I don’t really do sundresses so much. *cough* Project:Sewn failure *cough* But I do wear dresses and skirts all summer long as often as possible, frequently in the sun. And that somehow qualifies things, right?!
So sundresses, summer dresses; I started thinking about a more vintage sundress look, something you’d wear to a garden party. Not that I’ve ever been to a garden party. But it’s nice to be prepared with the right dress, just in case. The sundress styles from the last mid-century all seem to fall within the garden party variety. And I happen to own a pattern inspired by that era: Vogue 2240. It also just so happens that it’s a wedding gown pattern.
And not just any wedding gown pattern, my wedding gown pattern. As in, the one I wore to my wedding. My aunt made my dress, and when she was finished, she gave me back the pattern. I didn’t sew much at the time, but I did horde things. So I still had this pattern hanging around in my stash. And I thought it would be really cool, and maybe just a little bit funny, to make myself another version using the same pattern. My aunt made me View B, with sleeves from A. Unfortunately, I didn’t do bridal pictures, so I don’t really have any full shots of the dress my aunt made. And I’m old and got married at the turn of the century, so no digital files. But here is a picture of a picture to give you an idea. But not really, because here it looks flat and plain. In real life, it was simple and understated. And I loved it.
I love the boat neck and the princess seams, the full skirt and the fitted bodice. It would probably be weird and creepy for me to wear it now. So I decided to make a summery, less formal, more-accepted-to-wear-13-years-after-the-wedding version of my wedding dress. I brought the hemline up quite a bit, and I didn’t bother with the petticoat. The sleeves are from View A, but I cut the scythe down so there was no gathering or puffing. I expanded the skirt piece at the waist to be almost equal to the width of the hem of the skirt. So basically, it looked like a wide-angled rhombus prior to sewing. Before attaching to the bodice, the skirt waist was gathered to give it more fullness. I also added a thick waistband where the bodice meets the skirt. It’s hard to see in the pictures, but it gives the dress more of a fitted look, and also is just cute. Which is most important.
The pattern calls for facings, linings, and underlinings. I skipped the linings, and just used facings and underlinings. I knew I’d be wearing a slip with the dress either way, and I didn’t want to add any extra bulk that might come with a lining. Plus, I’m lazy. The underlinings, however, were a must. The fabric (Amy Butler Soul Blossom voile), though beautiful, is fairly thin. Underlinings add both structure and coverage. The main difference between a lining and an underlining? Linings are usually free hanging, sewn separately and then added to a garment just before finishing. Underlinings are attached directly to the unsewn pieces (there are various methods to attach, I went with the easiest: serging the underlinings to the pieces). After attaching the underlining to the piece, things are sewn together as if the combined underlining/main fabric was one. Make sense?
There have been some awesome and fun dresses shared already in this series. Lots of tutorials and even patterns. Go check out the others on MellySews!