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Sewing, Style & Creative Writing
  • Red Pinafore Dress

    Posted on 01/10/2013 by David in The Women I Sew For.


    The blogosphere may get over this announcement within a matter of seconds but I’m super proud to introduce my very first handmade dress on Design Closeup, something worthy of a little drum roll I should think, non ? It’s red, it’s pinafore and it’s a dress…a red pinafore dress! (If I sounded a bit backward in that last sentence, blame it on my overexcitement and not a poorly disguised attempt to maximise the Search Optimisation Engine as I wouldn’t have a clue where to start!).

    First thing first, I made this dress for Rita, my Russian sewing mentor but also my friend. Rita could probably tell you about the day we met for our first lesson and asked me about my sewing experience so far. “Not a clue” I replied, “I’ve never touched a sewing machine in my life but I’d like to try although I can’t promise I will come back after that lesson”. Obviously I did and 18 months on since that day, I’m still amazed at how much sewing brings me joy and a sense of fulfilment in my life, all those things I’m now able to do thanks to Rita of course. She was my obvious choice for that dress, it was my way to say thank you I guess.

    The dress is a very loose adaptation of Vogue pattern V1974. The final result bears little resemblance with the original pattern but it was certainly a good learning curve for me on how to tweak things around or “creative pattern cutting” as I like to call it! Although I’ve sewn the whole dress myself, Rita had to guide me with a few unfamiliar steps so we did a muslin for those trickier parts which I then reproduced on the dress. Sewing the neckline was completely new to me but what I particularly struggled with was attaching the lining to this sleeveless dress. My, oh my!  Once I attached the lining to the neckline, how much of a nightmare was that! I got there in the end but the amount of fabric pulling I had to go through certainly provided a decent alternative to arm workout for the day! As for the swearing, I certainly exceeded my quota for that day too…

    I also did a couple of single welt pockets, a very similar process to the double ones I did for my past trousers and designed the collar, a larger version of the Peter Pan collar I guess. A quick word finally about the fabric: it’s woven brushed wool (it looks a bit like felt but it isn’t) and the accent fabric is some sort of wool lace, a very pretty combination together I think. I sadly couldn’t get Rita to appear on the pictures so my dummy Melissa is modelling the dress for you all (try as I might, I couldn’t squeeze in a size 8).

    PS: Wanna know what Rita calls me everytime I ask her way too many questions in one go? Answer: (with a charming Russian accent): “Annoying creature”…it just cracks me up everytime!     


8 Responses so far.

  1. Delgado says:

    Salut David, superbe robe chasuble rouge mais j’ignorais que ton mentor russe t’appelait : créature ennuyeux (ou ennuyeuse) avec son petit accent du pays. Tu es une belle créature en pleine création “haute couture” je le confirme !


  2. Karen says:

    Oh! There is nothing I don’t love about this! The fabric, the collar, the pockets, the facing, the lining. This is my current favourite of all your makes!
    I would wear this all Winter.
    It is a real beauty! X

    • David says:

      Oh thanks Karen, this is such a lovely compliment! Now I’ve made my first dress, I am sure there will be more on the way. Thanks again 🙂

      • KarenJ says:

        Please don’t tell me where you got the gorgeous red wool from. I must use up some of my stash before I spend any more cash! 😉

        • David says:

          Easy answer on this one: this was given to me and I have no idea where it came from! I might just have saved you a few pounds/dollars on this one 🙂

  3. Matt C. says:

    Nice look and fabric choice for the fall/winter!

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