A new design – Hyacinth

Inspired by a dress offered for sale on the Museum Selection site I have drafted a new dress pattern. It is a hack/combination of several designs as follows:

Basic Myosotis bodice, extended length, converted to the Maryon neckline, plus a self-drafted collar. Shirred puffed sleeves from the Sophie design by Victory patterns. I added a button through gathered skirt made from 2 rectangles, each 32 inches length x width of fabric and 2 patch pockets.

Line drawing and samples fabric & button

For this ‘wearable muslin’ I used 3metres x 114cms wide cotton floral print – total cost £14.97 bought from Fabricland, Bournemouth back in February 2022. As this is such a florally-designed print, I have named this dress design ‘Hyacinth’ after Hyacinth Bucket, a character in the TV series, ‘Keeping up Appearances’.

The collar: I started sewing with the collar as I had decided that if it did not work out, I could abandon the collar and stick with a simple V-neckline. Fabric was tight so the undercollar was cut from a complimentary poly/cotton from my stash (yet another remnant from a king size duvet cover conversion project). To ensure that the undercollar did not roll to the top side, I inserted some narrow piping. I was delighted with the way that this turned out so proceeded with making up the bodice. Darts and shoulder seams were stitched and then the collar machine basted in place. Looking good. On to the side seams of the bodice in preparation of completing the neckline and then adding the sleeves.

Close Up neckline & collar

Sleeves: I used the short sleeve from the Sofia dress by Victory patterns but due to shortage and width of the fabric had to reduce the width at the hem. This still made the hem about 20 inches wide so enough for shirring and a little frill, plus lots of ‘pouff’ at the sleeve head.

Skirt & pockets: As the skirt was cut as 2 rectangles with a centre back seam I decided to add some patch pockets (for a change to my usual concealed side seam pockets). I used two pieces that were left after the cutting out and this gave me quite large pockets with curved bottoms and straight tops. As the pockets were very wide, I added a central inverted pleat for extra interest and to accommodate the extra width. Once the skirt had been gathered and attached to the bodice, I identified their location which was 3½ inches down from the waist seam and 3½ inches from the side seam point on the bodice.

Button fastening: I was most fortunate to find a set of Teal Blue sparkly buttons (included with a fabric parcel from Rainbow Fabrics) that matched perfectly with the colours of the floral print. There are 5 buttons on the bodice and 7 on the skirt.

The hem of the skirt was overlocked before turning up by 2 inches and machine blind hem stitched in place.

Finished Wearable Toile version of Hyacinth design

Conclusion: I am very pleased with the finished dress although I am not 100% sure about the collar. It fits well with the style of the dress but in the final analysis I believe that I prefer a V-neckline with no collar, but maybe next time a bias cut frill to compliment the frill on the sleeves.

Project #39 completed 20th August 2022.