**The posts on this pattern testing were written months ago, and I’ve been waiting for the pattern release ever since. It’s finally out, so here goes!
I was faffing about on Facebook a while back [as usual] when I spotted a request for pattern testers from Sense and Sensibility. This is a historical pattern site, and I used one of their patterns to make an Edwardian style jacket for Dawn to wear as the Other-Mother of The Bride, for my youngest’s wedding, 5 years ago.
I liked the pattern, and have fancied being a pattern tester for awhile, so volunteered my services. Conveniently, she wanted testers for the largest and smallest sizes on offer, to check grading, and my measurements were close enough to the largest. Oh the shame!
Then I sat back and waited. And waited. There were all sorts of technical difficulties, so we got lots of apologetic emails until the pattern files arrived. All’s well that ends well!I whizzed them off to the printers [larger than A0, and not tiled] and got cutting.
The dresses are both from one pattern, which is for a ‘1950s wardrobe’. I don’t normally do vintage, or 1950s, so this is all new to me!
The bodice has 2 collar variations, and a choice of straight or full skirt. There is a detachable peplum, to make the straight dress look like a suit, and options to make the bodice into a blouse, and the skirt into..er..a skirt lol. There’s also instructions for making a net petticoat too, so it’s really good value!
I don’t have a waist, as you know, and 50s styles really do look better for one, so I had already knocked out a little black underbust corset, just to give me some definition. I wouldn’t call it a waspie, but it does make for a defined shape. AT first, it came out a bit too big, and laced completely closed, while still having room to move. I couldn’t be bothered to do the job properly, and take out the boning to make it smaller, so I just pleated out a 1/2″ fold on two side panels, and top stitched it down, so it looks like another boning channel. I got away with this because it’s just a single layer of coutil. Voila, 2″ smaller! I added a little padding to the hips, because it’s me folks, I have no shape! It needs a tad more I think.
I already had a length of cobalt blue figured fabric, sold to me as African cotton…it turned out to be poly when I did a burn test. Naughty market man! It was cheap though, so not to worry. I thought it would look good for the full skirted, short sleeved version of the dress. It STINKS when it’s ironed, but looks and feels like taffeta, more or less OK. Certainly good enough for a trial run! I also went mad at the market, and got rather too much dress net in three shades of blue. Why not?
I really didn’t want to spend much on the fabrics, in case this is a failure, and a pal at work conveniently offered me some fabric which she acquired while clearing a friend’s house. It is a mid weight fabric, also poly, but looks very much like a nice wool suiting. Good enough for the ‘mock suit’ dress, with 3/4 sleeves, and detachable peplum. I refuse to call it a ‘wiggle’ dress, that really pisses me off!
For the red, I found some nice black leather-look buttons with a vintage vibe at the market, and will be keeping an eye open for a little black belt buckle. eBay here I come. For the blue version, it was quite difficult to colour match, but I found some nice matt finish flowers, which look cute, and that’s that.
All cut out and ready to go.