I bought this fabric a couple of years ago to make a dress for my sister’s wedding, but couldn’t decide what to make with it so it sat in my stash until I found a dress that I thought would be perfect for it. It is a fairly heavy weight printed cotton with a slight stretch.
When I finished my ‘Playclothes Captain‘ dress I thought that I had finally found the perfect dress after a two year wait. I love that dress so very much, especially as it feels so weighty and wanted something in a more summery fabric, which this is, but it retains the weight due to the fabric.
The bodice is based on the bodice from Butterick 5603, with the scooped out neckline from the previous dress, and the skirt from Butterick 5813. I did add an inch to the length of the bodice, just for comfort. In addition, when I attached the skirt I wanted one from each set of pleats to line up with the bodice darts, so I moved them outwards slightly. I felt that this made the flat section at the front too wide, so redid this, having the outer pleat in line with the dart and felt that this looked much better.
I wanted this dress to have some schwoosh factor, and had finally managed to source some horsehair braid. I have been desperately trying to find some since I read about it on Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing a couple of months ago. This is a tape, originally made from horsehair but now generally synthetic. It comes in different widths and weights, stiffer ones can be used to make hats and fascinators. It can add weight and stiffness to a hem and I wanted to try it rather than having a full underskirt which feels a little dressy for everyday wear to me.
The secret to finding it in the UK is knowing its other name, crinoline tape, or crin tape. I got mine from Sew Curvy. They only do the one weight/width, and I would say it is on the firm side, but it suited this dress perfectly. This is my first attempt with crinoline tape, but I am really pleased with the result. .