I made this dress to wear to a friend’s wedding last summer. The pattern is a Vogue reissue of a 1954 pattern (some other Sew Retro contributors have also made this). The fabric is a beautifully soft printed Japanese cotton lawn I bought online. I love the richness of the verdant green.
I made a size 8 without any major alterations. If I made it again, I would make the bodice narrower as there is a tiny bit of gape at the back. The pattern calls for facings, but if I made it again I would line the bodice fully to strengthen the structure, especially if using another lightweight fabric like this one.
I wanted buttons that would contrast with the sweetness of the floral print, so I bought modern glass buttons from John Lewis. The buttonholes were done by hand, as befits the delicate lawn and the style of the dress.
The underskirt was improvised with a beautiful piece of handmade cotton lace given to me by a friend, which itself must have come from a petticoat. I gathered it further with machine stitches and attached it to a piece of white muslin measuring approximately 11×35 inches, which I then finished with lingerie elastic. It works really well with this dress, and I look forward to wearing it with my other summer skirts and dresses too.