So today I thought I’d share with you another one of my lockdown creations! If you haven’t seen my first dress which was inspired by the 1940’s do check it out here as I was so proud of it and the photos turned out beautifully! Today I’m taking about my blue cheetah print 1950’s style dress, all patterned and sewn by hand!
As I am living in the UK now we are still in the throes of Covid-19 and I have been furloughed without the ability to work since March. It’s been quite a period of struggle especially as time just kept ticking by but I found getting back into sewing really lifted my mood and gave my hands and mind something to focus on. However this time I did have a better kit with actual fabric scissors and chalk!
As I had a better kit this time I really wanted to try a slightly more intricate design. It took me so long to decide what I wanted to do with this fabric but then one day I was just looking at it and sketched out a design with a squared neck gathered at the arms with short floaty sleeves. I draft all my own patterns so it took a few sketches to figure out exactly how I could pull off this kind of neckline.
I purchased this fabric from AmoThreads and yet again I’m sorry but this exact fabric is no longer available! Just to recap if you didn’t read my last post AmoThreads sell deadstock and end of line fabrics to cut back on waste from the fashion industry. These fabrics would usually go to waste but are now being sold on to customers.
I am really pleased with how the sleeves turned out, the fabric is the perfect weight for them to somewhat hold their shape yet still remain floaty. I also debated making the hem straight across on the sleeve but I think it’s more whimsical and flattering on the arm having a slight rise.
I do wish I had an iron for this dress. Having a lightweight knit means the weight of the fabric isn’t pulling down on the hems and sleeves so they aren’t crisp and do bubble a little. I know this something that could be so easily remedied but unforntunately just isn’t possible for me right now.
For the skirt I went very full and I used the full width of the fabric twice to really get that volume in. I think it has a hem sweep of almost 3 meters, so perfect for twirling!
I really nailed my makeup when I shot these photos too! I recently got my hands on a super vibrant colourful eyeshadow palette that I will probably do a review of at some stage! Just thought I’d insert a couple of pictures and I’ll pop in a close up below. Without looking at my dress I wrongly assumed it was leopard print which is what I emulated on my eye but it’s actually cheetah print!
I love how the whole look turned out expecially with my newly refreshed dark blue locks!
I wish I had a slightly narrower black belt to wear with this dress! This chunky black number is one of two I own at the moment and woven brown was not really what I was after. I also only have two pairs of shoes (three if you count the pair that’s been in my work locker since March) – these boots and a pair of trainers. I promise I’m not usually so depraved in my wardrobe choices but moving to the other side of the world before a worldwide pandemic is not too kind on being able to aquire more things.
This one probably took less time than my last dress, mainly because it isn’t lined, just the front bodice is. I did decide to do a few more tricky things in the construction though. I did a lapped zip for the back which meant my visible stitches had to be strong and evenly spaced, this was also a very long zip to do by hand! I also lined the front bodice and used binding for the back neckline for a really clean finish.
I have to say I do rather enjoy hand sewing, it is time consuming no doubt, but I do really feel the value of what I’ve made. It’s really had me thinking and looking into more ethical products as well. There was a time when all clothing was hand stitched and although we have machinery now, it has devalued beyond that point and we don’t see the true worth of clothing.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this piece and look forward to wearing it for the rest of the warm weather – and for years to come! Would you ever consider hand stitching a garment or is it perhaps something you’ve already tried?