With Spring almost here, my wardrobe needs a stylish floral dress for Easter weekend with a little vintage twist. Vogue Pattern 8875 jumped out to me for the gorgeous hour glass 50’s silhouette and the cap sleeve design.

The sleeve is shaped through inserting panels and darts instead of a conventional sleeve piece. I had never stitched a dress using bodice pieces to create a fitted garment without the need for separates sleeves so for a change I choose this style. If you don’t like fitting sleeves this is the dress for you!

I choose this Fabric for it’s beautiful large printed floral design. I had seen similar prints on the high street and online, it had a Boden/Joules feel to it and just loved it! The fabric’s slight brush and feminine drapability made it perfect for my make. The brush would be warmer for an early April Easter but the floral design gives a little nod to warmer days.

  

I used 3 metres of fabric and it took me three evenings to create. I stitched in a ball point size 80 needle to avoid thread pulls. I think for this style of dress with time for fitting and matching the bodice and skirt darts, this was a relative quick make and very satisfying to sew. If I was to buy a dress of this style and fabric quality, I would be spending double easily.

I loved the pattern cut, the bodice and skirt were two separate pieces. I could try/fit these to my shape as I went. The bodice had six pieces and the skirt just three. I love the way 1950’s dresses have a long 16” Zipper (just like my Gran’s retro makes) and pleats around the waist to create a tulip skirt. I always think that adding a full zipper through a separate bodice and skirt and matching the darts can be a little challenge. But the sewing satisfaction when it all fits together is worth the time tacking and easing everything in place. These little details are so important to recreate a vintage pattern.

I choose the size 12 pattern to create my dress based on my measurements. After fitting the bodice, I took the side panels in 3cm either side but nothing on the skirt. I took 20 cm off the bottom of the pattern to create a one the knee skirt. The one comment on the pattern is that it’s a shame there isn’t models on the pattern front image so you can see how it fits. The illustration is lovely but I hope my review will help you sew yours.

Looking back on my dress, the design had two details that I had not created before and I now love. The first were enforced darts, this is where you add a square of fabric to the fabric and sew two thicknesses to create a stronger dart seam. Then you cut you fabric higher up than the paper pattern and open out the dart. Here is the detail on the pattern. Although this detail looks a little scary, once you match your notches and tack well, I was really surprised how easily it all fell into place. After doing four of these, two on the front and two on the back, I clipped and pressed and suddenly my bodice was a 3D form.

I also loved the vintage inner belt, I also had never made one of these before, using a grosgrain ribbon and a hook and eye I attached the inner belt to pull in the hour glass shape and it worked!

You can make a self colour fabric belt for your dress, but I decided on a using a black belt I had in my wardrobe due to the pattern of my dress. If it was a plan fabric, I would have 100% made the belt. Now I have the belt pattern, I’m tempted to make one in a harder wearing fabric for another dress. The brush nature of my fabric would have gone bobby quiet quickly if I have used it for a belt.

In summary this is the perfect Spring/Easter dress, it’s so comfy to wear and practical with a dash of vintage 50’s style. I will make this for the Summer in a lighter weight fabric. Just which one from all Minerva Craft’s amazing range will I choose!

Samantha writes a creative craft blog www.crafternoonteas.com and hosts Crafternoon Tea Parties and Events www.crafternoonteahostess.co.uk in the Midlands and beyond!