There seems to be a recurring theme in my acquisition of fabric. I either have more than enough – or – just barely enough. In the case of this vintage pink Linton wool, I had plenty for its original use.
Sometimes when I have lots of fabric left over, I just move on and don’t try to put the remaining yardage to any purpose. But then there are times when I think it would be a travesty not to use it. And so – this pink princess A-line dress was born.
I had purchased this vintage Vogue pattern last year.
I particularly liked the cut-in armholes, and the princess lines which also incorporate a small Dior dart. (I have traditionally thought a princess-line dress or coat generally gets it shaping simply from the seam lines, not from darts. Fairchild’s Dictionary gives this description: “ Fitted dress with flared skirt, frequently made like a coat-dress, styled without a waistline seam and cut in panels fitted from shoulders to hem.” Page 376. No mention of darts, so maybe it doesn’t matter!) I wasn’t so sure about that long center shaping dart in the front of the dress. However, I knew a muslin/toile would determine its fate as far as I was concerned. (I also like the jacket included in the pattern. It has lovely lines and I really need to make it sometime.)
As I suspected, I was able to eliminate the long center dart, which seemed to add more emphasis to the bust than I cared to have. When I make this pattern again, I think I will make a dead dart where the shaping dart is supposed to be, which should take in a little bit of excess bagginess. Or, if that doesn’t work, then I will take the front side seams in a little bit. I only noticed the bagginess after I had taken a few photos. Always tweaking – it never seems to end!
One of the pleasures of sewing with a plaid – in this case the plaid is strictly in the weave – is the preciseness with which dress parts can be joined. I underlined all with white silk organza, which gave this loose weave just the body it needed. Then to make sure I had everything lined up, I hand basted every seam before sewing by machine.
I eliminated the facings and used the couture method of lining to the edge, using back stitching to secure the lining to the underlining around the neck and armholes. Then I used a hand-sewn lapped application for the zipper.
I enjoyed making this dress, and I will use this pattern again – I am already envisioning a dress and jacket ensemble, featuring the jacket included with the dress. And I know just the fabric I will use. But I am getting ahead of myself – first here a few pictures of this dress and jacket duo.
And how much of the Linton fabric did I have remaining after making this dress? Well, enough to make a coat for an American Girl Doll which my oldest granddaughter is getting for Christmas. Doesn’t every doll need a Linton Tweeds coat?