Brookie Get Your Gun!

Posted Sunday, 19 April, 2020

Hello crafty people!

I hope that you’re all keeping well and are adjusting to the pace of things now, whatever that looks like for you.

For our part, we haven’t really been able to slow down. My studies haven’t ceased and, blessedly, life goes on amidst, and in spite of, the weight of this pandemic. It almost seems as though continuing to live our lives (with due regard for social distancing measures) has become an act of resistance. I keep pressing forward, with hope for tomorrow, endeavouring to show love to those around me because I want to be prepared for the better days ahead. And even so, my plans for soirees and outings (remember those?) naturally gravitate toward the sartorial.

Speaking of the future, for this look I have taken my cues from the past, particularly the fashions of the Wild West, as interpreted by 1950’s Hollywood in "glorious technicolour". My muses were Doris Day as Calamity Jane and Betty Hutton as Annie Oakley and the pattern which I've used is the Ivory Dress from this month's issue of Fibre Mood magazine. 

As I’ve always been fond of any stories featuring singing, dancing, costumes and cowgirls, I was thrilled when I saw the Ivory Dress pattern by Fibre Mood. I picked up on the retro-western inspired details straight away and knew that this was the project for me! The style lines are so beautiful and can easily be incorporated in a more sedate, minimalist wardrobe, or exhibited in a bold manner. Also, shirtdresses are so classic and excellent for transitory weather. I feel as though they’re very versatile and lend themselves to all sorts of occasions, even just for traipsing to the kitchen for a cup of tea. Why not make it an event? I certainly do!

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I’m so proud of this make! But now that I’ve waxed lyrical, I’m sure that you’d like some details.

Sewing Notes:

  • I’ve made this dress up in a star printed poly-crepe de chine from The Fabric Store.
  • I created my own satin piping as I wasn’t happy with any of the ready-made options. I feel as though when matching whites, creams and ivories, the wrong shade can throw the whole thing off. Making piping is actually very easy to do and something that I remember being taught in the space of 5 minutes by my Home Economics teacher in high school. I’ll teach you now! Basically, you just get some cord of the desired thickness of your finished piping and encase it in bias binding by sewing a straight stitch, using a zipper (or piping foot) and keeping as close as possible to the cord. N.B. Using a length of bias binding as opposed to regular provides some stretch, making the finished piping more malleable. 
  • Due to the lightweight-drapey nature of my fabric, my sewing machine did not feel like sewing buttonholes. This is the first time that this has happened, and of course it happened on a project that I really cared about and wanted to share with people ASAP! I think that my machine needs a service. In the meantime, to rectify the problem, I lengthened the automatic stitch length, reduced the tension a smidgen, called my friend Kate (@timetosew) who lives in the Netherlands and had a mini-meltdown, then went to sleep. The next morning, it worked. 
  • (P.S. when sewing buttons, particularly on thin or delicate fabrics, I always place some tissue paper between the fabric and the feed dogs. This helps to prevent my fabric from being gobbled up by the machine. I also enforce my buttons or button plackets with fusible interfacing).
  • I also hemmed this dress, let her hang overnight and was shocked by how uneven the hem was afterwards. I should have taken a photo because it was a very clear illustration for why you simply must let your hem settle, darlings!
  • The pattern indicates for the use of snaps, but I adore using vintage buttons and thought that these blue shell buttons would be perfect for my starry-night dress theme.

All in all, I love the dreamy romantic style of the Ivory dress, with her nods to the past, direct Calamity Jane influences and elegant cuffs. I think that for my taste, it’s the perfect interpretation of a wearable, whimsical piece.

Brooke x

*As I’m a Fibrmood affiliate, if you would like to purchase the pattern or magazine to make your very own Ivory, by clicking through the linked image, or elsewhere on my blog, I’ll earn a small commission. Just a friendly disclaimer, as I like to be clear about these things. 

This pattern was provided for my honest review.