I went into JoAnn’s for ONE THING, I swear. It wasn’t my fault that they had this awesome Alexander Henry “land of autumn” print on clearance for $3 A YARD, so I did the only sensible thing, which was buy the bolt end. There was a bit more than 4 yards, which is the bare minimum I need for a full-skirted dress. And I always need another full-skirted dress.
I wanted to see how quickly I could put a dress together, since autumn is almost over and I am running out of opportunities to wear this sort of thing. I tried something I’ve wanted to do for a while, which is drafting my own shirtwaist dress. (Or is it shirtdress? I always use the terms interchangeably but maybe they aren’t. Anyway, this is a dress which buttons all the way down, eliminating the need for a side zip.) I started with a 1970s blouse pattern I’ve used before. I de-biggened the collar so it wouldn’t be so Seventies, lopped several inches off the bottom, and tapered in the side seams (not enough as it turns out – it really could use some darts at the waist). Then I sliced up the remaining yardage into three equal pieces, turned back facings at the front, and gathered the whole mess to the bodice. I found some vintage gray buttons in my stash which are a PERFECT match for my new gray shoes.
I took every shortcut you can imagine, I even cheated and did a machine hem instead of blindhemming. Not my best work, but it definitely works as what Erin of Dress A Day calls a “stunt dress.” And it WAS quick – twelve hours after purchasing the fabric, I sewed on the last button. Here I am all decked out for church, with crinoline, vintage slip, and fabulous new shoes.
It’s a very fun dress and I can’t wait to wear it on Thanksgiving! Despite being faked together from a 1977 pattern I think it has kind of an early-Sixties vibe, what do you think?