One of my favourite clothing brands is Free People, and this dress was definitely inspired by the brand! I made this dress using Simplicity 1939, a Cynthia Rowley design. I found this pattern for 1$ at Fabricland since it was an old pattern, but I think it’s still totally in style! I am definitely feeling a boho sort of Fall and Winter! Now all I need is a Mongolian lamb fur vest to complete the outfit!
I looked up pictures of the original dress on the runway and I was completely sold! I used a semi sheer polyester print, and I lined it with a bit of brown silk charmeuse. I made a few changes to the pattern. I was really surprised when I started reading the instructions that the entire dress, from head to toe, was lined. I wanted a more floaty and sheer dress, so I did away with most of the lining. I still lined the skirt yoke, and I drafted a flared mini skirt lining. I didn’t want the outer fabric and the lining gathered in together on the skirt, I thought that might be bulky, so I just made the skirt lining flat. I then made the camisole from V1462, which I had originally planned to sew into the waist seam, but it turned out really pretty on its own, so I just wear it tucked into the waist of the dress. I was glad I had bought some extra of this fabric because I had to do some matching.
For the hip detail, I was hoping to find a wide, brown or purple velvet ribbon, but I couldn’t find any. Instead I found a 1/4″ velvet purple/black ribbon with sequins on it, and I layered that on top of bias tape I made from the brown silk fabric. Sometimes when you can’t find what you had envisioned and you have to be creative you come up with something even better!
Halloween just passed and of course I made my costume! I found a Burda (7443) dirndl costume pattern at Fabricland for 1$ as well and that’s all it took for me to decide what to dress up as this year! I sewed it up quick-and-dirty and it turned out surprisingly nice! Usually I read through the instructions, see what crazy things they say to do, before starting to even cut, but since it was just a Halloween costume, I didn’t bother. So I was pretty horrified when it was too late and I realized I had no clue where the zipper was going to go. Turns out they just put it down centre front, but there is no seam down the CF skirt??? …………….so they just cut a slit, slap the zip in, and do a messy dart thing to cover up the end of the zip! But it was too late to do anything different, so I did it and thanked goodness an apron was gonna cover up that mess!
The top is made out of a shirting cotton. The bodice of the dress is made out of a velvet remnant, which was the perfect opportunity to practice using velvet, since its a such a tough fabric to work with. The skirt of the dress and the apron are made from polyester taffeta-like fabrics.
Another strange instruction I didn’t quite understand was that they tell you to interface all the bodice lining pieces, instead I interfaced the self fabric pieces, but only because it was a stretch velvet and I wanted to eliminate the stretch. I lined it in some left over kasha lining so it would have more structure.
I also changed up the sleeve on the cotton top, mostly because it was Friday night and I was getting lazy, and the Halloween party was Saturday, but I also didn’t really love the giant poofy 3/4 length sleeve and that wide cuff. So I chopped it off short and added an elastic casing to make a short and cute gathered sleeve. The apron is pleated using pencil pleating tape, which I had never heard of before. And inconveniently they didn’t mention it as a notion on the back of the pattern envelope, so I got home without it. Pencil pleating tape is an upholstery notion, that is used to pleat up the tops of curtains. I found some at Fabricland and it worked out alright, but was a lot bulkier than I had hoped for. I’m guessing it must come in other widths and pleat depths but this one was all my Fabricland carried.
Unfortunately I didn’t get many pictures of my costume! I got ready at my friends house and we were having too much fun to stop for pictures!
I couldn’t help myself, I made my little man a costume too! A tiny knit dinosaur hat! I found the pattern for free on Lion Brand’s website……..he did NOT like it, neither did my other cat 🙁