I first made a dress using a hack of the Vogue 8577 + Penny dress by Sew Over It back in August 2019.
I have named the dress Venezia after my favourite European city.
Adaptations were to remove the midriff band on the bodice of the 8577 and extend to the waistline. I also extended the bodice facing up so that it is stitched under the front edge of the yoke. For the skirt I used the Penny but cut into 4 panels, added side seam pockets and lengthened the pattern by 4 inches.
Thinking about making a new dress for my birthday – yes it is that time of year again, I tried on Venezia #1 and was delighted to find that it still fits PCL i.e. post Covid lockdown! Just to be sure, I ran up a toile using some lightweight pre-washed calico. Yes, it is still fine so used the calico toile as a full lining of the bodice (a la Sian of Kittenish Behaviour). For the skirt panels, I checked the width at waistline for the bodice fronts and back to ensure that they would fit and made sure to add for the button closure down the front of the skirt.
Fabric: I have a 3 metre length of beautiful ‘Paradise’ cotton lawn bought from Stitch fabrics in August 2020 for £40 and decided that this would make the perfect dress for my ‘special’ birthday. The 150cms width of the fabric meant that there was sufficient to cut out my Venezia, especially as ‘Paradise’ is a one-way design. I cut out all the pattern pieces from a single layer of fabric which meant that I could ensure no birds were perched on the apex of my bust! It is a delight, although a mystery to me how I have also managed a pattern match at the centre front of the bodice! Who knew?
Construction: It took approximately 8 hours to make the dress as I used French seams for the skirt panels and side seam pockets. The bodice is lined with the lightweight calico. All 13 buttonholes and buttons (from my bottomless button stash!) were completed on the machine. The narrow double-fold hem on the skirt was also top stitched on the machine. Thus the entire dress was stitched by machine with the only exception being the slip stitching of the bodice lining to the waistline. That is my idea of a great project (hand sewing aggravates my arthritis).
So that’s it – a new dress all ready for the big day.
Project #45 completed 1st July 2021