Tuesday 21 April 2015

Spring For Cotton - My Plans

Hello I hope the week is being kind to you so far and that you all had fabulous weekends! I certainly did, I spent mine giving my flat the spring clean of its life and absolutely wearing myself out in the process! It was certainly worth it, though, as there is nothing nicer than having a gleaming house, even if it will only last a few weeks (OK, days)! As well as cleaning like a demon, I even managed to fit in a bit of work on my project for 'Spring For Cotton'.

As you might have guessed, seeing as this is the first time I have mentioned it here, I decided quite late in the game to take part. The decision was really made for me once I received my Kickstarter reward from By Hand London. Along with the gorgeous patterns and other neat stuff, I also got 2m of printed fabric which I got to design!

I knew when By Hand London announced their Kickstarter plans for fabric printing I would have to help them out, as there was a particular design that I had been dreaming of for years. The eagle eyed amongst you may have already spotted where this pattern comes from. Here is a closer look.

Well the design is a little different to the original, I have moved a few things about a little and added some more buttons & pins and changed the background colour, but essentially it's the design from the title pages of and Odhams classic from the 30s, a book many UK based vintage sewers will probably have come across.

The Pictorial Guide to Modern Home Needlecraft 1938,  is one of the first books I bought on ebay when I first figured out how to buy things on ebay, many, many years ago. Once I saw the title pages I was smitten with the design thinking it would make the most wonderful fabric, though it never occurred to me then that I should try to make it myself!

There is a little flaw in my beautiful fabric. I sized my pattern up to make a fat quarter, but sadly when printing, the pattern didn't flow, my error in my naivety at this pattern printing malarkey, so the 2m is essentially made up of slightly misaligned fat quarters, which is irritating, as it restricts the patterns I can choose, but it's not the end of the world as I can work around this to a degree and heck I like a challenge!

So with my 2m of cotton fabric in hand, next it was time to choose a pattern. Initially I though I'd make a simple 50s circle skirt, as I figured that it would hid the flaws in the pattern due to all the swishy fabric. But then the weather got really warm and I remembered how much I love the cotton sun dresses from the 1940s, especially ones with sweetheart necklines (honestly if the shops started selling dresses with sweetheart necklines and peplums I think I would never sew again!), so I went through my pattern stash to see if there was anything suitable.

This 1950's bodice pattern is available for Free Here!
Kindly shared by Miss Dixie O'Dare

Unfortunately nothing quite hit the spot, most needed some serious resizing, and with the ever increasing demands on me at the moment, I just knew I wouldn't be able to find the time to 'toile' away the hours. So I decided to go with vintage inspired rather than true vintage, and turned to one of the patterns I got in my Kickstarter reward, the Kim Dress from By Hand London.

It was only when I slid the pattern out of its outer envelope, that the second option of a dirndl skirted sweetheart neckline dress, was revealed to me! So though it is a thoroughly modern pattern (aaaah, multi-sizing) it's certainly one that has 1940s styling potential. It all seems very simple to make up so far the bodice is all but done and the simple dirndl skirt should mean that I can squeeze the whole dress out of the 2m of fabric that I have, fingers crossed!

Wendy x


  1. I can not wait to see how your dress turns out! I absolutely love your fabric. What a sweet & clever print! Will it be available for purchase?

    ~Michelle ^_^
    Delightful Handwork

  2. That Fabric is Fabulous! Your Dress is going to look great!

  3. Oh, I love that! Your fabric is so pretty and I can't honestly see the off set. The colour is gorgeous! Your finished dress will be very pretty.

  4. It does make a fabulous fabric. I love those Odhams books. Looking forward to seeing the dress.

  5. Oh your fabric is LOVELY! I adore that color, it'll look so pretty on you! I'm excited to see your adventures with working around the fabric issue.

  6. Wow, that looks mighty challenging to my untrained eye! The fabric is awesome, I can't wait to see it. Good luck!

  7. That fabric is amazing!! I can't wait to see the finished dress :) x