I’ve never really been drawn to gingham or checks but recently I find myself seeking out fabrics that are more geometrical than floral in flavour as I subtly shift my wardrobe style. I’ve seen a number of red checked dresses recently and knew I had to have one. What I didn’t know was how much I needed a pair of pantaloons to wear underneath. I remember getting to wear them once at Sovereign Hill as part of a school set up in the style of the 1800’s and knew that I loved them then. Why then had I not thought to make them again until now?
For the pantaloons I used the Emerson Pants by True Bias. I measured between a 14 at the waist and a 16 at the hips and after some advice from IG I cut a straight 16 and put the elastic in for the 14. I probably could have shortened the elastic a little more but am delighted to discover that without any modifications there is no report of camel toe. The linen came from Potter and Co and the anglaise trim was a gift from my god mother. Overall the pantaloons came together really well and whilst it’s unlikely I’ll wear them with any top that sits above my derrière, they will be great for tunics and dresses.
The dress was inspired by one I saw in England and I had originally cut out the Ellis dress by Merchant and Mills with linen purchased from Potter and Co. I had it in the back of my mind that there were rumours on the internet that the sleeves were a little on the tight arm lunch box lady size but I thought my arms to be not overly sized so I would be ok. I was wrong. So terribly wrong. I got stuck (this seems to be a familiar theme at the moment) with my arms half in, my head through the opening and the bodice stuck just above my bewbs. With a rotator cuff injury and being at home along it was a rough event getting out. I got rather cross and threw the bodice in the bin, found I had just enough fabric left over to cut the Hattie bodice and used a short cap sleeve and bias tape from the French Dart Dress by Maven Patterns and pieced it all together which worked out fine. Had I not been so cross, I would have compared the bodices to see if there was any difference in size (there was not) and taken the original sleeve off and added the cap sleeve to the Ellis bodice. I’ll do this next time when I make it in a black check. I finished off the neckline with some white linen bias tape that ties at the back making it user friendly to get on and off.
So I am really happy with the overall look. Bruce says I look like Raggedy Ann. When we went for a walk he said he hadn’t seen that many people stare at me before. I had many people come up to me and tell me I looked wonderful. Surely they couldn’t all be lying. Maybe a 40ish year old dressed up as a 4 year old is a good thing. One of my closest friends also confirmed the Raggedy Ann theme but in the best possible way.
That’s one of the best things about sewing. Getting to express yourself in ways you may not otherwise be able to. Curtsey.
Photo’s by Bruce. Location, Geelong Library. Fabric from Potter and Co. Pantaloons Emerson Pants by True Bias. Hattie Dress by Merchant and Mills. Cap sleeves from French Dart Dress by Maven Patterns. Mols shoes by Duck Feet