I've been rewatching Mad Men for the past few weeks, so for my Little Red Dress project make, I wanted to go all out vintage. I always describe my style as 'evolving but still a bit confused' although there's been a strong vein of vintage running through it for a few years, so a good old 50s style dress is a safe bet – especially for the festive season!
I didn't immediately think of this fabric when deciding what to pick for my Little Red Dress, but one with pink accents was definitely a must since I've been having a bit (understatement) of a red-with-pink moment for the past few months! When I was looking through the Sew Me Sunshine website and I saw it though, I knew instantly that it was perfect. The whole Beauty Shop collection from Cotton and Steel is truly perfect, with both of its creators bringing strong vintage vibes to the table which, paired with immaculate design, makes a wonderfully graphic retro collection. The Shower Cap print (the one that I used) is particularly snazzy, and is really lovely to work with as it's 100% cotton with a really luxurious weight.
Originally, the plan was to do a Sew Over It hack, with the bodice of the Vintage Shirt Dress and the full circle skirt of Betty. When I was laying out the pattern pieces though, they were just not going to fit no matter how hard I tried, however good I might be at pattern Tetris! I ordered another two metres from the shop (which, might I add, arrived the next day) but it still wouldn't fit! 4.5 metres and it still wasn't happening. I really wanted a dress with a notched collar and full skirt, and tried loads of different pattern combinations with no avail; in the end, I just used both the bodice and the skirt of the Vintage Shirt Dress, lengthening the back skirt by 10cm and the front skirt by 5cm so that I could have it a little bit different to my other versions. There ended up being around a metre and a half of fabric left afterwards, which I'll definitely be using soon next year!
I shortened the sleeves to just above elbow length – I have, it seems, quite weirdly proportioned arms and without alterations, sleeves hat fit my upper arms always end up too loose on my forearms. I'm really pleased with the sleeve length that I ended up with, which I think adds even more of a vintage feel to the dress; I'm not really sure why I think that, but I love them nonetheless.
I made use of the adorable selvedge of the fabric – Cotton and Steel fabrics always have a lovely selvedge, don't you think? I've used it along the skirt front facings, so I can flash the 'You Look Nice Today' whenever I'm able to bring the dress up in conversation!
Even though I'll always associate the dress with Christmas, it's definitely one that I can (and will) wear all year round. I hope you like it!