It’s been a while since I made a 70s pattern, and this one was a LONG time coming—but I’m so happy it’s finally done. I can’t even remember when I picked up this pattern, though I think I could probably find it in the blog archives since it dates back to the days when I would proudly show off all my new purchases here (as opposed to shamefacedly stuffing them out of sight before my husband finds them, like I tend to these days. The pattern collection is, um, excessive.)
70s Simplicity patterns are hard to beat for their cuteness, and in my opinion this is one of the cutest. Although, here it is on in Peter’s “Worst Women’s Patterns Ever” Pinterest board. ;) possibly the tunic version with the wide-legged bell bottoms hasn’t aged as well as the dress version? ;) I confess this is not the only pattern on that board that I own, and paid real actual money for, too.
I found the perfect fabric amidst a mess of different things at Fabricland labeled “European Fashion Designer Prints”… It’s what I would call a lawn, lovely, close woven cotton, crisp but not at all hard, and surprisingly wrinkle-resistant. The mock-patchwork print is just about my favourite thing ever. And ever so 70s, too. It has all the intricate, geometric/paisley details that make me go all squee over a print, plus that mock-patchwork look. Serious love.
Unfortunately, I started this project a little too late last summer—I got the dress nearly complete just in time for the weather to go cold, and then when I got it to the try on stage, the square shoulder adjustment I didn’t do bit me in the butt and I needed to unpick around some of the unusual sleeve-to-bodice structure. I stalled, and the dress got wadded up and stuffed in a ziplock UFO baggie for the winter.
Finally, a few weeks ago, my craving for a new spring dress with minimal effort finally outweighed my distaste for unpicking and on the fly fit-fudging. I unpicked and cut down the inside-shoulder piece. The visible, fluttery sleeve is no problem, of course, but there was this full-shoulder-covering lining that just wasn’t working. I cut it down to about an inch wide (along the neckline side) and it works much better now. Then I procrastinated for a couple more weeks until I finally put on my big girl panties and did the buttonholes.
I dug up the Rocketeer to try out my new slant-shank Singer buttonholer, which my crafty sister-in-law found at a big neighbourhood garage-sale this spring. It worked beautifully. Though that might’ve been the glorious fabric.
Or the wash-away stabilizer I added, because that stuff is my new fave notion. It’s much sturdier than the thin film stuff I’ve used before. Anyway, flawless, even the one over the “waist” seam which was a bit touch and go. My button-attachment is less flawless, and horizontal buttonholes are not very forgiving, so there is a little bit of bunching here and there where my button placement ended up a trifle off. It’s not bothering me enough to actually fix. Oh, and the hems on the sleeves and the bottom are rolled with my serger. Which, while not really a period finish, works really well for this look, I think.
Confession: I still need to hand-stitch down the bottom of the bodice lining, which is a soft, lighter purple voile. And I’ve already worn this more times than I want to admit. It’s great, easy to throw on for work or at home, and perfect since the weather seems to think its July already.
Back at the beginning of last summer, I had pulled a trio of summery dress patterns from stash that I wanted to make up—this was going to be the only one in the group that I actually accomplished last summer. Yikes. I wonder what the odds of me getting to another one are? I’m leaning towards the one on the right for summer, and then the middle as we creep up on fall.
I’ll doubtless be distracted by something else along the way, mind you.