Hey guys! Today I’m thrilled (really, I am) to be joining in with Vintage May! Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional and Kristin from Skirt as Top have hosted this for four years now, and each year I’ve loved following along. When Jess asked me to participate, I immediately said yes, and already knew exactly what I wanted to make. You know when you have an idea in your head but just need an excuse to take the time to make it?
The timing for Vintage May worked out perfectly for this dress, so I’m really grateful to be participating. My inspiration came directly from the new Cinderella movie. Ella and her mom wore the most gorgeous floral dresses, and I couldn’t stop thinking about them afterwards!
Aren’t they beautiful? The costuming in that movie was so magical, and I felt like I was studying it the entire movie. This article tells a bit about the making of Cinderella’s wedding and ball gowns, and you would not believe what went in to making them!
I wanted feminine, floral, lace, a fitted bodice, and a full skirt (and I really wanted that curly/frizzy hair that Ella’s mom had, but I knew I would just look like I didn’t do my hair and ditched that idea). While my inspiration came from the 1860s-ish (thank you Jenn for looking that up for me!), I wanted a dress that would be wearable in this century ;).
I was *this* close to buying the exact Liberty of London fabric that Ella’s dress is made from, but I could only find it from one seller, and the shipping would have taken too long from the UK to arrive in time. I still feel like I should probably order some and at least make Lola a matching dress… right?
Lucky for me, I found this beautiful blue floral from Jo-Ann, and it gave the dress just the look I hoped for.
I made a muslin out of the lining fabric, which was a blue quilting cotton from Jo-Ann that happened to match the floral fabric perfectly. I love making muslins out of lining, because if the fit works out well, you already have the lining made and can move on to the fun stuff!
I haven’t made a dress for myself with princess seams since this Anthro knock off dress I made a few (almost 5, yikes!) years ago, and I forgot how much I love them. They always provide such a nice and flattering fit.
When I was making my muslin, the front fit beautifully, but I ended up needing to take the back in about 2″ along most of the zipper (which wasn’t a huge surprise – I have a proportionately very small rib cage). I also needed to take in the back of each sleeve/armsyce a bit, as I had excess fabric there. I think I may make a muslin in one size smaller for my next Ladies Caroline, with a full-bust adjustment (the pattern has detailed instructions for a FBA) and perhaps I won’t need the previous adjustments.
The pattern was wonderful to work with, with lots of photos and clear instructions to guide you through each step. This really is as pattern that I can see myself making over and over again over the years. I don’t think it will ever go out of style!
I altered the neckline to square, and added lace to both the neckline and sleeves. And now I want to add lace to everything!
Because the skirt is quite full, I almost didn’t add the lining. But I couldn’t bring myself to leave it out, so I pleated the lining skirt rather than gathering it to help reduce bulk, which helped a lot. I also pressed the lining skirt really well to help reduce the “poof”.
I learned a new trick to installing an invisible zipper while making this dress. I love my Janome machine, but I’ve never loved my Janome zipper foot for installing invisible zippers. I’ve even tried an invisible zipper foot, but didn’t love that either. Well, this time I decided to try my walking foot, and it worked fantastically! I was able to get super close to the zipper teeth, but the foot kept everything in place so I didn’t stitch onto the teeth. I’ll be using it every time from now on when sewing an invisible zipper. Isn’t it so exciting when you learn a new trick?
I really enjoyed sewing this dress, and enjoy wearing it even more! My posting buddy today is Carolyn from Fake it Till You Make It, so be sure to head over there and check out the vintage goodness that she is sharing today as well!