When it was announced that Sam (@Frugalisama) and Ruan (@TheYorkshireSewGirl) had put together the #frugalfrocks challenge i initially thought I’ll keep it simple. Less stress. Hahaha…of course dear 🤥🤣
I began feverishly scouring the net via trusty Google, downloaded several different patterns from the Sinclair Valley Knit Skater Dress to the Untitled Thoughts Louise Wrap Dress and many others as well. Then I turned to my trusty printer which has never let me down. However, it has also been sat unused for some time. In fact since I last moved things around in my Lair of Craft, it hasn’t even been plugged in. It was when I was plugging it in, I realised the cable which runs from pc to printer was now too short, so I ordered a new longer cable. So far so good. Then the pc and printer confer and tell me I need more ink, lots of ink. So I trudge to the store and buy more.
I change the ink out and attempt to print. No black showing on paper. The colours come through fine but black is a no show. Outcome? Endless cleaning of headers and test prints later, patchy black at best, losing patience and seriously considering chucking the printer through the window. Time for a cuppa and a rethink. Whilst giving my formerly beloved printer the death stare and sipping tea between muttered words I shall not repeat here, I glanced toward my bookcase and spotted the pile of magazines that I was at one point buying every month. 💡😯
I have free patterns. Paper patterns! Quick gulp of tea and I throw myself bodily at the shelving containing my pattern hoard. I mean stash. Curated collection?…Let’s go with that. Whilst sorting and musing over many free patterns from various sewing magazines I come across more patterns my mom gave me nearly two decades ago. Now you may remember from my last blog that I’d finally used one of the patterns she gave me to create a faux wrap top. There were several more vintage patterns as well.
It is one of these I inevitably chose. The Style 2077. It is a wrap dress which has two different views/lengths to pick from. View 1 is a mid calf length with full panelled skirt. View 2, the one i chose to make has a pleated tulip skirt which ends just above the knee. The pattern states it is a size 8-18 which on the sizing chart on the pattern sleeve goes from a 31.5 – 40 inch bust and a 33.5 – 42 inch hip. I chose to use the size 18 in accordance with my current bust measurement.
Pattern sorted, onto the fabric! I spent hours trying to decide, whilst tripping (yes, literally) over a bag of scraps and remnants too small to put onto boards. Sat musing my choices, another light bulb moment. I do need to use the remnants up. No shelf space for them. How big are the pattern pieces?
If you haven’t already seen my stories on Instagram or my reveal post I did indeed end up using no less than 4 different fabric remnants to create my dress. Three of them, the dark green, purple and an earthy beige? They are very light weight and drapey. I believe those three are a polyester blend of some kind though not sure of the actual composition. The brighter green which i used for the back skirt i hadn’t planned on using but i ran out of fabric. Its slightly lighter in weight and if I’m honest i think it may actually be lining fabric but i really wanted to make this dress and the colours seem to work well together.
There have been a few alterations and general botching along the way. I ran out of big enough pieces for the facings so some are patchworked together from smaller pieces.
Alterations wise I’m not sure of the name, if it has one. I found whilst attaching the bodice to the skirt, that the waist sank toward my hips. It was level both front and back but not on the sides. A significant dip, i had to raise the sides nearly 2 inches! I still don’t think its completely straight. I judged it by eye whilst it was draped on Martha. Poor Martha. She’s been stabbed many times this month. With pins! Just pins. I also took in the darts by a few more cms than the pattern pieces stated as the dress looked shapeless without. The pattern suggests the waist is 32 inches and I’m 33 so I thought it would be bordering on tight once the darts were in but actually a little too roomy.
If I make this dress again, I think I would forget the armhole or skirt facings and possibly bind or just turn under the edges. I found the facings quite cumbersome on such a draped fabric and I’m sure they pull the fabric out of shape, not to mention the slip stitching which I think causes dimpling which is too obvious on a lightweight fabric. Also I’m not a fan of hand stitching so like to avoid as much as possible.
I used a couple of vintage buttons from a jar i think I bought from a charity shop several years ago for the button loops and the ties were made from a ribbon which I think was wrapped around a gift box i received. I know itd come in handy.
There was much cursing, unpicking, sewing, unpicking, swearing and general chaos but I completed it. I do believe it is the most frugal garment I have made to date and I enjoyed every minute! I’m now wondering what else I can create from the remaining scraps and what April will bring.
Happy sewing folks! Spring is sprung and she’s brought her sewjo!