I drafted the perfect gardening dress today using Colette Pattern’s Sorbetto as my starting block. I deleted the centre front pleat and lengthened the top by about 14 inches, taking into account my hip measurements and adding width to the pattern accordingly. I also lowered the front neckline about an inch. I made a wearable muslin first using a brightly coloured floral fabric. I discovered the wearable muslin had a few mistakes. I had not removed enough of the pleat section so my darts did not reach the right position on my bust. Also, I added three pin tucks to the centre front neck line which did not look that great. The first dress will be kept for sleepwear in the summer months, because it is cute, but a little shabby and not something I would be confident to wear out in public.
For the second pattern draft I removed more from the front pleat, added half an inch to either side hips, shortened the length to sit above my knees and decided not sew the pin tucks. I sewed this draft up in the blue mock Liberty and it turned out so much nicer!
I think this dress has a 60’s feel to it, as I have seen many patterns for dresses in this shape with similar dart placements. I think a straight hemline and a higher neckline would be all that is needed to make a dress identical to this McCall’s 9029 pattern below:
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