I finished my 2017 Vintage Pledge dress just in time, on the penultimate day of the year.
This was an interesting project, it took a long time to make despite not looking too complicated. This was mainly because I hacked the pattern and kept changing my mind about the style details.
The pattern was a gift from a family friend last Christmas. I posted a photo of the pattern cover on Instagram earlier this year as I had hoped sharing my intention to make this dress with the sewing community would spur me on to get it done. My major stumbling block was that I couldn’t make a decision about which fabric to use. I had an image in my head of a beautiful version in silk dupion, but as I had never attempted the pattern, that seemed a bit of a risky investment. Towards the end of the year I searched through my fabric stash and came upon this forgotten peach cotton lawn from Atelier Brunette.
On finishing the toile I realised the style of the pattern wasn’t really to my taste. The full gathered skirt swamped me and looked very old-fashioned.
I shared some images of the toile on my Instagram stories seeking advice from my fellow makers about whether to proceed with the pattern as was, or to hack. The majority chose hack, so hack I did.
I drafted a completely new skirt, kept the cool back detail, and modified the front bodice to give me a bit more coverage across the bust.
The instructions included with the pattern weren’t the best, and as I had made so many changes I basically had to disregard them and make up my own anyway.
The original pattern called for a button closure, but I extended the wrap and added ties, which I prefer.
I decided to finish the front edges of the dress with bias binding, rather than facings, and I am please with how this turned out. I admit I did intend to finish all the seams with bias tape too, but I got lazy and overlocked most of the seams instead. I love to finish a garment really carefully so it is as beautiful on the inside as the outside and to extend its life, but I was worried that this dress might not turn out wearable, so I found I was a bit reluctant to invest so much time into beautiful seam finishes.
Happily, I am really pleased with how this dress turned out and really surprised by how much I love this colour on me – I really need to experiment more with colour. It was out of my comfort zone, but I’m so glad I went for it, as I think it really suits me.