Wednesday, June 20, 2012

McCall's free pattern from Post Cereal; in W. African fabric

Here's the McCall's pounds-thinner pattern that my mom sent a while back.  I mentioned it in my last post, about vintage sewing patterns.  And I've made it up in some of the fabric I got in West Africa, probably Ghana or Burkina Faso.  It's supposed to look like strip-woven Kente (typical of Ghana); go to that page to see the real thing (strips woven on a narrow loom, then sewn together to form a delightful pattern).
The underside of the collar.

This is fairly cheap cotton, very thin & not at all drapy, and I was worrying about wearing it without a slip.  Then I remembered I had a pretty burgundy silk slip from Wintersilks, which almost matched the terracotta red in the cotton.  When I tried on the dress, almost done, yesterday, I had to take off 2.5" from the slip.  So I did that, and re-hemmed the slip.

Almost nothing left over!
I ended up using all that extra silk, though, because I barely had enough fabric to make the dress and there is nothing left over. I had to cut the length of the dress from selvage to selvage; there wasn't enough to cut it the normal way!  (Which meant I couldn't play with the length & proportions much--I just had the fabric width.)

I used the silk I cut off to hem the bottom & the sleeves.  There was so little fabric, I couldn't get the underside of the collar out of the kente print and had to use other West African wax print fabric.

Take it to the selvage!
I really made an effort to show the selvage of the fabric because we noticed that a lot in West Africa.  Rather than hemming, clothes are cut so the selvage is the hem.  However, this dress has quite a curved hem, so I ended up losing more than I wanted.

I will make this one again.  I love its cool look and big collar.  I will definitely add a bit in the middle so that the french darts are lower, and I'd probably make the overall length a bit longer, too.  Also, it needs a sway back adjustment (not much)...


BTW, it's got to be the best looking zipper I've ever installed!  I'll give a shout-out to Allison @ Bits of Thread in DC for her expert tutelage. 

8 comments:

  1. I really like the fabric used in this pattern, what a perfect pair and you've done so well pattern matching when there was so little fabric to spare. It looks a great summer dress and Will remind you of your travels...

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  2. Thanks! It was pretty easy to match because the fabric is smallish. It's up in the high 90s Fahrenheit here now (100F tomorrow!), so it's definitely summer dress weather.

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  3. I enjoyed seeing my patterns. Then you made a dress from one of them! How cool.

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    1. Very fun! Working on another right now...

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  4. This is so incredibly beautiful! You are such a talent, K!

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