Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Modern, vintage silhouette - The Winifred dress

Hello Gingerdolls,

I was pretty excited last week when Abby emailed me a copy of the new Winifred pattern.  Shirt dresses comprise a large part of my vintage pattern collection, if I see one near my size I grab it.  There's just something about this classic style that I can't get enough of.  Sadly due to needing substantial grading work most of my vintage collection has not been sewn.  But hello, Abby has my back and drafted Winifred. I promise I didn't bribe her or anything, she must be physic.

After getting all my fitting work done, I went to ransack my stash for appropriate fabrics.  While I was swayed by a large scale flora print, in the end this Liberty of London Tana Lawn was the winner.  From far away it just looks like bright streaks of color, but up close it has sky scrapers in between all the streaks.

Colorful and a little modern, a perfect juxtaposition to a vintage silhouette.

Those of you with eagle eyes will be noticing that my Winifred does not exactly match the technical drawing. I confess to being a serial pattern tweaker and made a few changes to suit my personal tastes.

Pattern Tweaks
Smocking -  I've used elastic smocking to gather in the back waist.  This was something I learned from a Gertie Shirtwaist dress pattern and loved how comfortable the finished dress was.  To start a horizontal chalk stitch line was drawn in between the bottom 2 waist notches. I hand wound some elastic thread on a bobbin and put regular thread in the top of the machine.  The stitch length gets set bigger than usual because the elastic will pull and make the stitches small.  I used a stitch length of 3.  Starting and stopping about 1/2" from the seam allowances, I stitched on top of the marked line. Then using my presser foot as a guide, stitched several more parallel lines spaced 1/4" away.  I stitched a little further up the back than the top waist notch making 9 lines of smocking. After all the smocking is stitched, steam it with your iron to make it completely ruche up.

I also left off the belt tabs so that a real belt could be worn with the dress. 

Pockets - I like a full skirt with pockets so I swiped the pocket bags from the Billie Jean dress.  They were inserted in the side seam and 1" below the lower waist area notch. I used the normal steps to insert side seam pockets, sew bags on front and back skirt, then sew up pocket bags with the side seam.

Tucks - Instead of using tuck darts on the front, I sewed in a plan tuck.  My fabric print has a linear nature to it and the straight tuck suited it better.  The tucks are the same length as the tuck dart legs and are sewn in the same location.

Neckline Changes - I made the collar an 1" wider at the front and increased the open part of the neckline by 2.5". I like collars and flashing collar bones. ;)

I hope everyone is excited about Winifred as Abby and I are. 

And don't forget there is 10% discount on  the Winifred pattern until this Sunday! You can pick up your copy here.

 We can't wait to see your makes so remember to add then to the Bluegingerdoll Flickr group after you post them on your blog. 

 Happy Sewing - Heather

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