The red dress and the cover-ups

Hello there,

This is a bit of a mega update, so I apologise in advance. (TLDR: It’s a red dress and three different jacket/cardigan/kimonos and includes part of my Vintage pattern pledge. Also all the photos imply there’s something really interesting on the floor of my sewing room.)

Still with me? Cool.

The red dress

I made this dress a few months ago, and it’s been a staple in my wardrobe ever since. I got this beautiful bright red scuba in Mandors, with thoughts of making a dress.

It’s a hack of my old favourite, vintage Butterick 2907 which I used for my digital print dress and a green scuba dress. Once I’ve got to know a pattern I love tweaking with it into something new. It’s always fun to start playing around after you understand what the basic shapes can do for you.

Rather than long sleeves like the other two, I put in short sleeves. I also fitted it like the previous scuba dress in the top, but then widened out the skirt. I made the skirt shorter, just above the knee. Finally, I dropped the back to a scoop neck.

Red scuba dress Butterick vintage 2907

Red scuba dress Butterick vintage 2907

Red scuba fabric dress

Seriously, what is on the floor? Probably thread, innit.

I love the ease of this dress. I can easily dress it up, but the scuba means it’s very comfortable. It also makes a good base for an outfit, so I decided to use it to share some other things I made recently.

I’ve been going through a bit of a cover-up, jacket, kimono, cardigan phase, which will be obvious here.

The grey jacket

This fabric came from the Mandors sale, and it’s a linen-look polyester. I still have more than a metre, so there may well be a matching dress sometime soon if that doesn’t look too bizarre.

I was attracted to its splattery silver pattern because it reminded me of Jackson Pollock. Action painting fabric, yeah! I already have two Jackson Pollock tshirts from Uniqlo’s art collection, so it should sit nicely with them.

Grey splatter Jackson Pollock jacket Cynthia Rowley Simplicity K1688

I made the jacket using the same Cynthia Rowley pattern that I made my Portland jacket from, with – again – a couple of alterations.

Instead of making it an edge-to-edge jacket as in the pattern, I decided to extend the front pieces and create these kind of fake lapels. I left the bottom band off again to make it mega-cropped.

Grey splatter Jackson Pollock jacket Cynthia Rowley Simplicity K1688

The only thing I haven’t done is added a fastening. I want to put a couple of buttons on but I don’t have buttons I want to use, and my buttonholer doesn’t work. So they will come, just not quite yet.

Fun fact: I absolutely beasted my arm with a pin when trying this on during fitting. You know when a pin catches and gives you a scratch? Round my whole forearm in a big scary spiral. I looked like I had been attacked by a very specifically clawed cat.

I seriously love this pattern, it’s smart and quick and simple. I’m currently hatching a plan for a longer black tweed version for work, with wider slightly bell sleeves.

Coverup one, down!

The big floaty kimono

My lovely mum recently got me the Great British Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric book.

I’d avoided it before as the first book had very little of interest for me – but it’s actually pretty good. There are a few different patterns in there that I’ve already added to my plans. The first one I wanted to try was this kimono, which is their pattern hack of the slouchy cardigan pattern in the book.

Red scuba dress Butterick vintage 2907 Fashion with fabric The Great british sewing bee slouchy cardigan

I got this chiffony sheer stuff from Gold Thimble down the road, wrapped in a little remnant bundle for £2.99. Which is why I love Gold Thimble.

Again, bit of an arty print – I’m hoping that, combined with the style, doesn’t make it too much of a high school art teacher look. I think it’s borderline.

Red scuba dress Butterick vintage 2907 Fashion with fabric The Great british sewing bee slouchy cardigan

This pattern was really easy, once I’d traced the pattern pieces (they’re all printed on the same paper so be aware if you’re buying the book and get some tracing or tissue paper!). The kimono version is supposed to have quite a big border section too. When I pinned this on, it looked like a cassock. No thanks.

Red scuba dress Butterick vintage 2907 Fashion with fabric The Great british sewing bee slouchy cardigan

Instead, I trimmed it with some lovely bias binding also from Gold Thimble – it’s quite heavy duty, not satiny but more like a heavy cotton. It sets off the sheer fabric quite nicely.

I’m still not *quite* sure of this style, but I might make it up in a plain jersey if I can find one I like.

Boom, cover up 2 down!

The floral kinda vintage pledge cardigan

Back in January I joined the vintage pledge. While I’ve been making some vintage patterns up (like the dress in this very post!), I decided to be fancy and my pledge was to sew up at least one pattern or reproduction from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.

The main issue is that although I have patterns bridging those eras, most of my vintage love goes on 60s stuff, and this is again in that bracket. Anyway, it’s my pledge and I’m sure no-one will mind. I’m certainly not, because I love this little jacket.

Simplicity 4423 vintage sewing pattern

(Pic from Etsy, it’s linked to the account)

Now, it’s really supposed to be more sturdy material, but I had this beautiful bird-print jersey from John Lewis and I wanted something quite simple from it.

I first cut this out and started sewing it at a sewing meetup at the Stitchery aaaages ago (the same one I made my Portland jacket at). But I had done this without quite deciding how to finish it. I thought the jersey might be a bit difficult to face with itself, but I didn’t think I wanted a contrast binding.

Jersey print bird fabric vintage jiffy sewing pattern simplicity 4423 red scuba dress

I decided to face it with bias tape, which as well as making the finish nice and clean, gave me a bit of sturdiness back around the neckline.

Jersey print bird fabric vintage jiffy sewing pattern simplicity 4423

The print is really pretty close up. This fabric cost a slightly painful £20/m – luckily I had some vouchers or it would have remained a dream. It’s very soft and light, but was slightly tricky to sew especially around those kimono sleeves. It’s also really difficult to iron neatly, even if you actually liked ironing.

Jersey print bird fabric vintage jiffy sewing pattern simplicity 4423

The only big issue is that it came out a bit smaller than I would like (my own fault for being a reckless non-musliner). Because it’s jersey, and it’s not supposed to close over, it looks fine – but I’d like it to sit a little closer. If I remake it, I’ll do so in one of the actually suggested fabrics, and I’ll size it up a bit.

Jersey print bird fabric vintage jiffy sewing pattern simplicity 4423

One last floor check.

I’ve still got a really annoying amount of this fabric left – you know that kind of non-length which is not quite enough to do something with? So this may end up as a twinset, if I don’t have a twee overload from that.

And so we come to the end of mega-update. Hopefully, these will all help me keep a little toastier in the winter months.

What have you been making lately?

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13 responses to “The red dress and the cover-ups

  1. wow so many great makes!! I just love that red dress! I need to try sewing with scuba sometime, it looks so great as a dress. All these fabrics are just gorgeous!

  2. Pingback: Pure Baltic man: Parakeets, a little Linton and perfect weekends | what diana did next·

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