Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Frocktober: Happy Homemade Pinafore Dress

Frocktober has begun with a number of decently warm - even hot - days. Suddenly we're putting away the boots and leggings and layers and reaching for a single summery frock!

I felt the call of the Japanese pattern books, and chose the Pinafore Dress, Pattern P from Happy Homemade Vol. 1 Treasured Collection. I made it up in a beautiful lightweight cotton from Alison Glass's Handcrafted collection, which is hand-printed in Indonesia using the traditional wax resist technique. (There are even wax remnants on the fabric to prove this, but they wash out really easily!)


  Neither Fiona nor I had made anything from this book before so I whipped up a quick muslin of the size according to my measurements. Lucky I did because it was vast and I went down two sizes!
Now, when we talk about 'whipping up a quick muslin out of an old bedsheet or something', we really do mean quick & rough much of the time. (Although it depends of course upon the requirements of the particular pattern.) So let me show you just how rough mine was.
Ew. But it did the job for such a simple style: confirmed that I liked the style, and that the size was way too large. (FYI for my 38"-ish bust I muslined a size 14 then went down to a 10, which makes the sizing very similar to the first Stylish Dress Book i.e. 'graded up for western sizing'... quite generously!) I did not make the dress as long as the pattern suggests (you are supposed to add length after tracing the pieces but I just went with the length as per the pattern sheet).

The only fitting adjustment I made was to the gathering at the front yoke. Here you see the gathering as marked, across about the centre third of the yoke. This does not, er, match the 'gathering' on my body!
 So I unpicked and redistributed the gathers right across the yoke, which sits much better.
 The final fit is not perfect on me, which may be to do with my sloping shoulders and the angle of the straps, or perhaps the front yoke should be a tad wider.
I forgot to add seam allowances to my pocket pieces so they're smaller than they should be, but still quite functional.
The back yoke is a better fit.
To be completely honest I'll probably just ignore the less-than-perfect fit and wear this a whole lot anyway. It's cool, it's light, it's easy to wash and iron and I think I'll be reaching for it a lot during a hot Adelaide summer! The fabric was delightful to work with and is a beautiful weight for a loose summer dress.

Happy Homemade is available here and we have Alison Glass Handcrafted prints here, here and here.

Frocktober discount applies to Japanese pattern book + fabric purchases in store or online. Enter code 'FROCKTOBER' at online checkout and receive 10% off, and we'll donate $2 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.

- Jane & Fiona xx


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