Monday, 5 October 2009

UFOs are hereditary.....

It's no secret that I am prolific at creating UFOs (unfinished objects). But now I realise I can't fight genetics: when I was putting away some fabric I inherited from my gran I came across quite a few UFOs, and my mum, even though she doesn't care to admit it, has her fair share of UFOs as well. The last thing I need are more UFOs of someone else's making to add to my ginormous to do list, and since my gran seemed to have a fancy for shiny plastic fabrics, I was happy to shed most of hers. However, she had started this one dress made from a lovely textured cotton that had been basted into a loose fitting shift so I decided to finish off.

This must be at least 20 years old or more, because I certainly don't remember my gran wearing dresses or when she was a large lady, but this dress was so large that I was able to cut a completely new pattern from it, so I guess in a way this is a refashion as well. I've made my dress from a 1968 McCalls pattern (McCalls 9193) which is a misses shift dress. I chose this pattern because not only is it in my size (yay, no more grading headaches!) it also appeared to be front opening so I could wear this dress during summer while I'm still breast feeding Anna.




However what makes this dress "easy to sew" is that the button front band and those pockets are fake, as in they are just top stitched down, which is of no use to me. Easy fixed though, I just sewed the front seam closed below the band, and attached the band to one side of the dress by wedging the dress fabric between two layers of the band and then top stitching it to the dress, and putting an extra band of dress fabric on the other side to sew the buttons on to. I did top stitch the bottom of the band to both sides of the dress though, just to keep it neatly closed. Some buttons from the stash (which is why there are only four buttons and none on the pockets) finished it off.

I thought about making pockets behind those pocket bands, but in the end chose not to since I certainly don't need extra fabric and bulk around my hips and thighs. But to add to the illusion of the pockets being real, I top stitched it down on the sides and bottom of the pocket band, leaving the top to gape open slightly. I think it might fool people:

I also added some darts to the front and back, and also took in a few inches at the back seam to add shape because this dress was very shapeless and a bit potato sack looking. The dress only had one dart, which is weirdly placed halfway down the armhole that points downward, which is the first time I've seen a dart like that. I'm thinking maybe because this is a misses pattern and pattern makers in those days thought young girls don't have busts to shape around,but are flat chested (which I practically am now). Because the vertical dart I sewed on the front came close to the end of the weird dart, I decided to join them up in a faux princess seam, ending at the pockets. Some more fakeness for you, but it actually looks pretty good.

And speaking of fake, I've started playing around with Photoshop and while I haven't been able to work out how to make me look slimmer or tanner as yet, I have been able to create this digital mischief which I think is pretty funny:

15 comments:

  1. Well done for getting something finished, you'll break the cycle yet! I've got quite a large collection of old patterns acquired from various sources, and I think we're just completely different shapes now: something to do with not wearing 'proper' foundation garments. Or is it just me who has no waist and a bust that doesn't come to a point?

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  2. Cute! How fun to finish one of your grandmother's projects!

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  3. I'm loving that you used your grandmother's fabric to make such a kewl new dress!

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  4. Too cute! Good for you! It turned out cute and practical too! I'll bet that Anna is pretty proud of her clever mom! And the pattern front... way to go...!

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  5. Cute dress! I love the photoshop idea. I'm always looking at those drawings and photos, knowing they aren't the same proportions as real women, but not sure exactly where the difference is. It seems their legs are stretched somewhere between the ankle and the knee, so it is not too surprising that the finished garments never look the same proportion on a real person.

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  6. Love the dress. Very clever idea to make it nursing compatible.

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  7. Great pattern. I really like the one with the chino neckline. I agree with hausfrau about the body shapes.

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  8. Cute dress!
    Good work on the photoshopping!

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  9. I love this dress and I love the pocket flaps. I have a torn out picture of a celebrity wearing almost an identical dress...not that your pattern is any more attainable for me! It looks great, I wish it were mine.

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  10. Hi! Thank you SO much for your council advice! We called the council (who say cause it's gone to the Land & Environment Court it's with someone else... perhaps the certifier person you speak of) but will take it up further now... Today they've knocked down a lot of the neighbours old frangipani tree (sadness!) so they're pretty messy.

    Yay for you sewing for yourself again, and as for my cap sleeves, they are a bit easier but you gotta place them right, otherwise they can be wonky. I'd LOVE that Madman dress in my size!

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  11. Now that's FINISHING a UFO! To reach back generations and to make something that looks great on you. WOW!!! Great story to pass on!

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  12. CUTE! i esp like that you put yourself on the pattern picture. wish my granny were still with us to get this type of hand-me-downs.

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