme instead, so you’ve got striped tights and a black-and-white spotted headscarf, just for that clashing pattern fun. Woo hoo!

Steve took the photos – he wanted to experiment with mirror ones. (Perhaps also because he was being lazy and didn’t want to get out of bed where he was reading while surrounded by two cats? Hmmmm. Maybe.)

So, what do you think, honestly? Wear it? Modify it?? Just get rid of it??? (Sigh, two dresses in a row I’m not happy with. Grrr.)

20 responses to “The Mod Ascot dress

  1. Get rid of it???? NO!! You look GREAT in it! The black side pieces are really flattering to your figure! Can it be that it’s just that the dress is so out of your comfort-zone that you just feel ‘odd’ in it? Give the dress 3 days (not in a row necessarily) out and about and if you still feel it’s ‘odd’ or ‘not-you’ then you can get rid of it πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks! Yeah, it may just be that it’s so far away from what I normally wear. Think I’ll try wearing it for a day this weekend and see how I feel after a few hours. πŸ™‚

  2. I think it looks cute as is. πŸ™‚ But if you’re not going to wear it like that then I say modify it so that you’re happy with it.

    • Thanks Donna! I’ve decided I’m going to try wearing it around the house one day this weekend and see how I feel – who knows, the dress and I may like each other after a few hours. (Or maybe not.)

  3. I like it as is too without the belt. I can see how wearing a dress outside your decade would make you feel like it doesn’t suit you. I love the shape and detail on the pockets. The collar, however, does have a bit of a schoolgirl effect. The dress needs to work for you, though, so if you’re not going to feel good wearing it, refashion it. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks chicky. Yeah, Steve is very anti the collar! (Which probably isn’t helping my perception of the dress. Admittedly, he dislikes pretty much everything I make, but when I’m not sure about something his dislike of it doesn’t help much! :-/ )

  4. I dont like it with a belt, I do think the basic dress is very cute, but I would see if I could turn the collar & the side panels with the pockets to flow together – as if the were one piece. (I hope that makes sense) but I have no idea how to go about doing that.

    What if you put 3 black simple buttons on the bodice part – or will that look too young?

  5. I think it is charming without the belt. I think I’d like it more without the collar. Not everyone can wear a good sized plaid but it looks fab on you.

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ Sounds like the collar is the main area that people are unsure about, so I might try playing around with that….

  6. I love the line and the cut, the pockets/black side pieces are so cool! I was wondering, what about a squarish neckline? like in your summer dress? Or the leaves and hats one??


  7. I just love this dress!

  8. I think that it could look good with a belt, but the belt would need to fit the time period too- I’m thinking a wide, curved white belt, hung on the hips. But overall, I like it.

  9. Hey Kat.
    Like everyone else I love this dress and yes it is very flattering to your figure. I’m also a fan of it without the belt and think the collar could be your problem – but having said that I don’t hate the collar necessarily πŸ™‚

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