I recently finished up this project just in time to wear to a college ball (and I mean just finished – like I hemmed the skirt about an hour before I had to leave for the event!). Of course I still had time to take a few photos before I left:
The pattern is McCall’s 5784 from 1961 and it’s just delightful.
I made my version from a lovely vintage inspired print from my local Spotlight, and the contrasting band at the neckline was made from a remnant of vintage fabric that I bought a while back from Rathdowne Fabrics (if you’re a Melbournite and haven’t checked out this store yet, you really must!). I made a couple of changes to the dress. Because the print was so busy and I know I’d have no chance of matching it, I decided to cut the front bodice on the fold rather than having two front bodice pieces – this caused a couple of problems for me a bit later on, but it all worked out in the end.
I also halved the amount of fabric in the skirt because I didn’t have enough – this baby needs probably 2.5 metres for the skirt alone! I also changed the required pleats to a simple gather – mainly because I ran out of time to figure out where and how to place the pleats due to my removing half the fabric from the original version and not being able to simply use the pattern markings.
Figuring out how to face the ‘v’ in the front took a lot of time and patience, particularly since I wanted to line the bodice because I’ve decided I really dislike facings, and because of the aforementioned tweaks to the way I cut the front bodice. I wish I hadn’t gone down this route now, the fabric didn’t really need to be lined, and it just turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. I ended up ‘facing’ the v-neck with fusible tape. Cheating, I know, but I literally spent hours trying to do it ‘properly’ (i.e. by actually sewing it) to no avail and this was the neatest solution I could come up with. And no one will know except me (…and you – shhh, don’t tell!).
Another confession – because I didn’t have thread that matched the neck band well enough, I safety pinned the pieces together while wearing it rather than making a buttonhole – I’m a terrible seamstress…
While I love the finished product making this dress stretched my patience – all of my own making, I know. Hopefully it will make me think before I deviate from a pattern too much in the future…probably not, but hopefully!