After the monstrosity that is the aqua/orange gown (which still needs sleeves) and due to a shortened amount of free time this month with the new baby sis on her way, I wanted something simple and easy for June’s project that I could preferably wear everyday.

A couple of months ago, Joe and I went around to a few different thrift stores and I found a number of 70’s-tastic sewing patterns for $1 each.

I decided to go with the last one for this month. I’m possibly saving the top one to go with some other fabric and I need a really good scarf before I make the third.

I dug around in my stash and came upon this fabric:

I bought this in the remnants section at Britex and, because it’s Britex, paid too much money for it. Or at least, I don’t really consider 2 3/8 yds of 44″ wide cotton to be worth $15.50. But, there it is, sitting in my stash regardless.

Opening the pattern:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many ways to place pattern pieces…

All of the instructions fit on a single page with nice, large pictures.

Thick lines and simple pieces. Not including the sleeves, which I’m planning on leaving off, and the armhole lining, which I’m possibly going to change, the entire dress consists of 4 pattern pieces – a single piece for the front and then two pieces each for the side front, side back, and back with a zipper down the center back.

Step 1 – Cut the pattern pieces, pin all pieces to fabric to make sure it fits. Cut.

The pattern is a size 14.5, which means that its measurements are meant to be 37″ bust, 31″ waist, and 39″ hips. Being a 34″ bust, 30″ waist, and 41″ hips this presented a bit of a problem. Obviously the waist and bust could be taken in during the fitting, but the hips were not going to fit. So, I found the waist marker on the pieces, measured how far down my hips were from my waist, and curved the pattern out an extra inch on 3 of the pieces to give me an extra 6″ to work with.

Piece A (center front) upside down. I can already see that this dress won’t be easy on the eyes…

Piece B (side fronts).

Piece D (side back). Why Piece B is supposed to connect to Piece D and Piece C is supposed to be the center back, I have no idea.

If I didn’t already love this dress, I would have now. Great shape and the fabric is just too fun.

Step 2 – Pin pattern pieces together and pop on the dress form to check for fit.

Clearly this is going to take a little fitting to get right…

Step 3 – Pin!!

I took in the side seams to 2″ and all of the other seams (minus the center back) to 1″. These two pieces give you a vague idea that yes, there is, in fact, a curve under there. I think the side back and side seams give you the best idea of how much fitting there was, but it was still hard to tell if the dress needed to be pinned any more, so I turned it inside out and pinned the center back seam to 1/2″.

The back looks pretty fabulous so far. I think after I have real seams instead of pins, it’ll straighten out a bit more. The front still needs some work. I may need to repin the area around the bust and waist because it seems to be pulling and creating some wonky wrinkles. Next time, I’ll start pinning at the waist (instead of from the top of the seam), and go in both directions from there. Stupid bias. The skirt is also just a little too full around the legs (it’s folding in on itself), which I think is part of the pattern, but I may make it straighter and just put it in a kick pleat or something in the back.

Rather than making bias tape that will just look strange, I’m just going to buy some plain white double fold later this week and use it to line both the neckline and armholes and maybe the hem as well.

So far so good!

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