The “Mystery Solved” Dress | Adey Lim
Fabric: 2 yards of Alexander Henry's home decor fabric Sofia in Gold $28, partially underlined with remnants
Pattern: Project 7 from Japanese sewing book, Retrospective is Stylish
Notions: Buttons and zipper $1
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: May 2011
Wear again? Likely in the cooler months
Total Cost: ~$29
In my teenage years, this black and white photo of my parents was an item of contention between mum and I. Mum was adamant that I shouldn't be wearing mini skirts so the photo was my proof that mum too wore mini skirts and if she could, why couldn't I? Still she insisted that I shouldn't and justified her skirt length as a trend back in the 70s. Obviously, I wasn't convinced.
As I looked at this photo again two decades later, I realized I knew nothing much about it at all. When was this taken? Was it a special occasion? What color was the dress? The horizontal lines of the dress looked kinda dark green or navy blue to me while my hubby guessed it was red. What's your guess?
I used Project 7 dress pattern (below) from the Japanese sewing book "Retrospective is Stylish" by Yoshiko Tsukiori which showcases beautiful dresses, blouses, skirts and suits from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Every Japanese sewing book has a slightly different presentation but all that I've tried so far provided pretty clear directions with their illustrations. This is my first project from this book and I did spend half a day googling to have a puzzle answered. After tracing the pattern pieces, there were two missing pieces. Unfortunately, this was one project no one seemed to have attempted from the book or blogged about. Before giving the project up entirely, I went back to the original pattern and 'read' through the Japanese wordings which I completely didn't understand in hope of finding an answer. Just when I was about to throw in the towel, I spotted these lines running down the front and back skirt pieces and realized I had to cut the front skirt piece into two at the line and extend the space between the pieces by 14 centimeters to have the complete skirt piece. It worked the same way for the back.
I don't have the confidence mum had in wearing a dress with such narrow horizontal stripes. In fact, that's one of those prints I stay away from. This Sofia in Gold print has been my favorite home decor fabric for a really long time and it took me quite a while to decide if I should use it for this mod dress with inverted pleats.
I have sewn a few dresses with such fabrics before such as my Sabrina Cape dress but I think home decor fabric are not suitable for all dress types. I must confess I love using such heavier fabric on circle skirts as it adds a certain sway to the skirt. Have you used any home decor fabrics to sew garments and what do you think they are best suited for? I love how this one turned out but have got to wait for cooler weather. We are experiencing the hottest days in 6 years here and it has been hovering around 35 degrees Celsius making me reluctant to leave the house and hopelessly lethargic.
Instead of facings, I used a black and white polka dotted bias tape to finish the neckline and armholes which provided a little contrast to the main fabric. The white mock belt, which breaks the monotony of the print, is finished with two white and yellow buttons.