In my wardrobe I have a dress that was bought from M&S many years (approximately 20+)ago. One day I suffered a mishap with some bleach which unfortunately caught the skirt of the dress and has disfigured it so much that it can only be worn indoors as a ‘housework’ dress. I have regularly searched on auction sites to see if I could find a replacement but to no avail. Using the basic design of the dress as inspiration, I have made a replacement using some daisy-printed lightweight denim from my stash. I had already laundered the fabric and was good to go.
Using my basic bodice block (similar to the Kitty shirtwaister dress) I drafted a scoop neckline and matching front neck facing. The dress would be button-through the bodice and the skirt. There would be short capped sleeves for which I would use my TNT sleeve pattern – that you have seen many times before.
The fabric was approximately 2.5 metres in length x 150 cms wide as I believe I originally intended to make a wraparound skirt. I would have to be careful with the layout of pattern pieces to ensure that I had sufficient to make the skirt in the length I desired.
Cutting out: I had only sufficient fabric for the 29 inch length of skirt inclusive of hem and due to the weight of the fabric (and lack of yardage) was unable to cut the sleeves with a self-fabric lining. Also there was not enough fabric to make ‘in-seam’ pockets. I did have some cotton lawn in a Pale Blue with White polka dots so decided to use this for a single patch pocket lining and make some bias binding for the sleeve hems.
Construction: Was fairly plain sailing. I made up the patch pocket but in the end as I had only one decided against it as this would make the skirt appear ‘clumsy’.
Decisions: What buttons to use?
Tortoiseshell Buttons or Lemon Yellow?
This conundrum occupied me for an evening as apart from the hem of the skirt buttonholes and buttons were the final details to be completed. I tried tortoiseshell and also a contrast in Yellow. Finally by raiding a jar of Blue buttons I settled on some co-ordinating Blue buttons that measure only 1 cm diameter and therefore to do not ‘shout’ at you and as there are 15 buttons this is a good thing to!
Once the buttonholes and buttons had been applied the hem was turned up and hand stitched.
The neckline is possibly a little too scooped for my liking but still wearable. I have adjusted for the next make – there will certainly be one. I am pleased with the make and now the original M&S dress can be ‘retired’. I may recycle the buttons from that dress along with the fabric for another project.