You've had a nice break from my face and you've not seen a new make in 44 whole days! I sure hope you've missed me, because I'm back with a kitcsher than kitsch Sew for Victory dress for you to feast your eyes upon. Despite being over the top – which my boyfriend largely attributes to the contrast pockets – I'm just relieved to have met Rochelle's deadline! A very busy month, coupled with sewing machine woes, meant that a finished project in March was not always a feasible idea.
I'm not actually sure when I'll wear this dress though. It's not that I don't like it, but I guess it feels a bit over the top. Do you agree, or am I being overly critical? Nonetheless, I've always had a hankering to sew up vintage patterns according to their envelope artwork and I took this chance when I fished out some cherry polka dot polyester I bought from the Birmingham Rag Market. For the life of me I couldn't find a lightweight fabric in the reverse colour way, so I was forced to use quilting cotton, which isn't ideal really.
McCall 4193 is such a gorgeous pattern from 1941 and I'm pleased I finally got around to sewing it up, if only for all the interesting details it has to offer - thanks to Rochelle for coming up with a wonderful challenge that pushed this pattern to the top of my list! Maybe a solid colour version would be more wearable, but in theory the polka dots were too delicious not to attempt.
Tilly's Mathilde blouse gave me the practice I needed for the front tucks, which to be honest were a little tougher to make with polyester! Luckily, my fabric showed up my white chalk lines well and I literally made one tuck at a time, using A LOT of pins as I went along.
The pockets are such a sweet detail that it felt wrong to leave them out...even if they are the reason I think this dress might be a bit much!
I like the back vent on the back bodice yoke - to me, there's something really feminine about this feature.
And finally, the pleats at the lower back bodice. I love the thought of these and they look great on taller, leaner bodies, but they don't do much for my figure. I can live with them on this dress though and they were another fun detail to play with.
Needless to say, the pattern instructions are very basic and assume you have a lot of sewing knowledge already. As a beginner, I'm not sure I would have been able to follow them, so I'm glad I've tackled this pattern with a bit more experience under my belt. I also had to grade this pattern up a bit, using Casey's excellent tutorials. I've kind of lost count of what I did though, because there were so many changes and because I ended up reversing some of them! But I think I added a couple of inches to the width of the bodice and skirt pieces, shortened the bodice by a couple of inches, moved the back bodice pleats in by an inch, lowered the neckline by a couple of inches, shortened the shoulders by a smidge, shortened the skirt length by a lot...you get the idea! All this considered, I'm pretty pleased with the fit I managed to achieve!
I omitted the sleeve and neck facings and finished them with bias binding instead. I even lined the skirt in a cotton lawn...and I think I've even done it properly...I think! Lining stuff still baffles me to be honest! Can anyone recommend any good online tutorials or books for lining techniques?
Although my waistline is slightly off at the zip side, I'm really happy with how invisible my invisible zip came out.
The back and side views are probably not the most flattering, but then again, when are they ever!?! I've decided to apply Sunni's brilliantly liberating piece on the myth of perfect fit to style as well. I know certain styles flatter our bodies more, but it would be a sad existence if we never tried out something different and new to us.
Anyway, I've really managed to ramble on in this post...sorry. But before going, I can't not show you my new shoes! They're from Office and I bought them because I felt they have a bit of a 40s aesthetic...am I right, or have I got it completely wrong?
In closing, is this dress too kitsch even for Minnie Mouse...or do you think I can get away with wearing it on a 'normal' day out?