I’ve finally got round to doing some dressmaking! I’ve made myself a summer dress…
In my stash I had this length of teal blue fine cotton lawn with a little feather design on it. It feels like Liberty Tana lawn, so I think I bought it at Steadfast and Barracks in Lancaster. They used to make fabric for Liberty so when Liberty decided to transfer all their manufacturing abroad (don’t get me started on that one!!!) they brought out their own range of cotton lawn, at a third of the price!
I originally planned to make a simple cotton dress, sort of princess lines, slightly flared midi skirt. I then realised just how much fabric I had bought, especially as it was 60″ wide! I had a change of plan and reached for a pattern I bought a few years ago called the Cinema Dress by Liesl & Co. I’d been put off making it before because it takes such a lot of fabric – even with wide fabric it takes 3.5m. I must have bought 4m as I had plenty.
The dress is very loose fitting, with about 3-4″ ease around the bodice. The pattern sizing is completely different to other patterns, my size came between an 8 and a 10, in view of the generous ease I made a size 8. It buttons down the back to the waist.
Seam allowances are 1/2″, so I tended to move my machine needle across so I could follow the standard 5/8ths line instead. I overlocked to finish the seams (my overlocker actually decided to work!!) The pattern did go together pretty easily but I think the order Liesl & Co make it in is bizarre, it didn’t flow and at times it made it harder than it should have been in my opinion. As an example, there are pockets in the centre front side seams. It would have been simple to attach the welts and the pocket pieces to the front and the side front before they were attached to anything else, so it was a nice flat manageable piece. The instructions had you joining the bodices to the skirt front and backs, then the bodices at the shoulders and the sides at the shoulders first. You were then attaching the pockets onto a piece that was about 10′ long!
Moan over! It’s a comfortable, everyday sort of cotton summer dress. It’s plenty big enough, though if I reach up for anything the whole dress rides up – I’ll have to be ladylike in this one! I love the pockets on the front and I also like the length of the sleeves with their little cuff turn-up.
The final comment in the pattern is ‘Don’t you feel like a glamorous old-style cinema star in your new dress’…well no, but it’s a nice summer dress!