Sunday, 6 November 2016

70s Style Dress


My love of the 70s is well documented, and I had been wanting to make a dress inspired by some lovely Biba dresses that I spotted on Pinterest.  I would wear the life out of all three of these dresses.

 



I loved the shape of the neckline on all three, and also the button front on the first two.  I also loved the sleeves on the middle dress, and even made a toile of one.  But it wasn't really wide enough above the cuff, and making it wider would have made it impracticable; also, if I'm wearing long sleeves, I tend to end up pushing or rolling them up anyway. 

So, I drafted a bodice from my block and made a toile with a princess seam on one side, and the pleats from the By Hand London Anna dress on the other.  The pleats won, and I love how the neckline turned out.

 


 

The sleeves are widened at the cuff, and gathered at the sleeve head.  I used them before on this dress and this blouse.  The skirt is a self-drafted A-line skirt.

Let's talk about the fabric.  It's some viscose that I bought in the Christmas sales last year from Fabric Godmother.  It's called "Medallione Viscose - Emerald and Royal", is 100% viscose and gorgeous.  But, sweet child of mine, did this stuff shift!!  I stablised it with spray starch, but it seems like when I blinked, it had thrown itself across the room!

So everything ended up getting cut out on a single layer, on the carpet.  This made it easier to get a straight grain, but you can see in the photo above that it shifted a bit on the bodice front right - it's a bit off grain at the bottom of the buttonholes.  Naturally, the other side is perfect underneath!


I love the fabric covered buttons; I hadn't made these before, and they weren't as difficult as I expected.  There is an invisible zip the side seam, and I stablised the edges with some interfacing.  The hem was a bit of a nightmare, and it ended up as a "that'll do rightly".  But it doesn't look to bad.


I feared that this might have turned out to be a wadder, but I really like it!  I have two more lengths of viscose in my stash though, so if anybody has any top tips on working with it, please share!!

Lynne

19 comments:

  1. I love this style - I spent ages on ebay yesterday looking at vintage patterns with this exact shape! I have absolutely no useful tips for shifty viscose sadly...

    Louise

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    1. Thank you! What's not to love about 70s style!

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  2. It seems like there are lots of different weights of viscose and some are shiftier than others! I love the shape of this dress - I've been looking at making something similar with a waist band and v-neck with just buttons sewn on as decoration (the cotton and chalk rosie dress).

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    1. Thank you! I'm hoping that this fabric was just a particularly shifty viscose, and that my other viscoses won't be so bad! Just googled the Rosie dress, and I have that pattern (it's lovely)! Good luck with yours.

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  3. Oh Lynne, this is lovely and really suits you. It's a long time since I worked with Viscose...about 20 years! That probably says it all really...Sorry that I have no tips for you. x

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    1. Thank you! The other vicoses that I have are so lovely that I'm just going to suck it up and use them!

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  4. This dress is gorgeous and looks wonderful on you! You have such amazing skills to see something you want to make and be able to make it. Such an inspiration!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! I feel like I'm winging it most of the time, but it's controlled winging if that makes sense!

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  5. I deal with viscose by not ever, ever, ever buying geometric patterns, no matter how pretty, and just rolling with the slight grain shifting... so no help here. Your dress looks wonderful! You did a great job with the difficult fabric!

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    1. Thank you! That is a top viscose tip!! My other viscoses have flowers on them and the pattern isn't so regular, so hopefully that will help to disguise any shifting.

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  6. Lovely, it really suits you and the buttons are great success. No real suggestions for viscose. I cut singly on the underside of a plastic tablecloth, using lots of silk pins.

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    1. Thank you! I didn't use silk pin - just ordinary glass head pins, so made silk pins would help. Thanks for the tip!

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  7. So pretty, I love the bodice shape :)

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    1. Thank you! I love how the bodice turned out.

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  8. Wow! So impressed at how you translated your inspiration to real life. The fit looks great and it really suits you :) x

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    1. Thank you! It turned out exactly like it looked in my head, which is always pleasing!

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  9. Super dress, I love the neckline and the shape of the dress, the black Biba dress is gorgeous and I can see how it inspired you. I spray on lots of Dylon starch and iron so it goes stiff.

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    1. Thank you! Isn't that black dress gorgeous?! I think it was Dylon starch that I used, maybe I didn't use enough.

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  10. Gorgeous, you've really captured the feel of Biba dresses. I'm so impressed you drafted it all. Along with sewing a coat, my lifelong sewing dream is to draft a Biba style dress. The scooped necklines, covered buttons and big sleeves make me swoon every time.

    Although I've never tried it, I've heard a good way to cut slippy fabrics like viscose is to lay it on top of a layer of calico or an old duvet, pin them together, but only cut through the top (viscose) layer.

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Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.