Saturday, July 27, 2013

When people get a little too chummy with me, I like to call them by the wrong name to let them know I don't really care about them.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Minerva Crafts, which said "would you like us to send you everything you need to make a dress?" Perhaps unsurprisingly, my answer was something along the lines of ''OH HOLY WUT YES PLEASE WHERE DO I SIGN?" I mean, it's not like I got into blogging to get free stuff. But I'm only human, and free stuff is nice, and working with companies is pretty lovely too. It took me a couple of days to get back to Minerva with my shopping list, because their selection is enormous and also the filtering options on their website? Well, they could be a lot better. But anyway, here's what I asked for:

Vogue Vintage V8789 from 1957 -
I am very amused by the faces on both of the ladies on the pattern envelope here. B looks drunk, and A looks like she's just smelled something awful. Or maybe she's just noticed that her left hand is totally deformed? Look at that claw!

To make it, I chose 3 metres of this Peacock print cotton lawn, from the dress fabric section of the website. Minerva Crafts also sent me the zip I needed for this project. I chose this Vogue pattern mainly because I've been curious about these reprinted vintage patterns, and because I've had good experiences with the Butterick retro reissues. The people at Vogue seem to be better at making the patterns look appealing, as well. I really like the Josephine Kimberling for Robert Kaufmann fabric that the model is wearing in the product shot:

Cute, eh? Except for the fug shiny pink cummerbund thing. But I am very prejudiced against fabric sashes of any kind, so feel free to pay that no mind! Anyway, I think I will look for a fabric with a similar directional print for a future make, but this time round I needed the peacock feathers. I had been invited to a Cluedo-themed party, with the instruction to come dressed as Mrs Peacock. So, I obliged:

Ms. Peacock dress, worn with blue Pin-up Couture belt, Irregular Choice Cortesan shoes and vintage vinyl handbag

That's Ms. Peacock, though. I'm not ever going to be Mrs. anybody. 

So the fabric itself was lovely to work with. The fabric requirements on the pattern envelope are bloody shocking, and suggested I'd need over 5 metres of fabric for this. I asked Minerva for 3 (the fabric is 60" wide) and it was MORE than enough. This is partly because I drastically reduced the skirt - the pattern directs you to cut four massive rectangles of fabric and gather them. I'm no stranger to a gathered skirt, but when I calculated the width of the skirt and thought about how much gathering that would be, I thought, fuck this shit, and made the skirt out of two of the panels. You can see in the photo above that it is still pretty tightly gathered, I genuinely can't imagine how the skirt as drafted would fit! So that's a little tip to anyone thinking of making this dress. It'll save you a buttload of fabric (and money, probably) and I still ended up with a skirt that's more than full enough to handle a full fluffy crinoline underneath! I probably could have got away with using even less fabric if I had measured the skirt length before I cut the fabric, but I obviously wasn't thinking. The length of the skirt pieces provided gave me a skirt that was ankle length! I ended up cutting over 10 inches off the length - but I still think I got a pretty authentic looking late 50's shape.

I only got a few photos before my camera battery died, and they're all pretty similar, sorry dudes!

As you can see, I made view A and it was really easy, and it came together very quickly. The bodice is unlined but it has this really nifty thing where the facing is part of the main piece of fabric - you just fold it down and slip-stitch it in place. There are armhole facings but I couldn't get them to lie flat so I unpicked them, and faced the armholes with some pale grey bias-binding I had in my stash. The dress zips at the side, and I put in a lapped zip.

I didn't make any adjustments but, if I were to make this again I would shorten the bodice by an inch. The shoulders are loose, but I think this is more to do with the length of the bodice than the seams at the shoulders. I might be wrong, but I'll play with it a bit and see where it gets me. For this dress I'm not so fussed because it's a party dress, and probably not one I'll wear all that often. That said, the fabric is really gorgeous to wear! When I finished the dress earlier in the week I didn't love it, but having worn it I do like it a lot more and I love the print.

I also really like the shape, so I will make another one of these, and get the fit a bit closer!

Thank you so much to Minerva Crafts for their generosity - I was so thrilled to be given this opportunity, and I am pretty pleased overall with my new party frock!

Sadly, I had to leave the party early last night because I was feeling really unwell. I've been feeling a bit grotty all week and it's just catching up to me now. I've spent today in maximum comfort, lounging around in a jersey maxi dress, letting Nic supply me with many many cups of tea. Hopefully I'll be a bit more chirpy tomorrow. So, with that, I'm going to get back to lazing! Don't forget that there's still time to win a £50 ASOS voucher, though!