Way, way back in the 90's, I was fortunate enough to go to the Liberty store in London. A dream come true...really. I brought home two beautiful (yet small) pieces of coveted Liberty cotton. Out of one, I made a long dirndl skirt with pleats that I wore and wore. When I stopped wearing it, I never had the heart to give it away so I put it in my fabric stash in the hopes of giving it new life someday.
My daughter was in my sewing room recently and saw it and said "I want this." She liked the fabric, the length and everything about it but I decided it needed a quick makeover to make it hers.
I used McCall's pattern 5591 (now out of print) as a base for the new skirt. I made view A with no border or pockets because I didn't have very much fabric to work with and made the pleats smaller because the skirt would've been too full on her small frame.
It makes me happy when she wears it not only because it looks cute on her but also because it has a new life with a lively girl!
Once again I'm so happy to be a contributor on the FabricMart blog. Here's my project for April:
When I was little, I loved when my mom took me to the fabric store in the pink building (by the way, my kids have never "loved" going to the fabric store). I would go up and down the aisles with my hands outstretched so I could feel the fabrics. My love for fabrics started when I was very young and I admit, I can get nostalgic about fabrics.
My mom was a sewer and I remember many of the things she made, but one blouse in particular really impressed me. She took a design class at a local college when I was 7 or 8 years old and made a two color tunic with an ogee print at the neckline and on the cuffs. I thought she looked beautiful in it! When I saw this cotton print on the Fabricmart website, it took me back to that blouse and I knew I had to have this fabric.
Border prints can be scary for sewers because we never know what to make with them aside from the typical dirndl skirt with the border at the hem. When I saw this black and magenta ogee print with hot pink floral border I knew I wouldn't use it as a border on a skirt, but I would put it on the neckline....just like my mom did.
I used new McCall’s pattern 7119, view C, a maxi wrap dress with short sleeves. I chose it in part because it has a neckband with a shape that would fit within the width of the border but also because a wrap dress is really comfortable.
It can be difficult to determine how much fabric is needed on a border print so a little extra is always a good idea. I ordered 4 yards and used all of the border print (down to 2”!) primarily because the waist ties are very long. However, I have plenty of black fabric left over to make another small project.
The dress went together quickly and the instructions were well written. I chopped the maxi length to a midi length because making the dress go all the way to the floor would've looked heavy. This pattern is a great choice for a beginning/intermediate sewist and certainly something I will make again.
This is my first dress of the season and I'm looking forward to making it again. Next time I'll make the sleeveless version because I know some hot weather is on the way.
Do you have any summer dress patterns on your cutting table? I'd love to know what you're making.
Diane - Gatorbunnysews
Hi! I'm Diane, a wife, mom, sewing teacher and pattern designer from sunny Southern California. I share my sewing adventures here on the Blue Dot Blog formerly Gatorbunnysews. For more info click here.