The “Kitten” Dress | Debi Fry
Fabric: 3 metres tweed fabric from Croft Mill £15, 2 metres brown wool and cotton blend lightweight fabric for underlining £3
Pattern: Butterick 2181 from Stitches and Loops
Year: c. late 50’s/early 60’s
Notions: zipper £0.05 part of a large lot found at a charity shop, button: free (gift from Sofia)
Time to complete: 20 hours!!! WHAT?
Wear again? Yes, though I definitely want to make the matching jacket
Total Cost: ~£18
Fabulous inspiration check. First time using a vintage Butterick pattern check. First time spending 20 hours on a dress check. First time sewing with super tricky fabric check. First time trying to fit a dress with tricky fabric check. First pleat check. First wiggle dress check.
My inspiration for this week’s challenge comes from a photo of my mom in 1963:
OMG. pink suit, matching shoes, hat and bag!!! We are definitely related :) I love this picture so much. My mom tells the story of how she saved up ages for the shoes and matching bag that were italian. Very exciting. I believe this is her graduation dress. So chic.
So when I stumbled across Butterick 2181 in my usual online pattern scavenger hunt, I was thrilled. There’s some thing about a wiggle dress with a cool jacket that I really love. Perhaps I’ve been influenced by Joan’s character but I’ve been wanting to make a wiggle dress for some time!
Me and Butterick 2181–a match made in heaven. Enter the ‘Autumn Tweed’ fabric from Croft Mill.
It’s a loose woven tweed made from 70% Acrylic 15% Wool and 15% Polyester. Key words are ‘loose woven’. This fabric is heavenly–it feels like butter. So, so, so soft and lovely. When I got it in the mail, I turned around and ordered more. That was before I started sewing with it of course.
So last Friday I started in on the pattern. I made up the skirt in no time and thought ‘finally, here is my very own 3 hour dress’. Almost directly after thinking this wonderful thought, I started to get a bit worried about the super loose weave. I did a post on my blog about how excited I was to start the project. Thank god for other bloggers. Pin Queen ever so kindly inquired if I was inter/underlining the dress because if the weave is open you’ll end up with a “seat” in your dress where your bottom pushes the weave out of shape when you sit down. Oh dear, that sounds serious and I could exactly picture what she was talking about. Of course, underlining–doh! I had just underlined my previous sew weekly dress. Why didn’t I think of that?
So back to the pattern to cut out all the interlining in nice, lightweight cotton/wool blend fabric I had in my stash. That seemed to take ages–then sewing all the pattern pieces together:
This pattern was super straightforward and easy to sew but it took ages! This fabric is shifty and likes to try and catch on things in the sewing room (that I keep ever so tidy). I definitely had to take it slow!
I love the collar on this dress. The front is held together with one buttons and several invisible snaps. I also got to try my very first pleated skirt. So fun! I love it as a detail! The skirt also has gathers at the front sides where it attaches to the bodice front.
I had plans to take photos outside but I was literally sewing this until this morning (sorry Mena!!) CRAZY dress. I did, however, manage to get some shots with a hat:
So, what’s the longest time you’ve spent making something that you thought would be easy and/or quick? Please make me feel better :)
Oh and I’ve got to pull a Mena and make an entire dress in one day (actually today–since it’s Friday here) for our super fabulous London meet-up tomorrow!! woohooo! I promise it will not include underlining!!