Thursday, 2 February 2012

Australia Day dress

Here's a pic of a dress I just finished for myself.  I wore it to an Australia Day BBQ, so I dressed it up with yellow accessories for the good ol' Aussie green and gold look.

This is the pattern.  On the back it says "An entirely British production"! It's a pretty basic dress with two waist darts at the front and back, and tucks on the front shoulders.  The skirt is rather full dirndl, with a flat panel at the front with two tucks on either side.  The same on the back of the skirt.  The dress has a side zip.  I must admit that I didn't use the bodice pattern, but used a sloper that I've been drafting, and moved the underarm dart to the shoulder.

Here's a crappy photo of the back of the pattern envelope.  The instructions were very minimal - things like "now put in the side zip".  The only things I changed were to lower the neckline a smidge so it sat under my collar bone, and to shorten the skirt from tea length to knee length.

Would I make it again?  Well, I made it out of cheap cotton homespun, which creases really easily and because it's a plain fabric, it shows up every mistake or bit of uneven sewing.  So if I did make it, I'd probably choose a patterned fabric with a bit more body, maybe a polished cotton.  Secondly, the instructions said to face the neckline and armholes with bias strips.  I HATE cutting bias strips, so I made up my own facings, but I think I should have used bought bias binding on the armholes.  Thirdly, I don't know how flattering a high neckline is on me.  May change it to a scooped one.

This is the brooch that I wore with it, it has matching screw-on earrings.  It's probably from the 50s or 60s, and says Made in West Germany on the back.


  1. That dress is really cute! I don't think the neckline is unflattering at all. That said, older patterns almost always tend to have very conservative necklines.

    Where did you get your belt? I need a new bright yellow one...since the one I have is for your hips not your waist and its really chunky. Could make one of course but I want it yellow patent.

  2. Thanks! I bought the belt a couple of years ago from a cheap shop on Brunswick St, but I did see some yellow patent skinny belts at Alannah Hill the other day. They have a bow at the front though, and they were on sale at Myer. They were about $60 though.

  3. I just adore this look, Sophie. What a clever girl you are! Normally I would loathe anything in the Australian colours, but you look too divine for me to even care about it. Look, I even split an infinitive in my excitement. See you in five weeks. J xx