With the sun shining beautifully last week, I felt the need to make a summery dress and at the last minute I also wanted to enter Lucille's Spring for Cotton challenge. Ever since the first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee series 3 I had been lusting after Lorna's poppy dress (couldn't get a better picture than this).
I tracked down the fabric on Ebay (just entered poppy fabric in the search).
I chose Butterick 5982 version C (centre), which has a bit of a vintage 50's influence. It's taken me two years to finally understand that most patterns are made for a B cup (I have to ask why, is this the commonest cup size?). So I am looking now for patterns which come in different cup sizes, and this pattern comes in A-D sizes. This made fitting the bust much easier without the hassle of a full-bust adjustment.
I love the skirt, it's full but not too bulky which is a more flattering style.
I've photographed it on the inside so that you can get a better view. There is a flat panel at the centre front and the back, then two pleats followed by fairly heavy gathering round the front to the back pleats.
I have to say though, there is a bit of a Marilyn effect in the wind!
I like it with or without a belt (and pearls of course!)
The pattern called for a bodice lining, but I felt for summer this wouldn't really enhance the style or wearability, so I drafted a facing. I had 2.11 metres of fabric and there wasn't enough for a self-facing so I used some black cotton. Also not enough fabric for any attempt at pattern matching or placing.
The 'v' worked reasonably well and I top-stitched around the neck rather than understitching.
I cut a size 14 and the fit is pretty good, but needed small adjustments:
Added 3" to the length
Shortened the bodice by 1"
Increased the seam allowance on the zip by 1" at the waist
Moved the shoulder seams lower by 5/8" and then lowered the arm scythe by 1/2"
The sleeves feel a little tight and I would put a bit more fabric in them and lower the arm scythe by 5/8" next time and I think there will be a next time. I think this is a very versatile vintage-style dress which I hope to perfect. The Spring for Cotton challenge finishes on April 30th so I was against the clock! I cut out the pattern and dress on Friday night, did about 2 hours on Saturday and finished on Sunday, so for me a really quick make!