Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sew La Di Da's 1950s Rose Dress

1950's Rose English Tea Dress
Talk about leaving things to the last minute... my friends birthday was on Friday night and in my infinite wisdom I decided, on the way home from work, on Thursday that I was going to make a new dress for the occasion. I don't really know what got in to me but when I got home that evening, I threw all caution to the wind and started chopping into my lovely spotty fabric. After all the pattern said that it was my exact size so why wouldn't it fit me brilliantly (certainly not something I would usually say)! Thankfully the end result was pretty true size and actually fit me pretty well. By the time I went to sleep I had everything sewn up and was ready for the zipper and hem. The next day I sewed the buttons on the bus on the way to the office and then rushed home at the end of the day to put in my zipper and hem before running out again for the party. I know I'm crazy but the end result was a lovely night in my brand new 1950's Rose English Tea dress from Sew La Di Da

Party dress in a hurry
The 1950's Rose is another one of my pattern finds from the Sewing for Pleasure show that I went to back in March.  Sew La Di Da had a stand at the show and had brought along a sample display of each of their vintage inspired dresses. The samples were mainly all in a plain calico type fabric which really let you appreciate the details of the patterns and let your imagination fill in the blanks for the fabric options. 

My new frock
Speaking of fabric... I chose this lovely cotton from a nearby stand at the show. I really wish I had taken a note of the name of the shop as I bought some of my most favorite purchases of the show from it (including the fabric for my Hummingbird Cambie). Anyway, I think the choice of cotton was a good one for the Rose as it holds all of the pleats nice and crisp. The cotton also gives the skirt a little body when you choose to wear it without a petticoat.

Petticoat with or without?
In terms of difficulty, I think that once you get your head round the construction of the first pleat then it is really straight forward from there. I quite enjoyed the method for creating the pleats. It involved a permanent line of stitching to hold the seam at the back of the pleat and a line of temporary stitches at the front of the pleat. This essentially created a series of tubes in the skirt which were closed at the top with two short rows of stitches. With everything held neatly in place it made pressing the pleats a piece of cake and also had the added advantage of reducing the bulk of fabric you are wrestling with until right at the end. This method of creating the pleats means that right before sewing the hem you get the satisfaction of removing all of the long temporary stitches to reveal your beautifully pleated full skirt. 
Full skirted fabulousness!
Also, I have a new respect for the folk out there who manage to capture good "twirly" photos. I tried a couple of times and this was the best I could get. Good fun trying though!

My attempt at the twirly photo
Finally, I just wanted to add how much I love the way the Sew La Di Da instruction have been written. You get a real feel for the character of the designer. I particularly liked the use of the word frock! 
So to sum it up, I love the, construction sequence, real style paper pattern, neckline, pleats, princess seams and all in one bodice/skirt pattern pieces. I don't really have anything that I dislike but it would be nice to see, some more pattern related information on the pattern envelope and perhaps some colour or slightly clearer photos in the instruction. That said, I really enjoyed making this dress and I look forward to trying more of the Sew La Di Da patterns.


 In other news, I must be on some kind of lucky streak as I have been fortunate enough to have my name drawn by Fiona of Diary of a Chainstitcher in her Capital Chic Patterns competition. So stay tuned for my interpretation of Sally's wonderful White Russian sweatshirt pattern

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