Fully dressed

As you will have gathered I love this dress pattern (New Look 6020). I’ve made it and adapted it so many times, moving the zip from the side to the back, lining the bodice, adding pockets, a tie belt, and halter neck. I love wearing the dresses with one of my colourful 1950s style flouncy petticoats. I’ve made a plain black version for work, this being only the second dress where I purposely bought the fabric off the bolt (the other is the Union Jack dress which I made for Goodwood Revival). Every other dress has been made from a pre-loved duvet, curtain, tablecloth, sheet – or the fabric has been given to me. I can’t resist a bargain.

It is inevitably the fabric design that I am drawn to but also the unusual nature of some patterns.  It has resulted in some striking dresses – the bold blue Dr Who and vibrant Incredibles and Sonic being notable examples. I really enjoyed wearing the London Underground dress (made as a two piece)  in the shop of the London Transport Museum – travelling on the underground that day too. I loved wearing the vintage Christmas dress (green, top row) last December. The beautiful spring flower dress (second row, third from left) made from my mother’s old curtains – and always feel like Maria in the Sound of Music when I do so (you’ll remember the scene – she makes the ‘play clothes’ for the Von Trapp children from her bedroom curtains). There is likely to be at least one more as I have a Buzz Lightyear duvet just waiting to be refashioned.

All the dresses

I have no space left in my wardrobe now, so I’m trying to curb my dress making obsession for now. But I do have some plush black, brilliant red, and vibrant pink fabrics in my stash. I know that I could find a new pattern, and maybe I will. And I certainly can’t promise not to buy a duvet if the design is right!

And for the novice sewers amongst you – this pattern really IS easy. And with any pattern, when you get used to how it works and if you can fit the pattern to your own shape, you’re onto a winner. And actually, a tip is to make it for the first time out of an old sheet – not to wear out necessarily but to get to grips with exactly how the pattern makes up, before you make one from the right fabric. It will increase your confidence and that is a huge bonus, as well as creating a unique outfit for the person that you are.

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