Sheet to dress... maybe

Well, as I woke up this morning planning to do a spot of dressmaking seeings as its Sunday and all that... I decided that having since discovered that it wasnt actually Sunday after all, I would carry on with my plans.

Years ago in my Jumble Sale days (couldnt cope anymore with all the people!) I used to look out for vintage clothes. Bearing in mind I was only about 12 at the time and everything in the whole wide world was black ash chipboard furniture and polyester grey shininess... I have to congratulate myself on recognising beauty at a young age!

I found a particularly beautiful dress in a pink and white spotted linen. Homemade, and patched from all the wear it had. Plus a nightdress made in heavy duchess satin. Not the artificial stuff, but the real thing, in a deep rich clotted cream colour. I still have them. I wore them both for years until I was afraid that anymore wear would be their end. They were both zipless, but flattering. And therein lies their perfectness. They were flattering, not shapeless. Not gathered, and very much looking like maternity dresses, just simple, pull over the head, effortless clothing.

Ive been wanting a weekend to have a play with some pattern drafting from these old vintage beauties, this weekend was it. Littlest finally gave up her old cotton sheet that had a huge hole in the middle from being threadbare and worn. Heaven knows how old it is, but its pure cotton and a good weight. "Please can I keep it Mummy, its so soft..."

Threadbare sheet has been washed and chopped into, and alas is no longer a sheet, but, fear not it is being reinvented at least! I may dye it bottle green if the dress sits okay once made, or I may keep it for pattern perfecting.

This dress has to do alot to tick all the boxes Im after!
  1. it must skim over my bottom and not cling, thus making me look like one of those broad bean pods that only have one giant bean in the middle and several shrivelled little tiddlers on either side of it...
  2. it must flare out nicely into a decent A line that can have a little swish if called for and not stick to my new tummy that I seem to have since my big op last Spring (Im sure they sneaked in implants without asking me...).
  3. it must have some adjustment under the bust to add a little shape, so ties are needed.
  4. the neckline must be loose and adaptable to have a collar added for a change.
  5. no sleeves so that they won't be stuck in the top of a cardigan, all scrunched and lumpy looking. Slightly extending over the shoulder edge to flatter less than skinny upper arms :)
  6. pockets, because where on earth do you put your hanky for that ever present dew drop?
  7. easy and quick to make with minimum pattern pieces and cutting so it can be whipped up in an afternoon before that "why on earth did I start this?" sets in.
See what I mean... its a tall order! So far its going quite well. It may well be my Summer wonder, in which case I shall make up a patchwork one in the Liberty style cottons I have all washed and ready to make up.

This prototype is having a tight wide zig zag on the raw edges so a little scruffly bit is showing of the weave. I quite like it and may not bother with bias binding. Its a little softer and suits it :)

Ren x

ps. Later on I plan on making a baby blanket to sell in my Etsy shop, and timing myself to see how long it actually takes. I see a late night ahead :) Happy planning to you all x
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