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.