Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The 1970s Guinevere dress

I woke on the weekend with an itch for a little more creativity than the normal sew (actually a fair few weekends ago now!). Rather than reaching for a pattern I went straight for my bodice block. Driven by the sleeve craze that seems to be sweeping 2017 I sketched out some ideas. After several designs and lots of dizzying around in my parent's living room draped in African wax I decided on this:
I often draw out my print placement ahead of cutting my fabric 
Not entirely practical, naturally, but I was loving the middle ages/1970s vibe.  After all that dizzying I chose to work with an 'African wax' print with a little more drape than usual. Whilst in London at Dalston market I accidentally purchased some 'fake' African wax print (I suspect it is Chinese in origin) but its polyester content does provide drape, perfect for a maxi length and those dramatic sleeves!

I grabbed the sleeve from my block and got chopping. I wanted to move the under arm seam to sit down the centre front of the sleeve stopping at the elbow for dramatic drape. With a little trial and error this is how I did it:

After this, I drafted a simple maxi half circle skirt and added a button band at the back of the bodice instead of a zip. Like I said, I was enjoying the medieval vibes. I decided that rather than making a dress I'd make separates to maximise the wear I'd get from the skirt - the sleeves are rather ridiculous after all!

The cutting and sewing were relatively straight forward. Mostly due to the fact I was decisive with my print placement. I finished all seams by turning over and stitching, I finished the neckline with self-made bias binding, then covered my own buttons, and I stitched the bodice hem by hand.

As soon as I finished her, I indulged in the urge to grab a big floppy hat, platforms and round sunglasses (some of you may have seen the result on Instagram stories!). I'm all ready for our 1970s house warming party (if we ever move into our new house!). For now, I took to the woods in my new dress...

then a field...

...then a stone circle!

Who needs a house when you can frolick dressed as a 1970s princess... I'll keep telling myself that.

This was an extremely timely make for an entry into the Sleeve fest 2017 competition run by @dream.cut.sew and @valentine.and.stitch over on Instagram. Do you have any grand sleeve plans? You've got until the 31/08 to enter!

Wishing you all a happy, sewing filled week.


Vic x