Yes, Auntie Janis has been at it again! It’s Gertie’s Sweetheart Sundress (from her New Book for Better Sewing), made with a vintage 1970s terylene that some of you may remember from my Vintage Pattern pledge post. The fabric came from a local charity shop and was quite faded and worn in places – so much so that I never thought I’d be able to use it for anything except a lining. But when I saw the Sweetheart Sundress pattern, I thought it might be possible to squeeze this out of the best bits. So before you ask, yes, it was a sheet, and yes, it had gone a bit off-grain: so as well as having to jigsaw my pattern pieces around the fabric, I also had to do the old ‘thread pull’ technique in order to find a straight-ish edge to use as a grainline guide! Overall, it came out rather well and I’m particularly pleased with my pattern-matching efforts on the back – not easy with a pattern repeat of this size, I can tell you! As the front was ruched I didn’t bother trying to match it, and there was only enough fabric to match one seam on the skirt, so I chose the back one. Didn’t get it quite right in the final sew, but check out my bodice-skirt alignment, not bad?! The lining is also made from cotton sheeting, which gives the terylene a nice bit of body and feels wonderfully cool. I don’t normally bother lining my summer dresses, but as it was such a fab vintage fabric I really wanted to make something that would be lovely to wear and last a long time. Gertie’s pattern came together like a dream, I am SO impressed with her book, not only are the patterns simple to use but the instructions are bang on. One thing I will take with me for next time, if she tells you to do something a particular way (eg, ‘machine baste the skirt to the bodice’), I reckon it’s because she’s made this for herself and worked out that this is the best and easiest way to do it. So PAY ATTENTION – Gertie knows best!
Anyway I was so thrilled that for once I didn’t have to worry about altering bust darts and armholes – yay!! – that I didn’t even bother making a toile. MISTAKE?? – Well, not if I’d thought it through a bit better maybe! I knew I’d lost a teeny bit of weight since I last took my measurements, but stupidly didn’t re-do them and made the dress (lining and all) using ones I took in January. Result? – Potential obscenity charges for displaying unseemly amounts of both bra & contents! For the moment, I’ve just put a tuck in either side at the top and will need to shorten the straps a little, so there’s a bit of ‘tweaking’ still to do. However, that hasn’t stopped me from wearing it out not once but TWICE already, I absolutely love this crazy fabric paired with the retro-style pattern 🙂 So when I’ve quite finished striking silly poses, I may well make another!