|The completed dress|
Having made up the bodice, the next step was to sew the skirt pieces together on one side, and sew bodice and skirt together. My pattern drafting must have gone a little awry, because the skirt was slightly wider than the bodice, but widening the side seams fixed this.
The 'belt' was made from a length of waistband petersham, covered with a strip of fabric. I machine sewed the two together on the wrong side, then wrapped the fabric round the petersham and slip-stitched it into place. Then this was attached to the top of the skirt with two rows of hand sewing from the inside of the skirt. The belt is a single strip, with the ends folded into the zip opening (just visible on the left of the picture).
|The belt attached to the dress|
The 'bow' consists of a vintage buckle and a bow-shape made from fabric and lining. This was then attached to the belt.
|Bow front and back|
I had to baste the zip in place to fit the dress, and when I tried it on I found that it was too big over the hips. This is when you discover the disadvantage of a side opening - the zip had to come out and then be put back again. Once I was happy with the fit I hand-picked the zip; I've decided that for me this is just less hassle than machine sewing.
Finally I put in the skirt lining, and slip-stitched the bottom edge of the bodice lining over the top. Hemmed the skirt, added a hook and eye at the top of the zip, and all done.
There is a slight gape at the left armscye; I must have stretched it slightly when I was sewing it. I'll try running a gathering thread round it on the inside, and see if I can press it back into shape.
|Showing the gape|
Other than that, I'm happy. The end result has turned out pretty much as I envisaged it. My only concern now is that I don't have a period blouse to go with it - this modern M&S one is OK, but not quite right. I quite fancy something like this, with a bow.
|1959 McCall's pattern|
What I do have is some dotted swiss with pale blue spots, which I haven't used yet because I couldn't decide how to work around its sheer-ness. Obviously under a pinafore this wouldn't be an issue. Hmm . . .