It has been a while since I joined in with a sewalong but I couldn't resist joining in with the Vintage Pledge this year. My pledge is make three patterns over the course of year. I know two of the three I will make and want to share the first today.
A couple of years ago, Hazel sent me Butterick 4795 as part of the Spring Swap. I loved the silhouette and the front panel. The pattern is cut but complete and comes with a previous owner's handwritten note on the front detailing how she planned to make version B.
The reason this pattern sat so long in my increasing pattern collection is the fabric. I needed to wait for the perfect combination. I knew I wanted a contrast front panel but it had to compliment the rest of the dress. Eventually I found this combination in the M is for Make spring sale. The main fabric is Robert Kaufman's Brussels Washer in Mist, a 55% linen 45% rayon mix. It feels and behave like linen but the rayon gives it more drape. The panel is Feathers Mineral cotton voile by Charley Harper of Birch Fabrics. Both fabrics are of really good quality and were wonderful to work with.
I originally graded up the pattern as my waist measurements were well off those of the pattern. This turned out to be a waste of time as it came out as an enormous sack! Adam and I started to pinch out the fabric to see what alterations were actually needed and it turned out none were. I threw out the toile and retraced the pattern while making a mental note to more carefully measure the pattern next time. I'm pretty happy with the fit from the packet although the neckline is high and it can have a chocking effect when I lean far forward. There is also a lot of excess fabric across my chest but overall it fits well.
The dress is incredibly easy to make except for the sharp points at the top of the front panel. I carefully transferred the markings from the pattern and traced in the seam lines before stitching slowly. I'm really thrilled with how they turned out. I added a lapped zip as the only the zip I had to hand was a normal one but in the wrong shade of green. It would have looked ridiculous on show so I tried a new technique. I followed Sunni's free zip class on Craftsy and was delighted with the result.
The dress is designed not to be lined. I'm trying to get into the habit of lining all of my dresses and added one here. I skipped the front panel by mashing the front pieces together and adding bust darts. The lining is a peach poly lining that I bought at the Birmingham Rag Market for £1m. I was surprised by the quality for the price - it doesn't have many of those annoying features you normally expect with poly lining.
I absolutely adore this dress and have worn it to the office every week since completing it. I can see it being worn all year round as it will be easy to layer with tights and a cardi in the winter. Have you joined the Vintage Pledge? If so, how are you getting on?