Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vintage lawn + cling wrap bodice block + hacked up Vogue pattern = new dress

Something I'd been wanting to try ever since I heard of it is the cling wrap (saran wrap) block. Apparently Glad Press N Seal is great for this however we don't have that here in Aus (it is on my list for next time I'm in the US though, yep, I really do have one of those lists).

So basically, you wrap yourself in cling wrap, cut it off you and viola! a bodice block just for you. Let me tell you that without the Press N Seal, it sounds much easier than it is. I tried to do it myself but in the end had to wait for tigerboy to come home. That little incident just provided him with more proof of my eccentricity. "You want me to wrap you in this stuff and then cut it off? Honey, is this really necessary?" Yes, it is.

As I wasn't sure how this would turn out I used some fabric that I wasn't very keen on, this is from the stash I got from Mum. Now that it's made up I actually like it and as this dress is as light as air it gets worn a lot. I think it's lawn, it's very light weight.

There's a step-by-step of making the bodice block here (it's not by me). I found that adding to the side seams didn't work the way I wanted it - I just ended up with too much fabric at the sides - so I ended up giving my bodice block an FBA to get it how I wanted it. If I remember correctly, in that tutorial, she advised not to make both sides the same and to basically trust that the differences are your shape. Of course I didn't - who's ever heard of one breast further from the centre than the other? Obviously a marking error. Well, turns out that I do actually have that - how can I possibly not have noticed until now? I can only put it down to wearing clothes that are not as form fitting as this one. In fact, I've probably overfitted this dress - ah well, it's not tight and fits me like a glove (just wouldn't want to put on much weight).

When Mum came to stay with us after Christmas, I wore this dress to pick her up. Her first words to me were "It was worth the 35 year wait to see that fabric made up."

For the skirt I used  the straight skirt of Vogue 8555 (which I made last year) and closed the darts to make it an A-line. I used a hot pink bias binding for the armscyes and neckline (more from Mum's stash).

I decided to try a side zipper for this dress (I've only ever done centre back zippers). Unfortunately, the one I literally spent 60 sec on throwing in while I was making sure that the fit was ok was perfect, no so when I took it out and tried to put the final zipper in the 'proper' way. In the end I just thought I'd live with it - the chances that anyone is inspecting under my arm is small, I'd say. Again, the zipper was a vintage zipper from Mum's donation to my stash.

I have to say that although I do like not having to contort myself to open and close a zipper, I do miss being able to just step into a dress.

The only thing I'd change is add just a smidge of room at the front bottom of the armscyes, but just a smidge. All in all, this dress is a winner and I will be making more.


  1. Great fabric - looks like a garden in the night sky! Love the dress. Looks like it will be great to wear either dressed up or down.

    1. I never thought of it looking that way but you're right! I actually bought a pink cardigan to wear with it when the weather starts to get cooler - I'm determined to have a stab at Me Made March this year.

  2. What a beautiful dress, I'm in love with the fabric and it fits you perfectly!

    1. Thanks! I'd recommend the cling wrap method, it's a bit fiddly (and you really need two people) but you can achieve a good fit fairly quickly.