I just realized the title of this post is a little misleading. This is a new dress, made from a new(ish) pattern. I’m fairly certain that even the fabric is somewhat new. I’m calling it vintage because of the colorway and the overall look of the finished piece :) Just so we’re clear!!
This is McCall’s 5972, which is Laura Ashley pattern. Funny, I actually bought this dude a few years ago with the intention on making view C, with those ridiculous neck ruffles. Spoiler: I still haven’t managed view C. But I have made view B twice – once in a gorgeous purple lambswool (pre-blog, so no pictures – but I wear it frequently in the winter!), and then this piece you’re looking at right now.
The fabric is a bit special, only because it’s fucking GORGEOUS and I had the tiniest piece. I found it at the flea market over the summer, although I don’t think it’s vintage – it’s a Waverly print (says so right on the selvage) and it’s definitely upholstery fabric. I would not be surprised at all if this is a print that they are currently selling at Joann’s. However, that doesn’t make it any less amazing, amirite.
I’m really surprised that I was able to get this much dress out of the fabric. Like I said, my piece was pretty small – I think I had about a yard and a half, but it was only 35″ wide (I suspect it was 60″ at some point, as there was only one edge with a selvage. Also, holy shit I am abusing these parenthesis today). I initially wanted to make a wiggle dress, but I knew there was no way in hell I’d have enough fabric. I barely squeezed this one out as it was – I cut everything on a single layer. Almost all the pieces are cut on the fold, which meant I had to do a lot of flipping and tracing. It was worth it, though! I even had enough to cut the collar, although I did have to slice it on the center back seam since there wasn’t enough fabric to do it in once piece. I’m so pleased with my fabric stinginess!
I made this dress entirely with stash stuff! The lining is china silk. I usually prefer to line with Bemberg Rayon – I think it feels so freaking luxurious, even better than silk! – but this stuff actually matched perfectly. And, surprisingly, it was easier to sew than the rayon. Imagine that.
I did have a bit of an issue with the fit. As I said before, this is the second time I’ve used this pattern. The first dress fits wonderfully, just the way I like it. For this reason, I did not make a muslin. I don’t know what happened between the pattern and the first finished dress, but there is definitely a size discrepancy – and I’m not really sure what I did to make it fit (other than, you know, NOT ALTERING THE PATTERN TISSUE), since it was finished so long ago and I didn’t leave my future self any notes. Thankfully, I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to fit – I try on my stuff frequently as I go, just to be sure there aren’t any little surprises waiting at the end. I caught this right before I put the zipper in. I ended up taking in the zipper side seam by quite a bit – 1 3/4″ at the bodice, 1 1/2″ at the waist, tapering down to nothing by the hip. I may need to go back and deepen the darts on the front skirt; they bag out a bit because I guess I don’t quite fill it out. So weird!
I only made a couple of construction changes to the pattern:
- The finishing calls for bias binding at the armholes. NOPE, SORRY. I pulled out my Rooibos pattern and followed the instructions for inserting the bodice lining – and it worked! No handstitching here, and it looks much cleaner :)
- The collar does not call for interfacing. I decided to underline mine with some of my precious silk organza. Ah. I love silk organza ♥
- I inserted a lapped, hand-picked zipper instead of the invisible dude. So pretty and sleek and yay!
- Due to aforementioned fabric shortages, the underside of the collar is china silk (same as the bodice lining), instead of self-fabric.
You know what else this dress looks super good with?
Wait for it…
You probably noticed Amelia lurking on the serger table during all these pictures. That is basically what she does the entire time I’m in the sewing room (unless she’s napping on top of my pattern. Or fabric. Or scissors), and the reason why I moved my sewing machine to be away from the window. Her big butt was always in the way!