The month of April is synonymous with being wet from spring showers. The month also frequently hosts the holiday of Easter as well. I think I’ll just be ‘one’ with it all!
To me, there is almost nothing that equals the calming noise, relaxing loveliness, and happy beauty of being at a woodland pond and trickling creek. Top this off with a perfect spring afternoon and Eastertime – and we couldn’t ask for a better place to hang out, do some weekend recuperating, and take some photos of my newest dress. It is made from a simple pattern at the heart of the “Flower Child” era, 1969, and has a water-marked sort of faded tie-dye knit to match. My inner “nature goddess” needed a self-made lilac flower crown to complete the whole ensemble! However, for some of my pictures later on you’ll see me stripped of the sash belt, flower crown, and even shoes to go more ‘natural’…
I see pastels everywhere (fashion-wise) this season, and I am not one to purposefully follow trends, but the new, rayon-based, super-soft knits at my local fabric store tempted me, too much. They also happen to be a designer line! Now I can be on trend, yet still sneak in my vintage love with this dress, he he.
FABRIC: a Kathy Davis Designer brand knit “Eraser Purple”- 97% Rayon 3% Spandex knit.
PATTERN: a Vogue #7463, from either late 1968 or early 1969
NOTIONS: nothing but thread and two small strips of interfacing were needed –simple!
TIME TO COMPLETE: the dress was finished on April 1 (2016) after about 8 hours spent to make it up.
TOTAL COST: This fabric was a very recent purchase from my local Jo Ann’s fabric store. I spent about $18 for two yards…a bit more than what I’m used to spending but worth it for a designer printed dress like this one!
This garment is part of two sewing challenges actually – the “Wardrobe Builder” dress project for April as well as the “Easter-Spring Dress” sew-a-long. It is part of the “Wardrobe Builder” project because firstly, it is a dress, plus being one that is so very practical yet dressy at the same time. This combo should make this a nice go-to for early spring, especially since it has long sleeves to keep me warm enough through the chilliness we so frequently have through the season. My dress is part of the “Easter-Spring Dress” sew-a-long because of the obvious…it is perfect for spring and was specifically made to wear on Palm Sunday. This is part one of two dresses for this sew-a-long.
Only because the design was so simple was I able to plan for two new garments for Easter time! Although it is simple, the design is first class. The instructions were very complicated for what one would think looking at the cover envelope picture and design lines of the dress. The instructions were meant for a fully lined dress with fancy tailoring and made of a flowing woven as suggested by pattern back. My own dress was much simplified, mostly due to the fact it’s merely made from a single layer of a drapey knit with no seam edge finishing. I’ll admit I am not used to working with true vintage Vogue patterns – maybe such thorough instructions, fine designs, and nice details are the norm of all their offerings, whatever era they come from. I do generally love the modern “Vintage Vogue” line of patterns for those same features. Maybe, I just have a new ‘need’ to find and make some more old Vogue patterns!
The rayon knit has a shifty, heavy drape so the wide bateau neckline, which is the highlight of the dress, needed to be interfaced. I used a stiff, sew-in mid weight interfacing attached to just the one-piece, self-facing which gets turned inside the neckline. However, the rest of the dress was left without anything to stabilize the seams and this seems to work out fine, but I still am not sure. Was I supposed to add in seam tape to the long French bust darts, at least – or maybe to the side seams, too? I didn’t. The dress seems slightly generous in fit the way and I supposed it was because of the nature fabric but I don’t mind – it only adds to the comfort of wearing it. However, I do have a very strong suspicion that this dress will “grow” after every wash, the fabric getting slightly bigger and out of shape. That’s why they added in spandex to the rayon, to prevent this, so I shouldn’t be suspect. So…for now I’m happy with it the way it is and if it does “grow” on me the more I wash and wear it, I suppose I’ll either take it in or/and add on the seam tape then.
Only minor adjustment were made – to lengthen the dress hem and sleeve length by one inch. I like this length of the dress (and it has a 2 inch hem) but the sleeves took about a 4 ½ inch hem to get them to the length they are and they are still a tad long. Other than the fact that the sleeve armpit seam dips rather low for my preference and I raised by just under and inch, this dress was straightforward to make.
My floral crown was made from artificial lilac stems bought at the dollar store, carefully layered and wrapped around a band of floral wire with floral tape. This coronet only cost $1 and I’m so pleased I could spend so little to come up with something every bit as lovely as I had hoped. I would totally wear this out much more than I will, in fact – boo hoo. It is so fun! Hubby lets me do my own thing with my projects and outfits, but this floral crown makes him sigh and roll his eyes at me…really?! Yes, really – it is awesome to wear just what I want and frolic in a lovely flower crown, just because I came up with an idea and was able to make something of it. Luckily, previous experience from briefly working at a floral shop came in handy here…
I do have to laugh at myself that I sew with a non-floral fabric and have it in my mind that it is inspired by nature. It figures! Oh well – after spending the week before at home being sick, this outfit gave me the prod I needed to get out and enjoy my favorite part of the outdoors. Inspiration is everywhere.
For more pictures of my ‘frolicking’ through nature in this outfit check out my Instagram!