Brown 60’s Dress

There are times when buying a piece of fabric doesn’t make sense, and yet you just have to have it. I’m talking a ridiculously garish print, a horrible fabric type, something you would never wear, and even if you did it would feel horrible. Well there are a few fabrics like this in my stash. Generally picked up for a bargain, they resemble 70’s curtains, and feel really man made, but the print has been so “out there” I just couldn’t leave it behind.


Well today’s blog post is about one such fabric. I can’t remember where I bought this piece of fabric, but its either a vintage fair find, or a charity shop find. I imagine that I didn’t pay more than a fiver for it. I’ve had it for over a year, and was totally stumped with what to do with it. And then through my stash sort out I decided that the the print demanded a 60’s inspired pattern, and the Simplicity 1609 was perfect (I mean check out the front of the pattern – even the models has gone all out 60’s). I got this pattern free at the Knit and Stitch Show at Ally Pally last year and this is the 3rd dress I’ve made with it (the 2nd in a week!).


As this is the 3rd time I’ve made this dress I had assumed this meant that the fit would be fine. The first and second versions have fitted perfectly, despite being made of different fabrics. dress number 1 was a thick cotton with no give, dress number 2 was a monochrome fabric with a tiny bit of stretch to it, and this fabric I thought, was a bit in between. I thought it had a very little bit of give. Boy was I wrong. I had sewn it all up, and then tried to put it on and the zip just wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t get it done up for love nor money. At one point there was 3 of us trying to get this zip up. Where did it go so wrong?! So out came the seam ripper and I took out the entire zip, both darts in the back and very gingerly re-inserted the zip with minimal seam allowances. I know have a dress that fits, but what a faff! As a result, the back does look a bit wrinkly when I wear it, and its not the best fit. Does anyone else ever have his problem? Why did a trusted TNT pattern turn out to not fit on version number 3? I had made version number 2 only 6 days previously!


The invisible zip went in really well (both times) with my new-ish invisible zipper foot. I cant believe that I have been sewing for over 20 years and only just discovered how amazing this is! I don’t think you can see the zip at all, which is just as well as it is a cream zip as that was all I had lying around. You can however see a flash of the overlock stitching as I did this before I had to re-insert the zip, and I was trying to use the smallest seam allowances possible.


So I love this dress. I love the pattern and I love the fabric – but the million dollar question is will I wear it? Is the print too outlandish? Can I carry it off? Where would I even wear it? Only time will tell, but I’m so glad that I have used this fabric from my stash and turned it into something I might (occasionally) wear.



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