Pattern: McCalls 4185
Fabric: craft cotton, gift from my mother
Notions: 8 buttons and a snap fastener, all from my stash
First worn: to my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary celebration
Wear again: yes, after I make a couple of adjustments
Verdict on the pattern: Reasonably easy and fast to put together. Pleats at the skirt waistline do tend to make one look a bit bigger around the hips, sadly.
Adjustments made: Extended the front button placket and removed the side zipper.
Anything I’d do differently next time? Probably convert those waistline pleats into darts to reduce some of the volume.
Back in early February, we had a pretty fabulous excuse to travel down South for a big family get-together. It was my grandparents 60th wedding anniversaary! Seriously, how gorgeous is that?!?
Last year, my grandfather told me about when he met my grandmother. They both attended a community dance – my grandmother was on holiday with her friends, and my grandfather had traveled there with his friends, so neither of them were from the town where the dance was held. My grandfather spotted my grandmother from across the room, wearing “a pretty lemon dress” and the rest, as they say, was history! (I love that my grandfather has such fond memories of a yellow dress, over 60 years after seeing it.)
Naturally, I had to indulge myself and make a dress to wear to their Diamond anniversary dinner
And since my grandmother was wearing a yellow dress when they met, I made a yellow dress to wear. My lovely mother bought this fabric for me as a surprise, especially to use to make a dress for the anniversary dinner. (Thanks, mum!)
They got married in 1953, so I went hunting through my pattern stash for a dress pattern from 1953. (And can I just say how incredibly useful it was at this point, having a lot of my patterns recorded? All I had to do was search for ‘1953’ and I immediately discovered which patterns I had and could choose which one to use. Brilliant!)
My original plan was to make the full skirted style, but there wasn’t enough fabric, so I deviated from my usual style (eek!) and went with the straight skirt version. It’s odd, but I feel so much more ‘formal’ in a straight skirt! (Who would have thought a bright-yellow-dress-with-pink-birds would be considered ‘formal’?!?) As a result, I’m struggling a bit with trying to figure out where to wear this one – I love it, but it doesn’t seem casual enough for a weekend dress, and I’m worried this may even be a little bit too OTT for the office…. (Not that that’s stopped me before, but hey.) Anyone got any suggestions for how to style it/wear it??
Please ‘scuse the slightly damp-looking top of the button placket. It got chewed on by the Little Man during the speeches. Hey, whatever keeps him quiet, right?!
The pattern itself was reasonably easy to put together. I graded it while cutting to my current measurements and just went for it. I was, however, very short on time (I may have sewn this up the morning of the anniversary dinner. In fact, it’s entirely possible that those buttons got sewn on after I was meant to be out there with the rest of the family. Oops.), and as a result I didn’t get a chance to make a couple of alterations before wearing it. The main issue? There’s just too much volume at the hips. The skirt is tuck-fitted rather than dart-fitted, so it poofs out a bit around that area (heck knows why you’d do that intentionally as part of the design?!), plus I added a bit more ease than I think I needed. But that’s easy enough to fix, and it’s now in my ‘to adjust’ pile. (I also need to finish them hem. Due to time constraints, I managed to overlock it and that was it. Yep, I wore an unfinished dress to a Diamond anniversary dinner. *sigh*)
Even though it’s not my usual colour or style, straight skirt and all, I rather like this dress. It’s bright and cheerful, and the little pink birds make me smile. 🙂
(Now I just need to figure out if I can get away with it for work…. Hmmm…. Maybe I’m just out of practice at wearing bright dresses since I haven’t been able to fit into mine for ages…?!?!)