Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cowl Dress and Inspiration...

Anybody remember this fabric...
Well, I've finally done something with it! Recently I discovered this wonderful sewing patterns website, where the patterns are available in download form and everything is really, really cheap. I wouldn't buy patterns from anywhere else really- the service is quick and reliable, all of your downloads remain on a kind of "user" page, where you can print them again and again, and they have quite a wide variety of brands and styles. When I had one complaint about what I thought was an unfinished pattern, they were very quick to respond and point me in the right direction- I continued sewing the very next morning. Well, anyway, a while ago I downloaded this pattern;

McCalls 6161, here it is on sewingpatterns.com
and when I went fabric shopping I kept it in mind and bought the khaki fabric. I ended up buying about 3 meters of it, because I thought, as dress D (bottom right) is cut on the crosswise grain, that it would take up a lot more fabric. I was totally wrong, and I now have heaps of fabric left over. More on that later. The only struggles I had with this pattern were;
a) If you download, the pattern pieces come on two different PDF files, so you need to look for pattern 2 and print that as well, which I didn't realise, and then sent an almost rude email to the service people, (sorry!).
b) The cowl neck is actually separate, but I am going to sew mine on because as a separate piece I can see the neckline underneath it, which looks a bit tacky I think.
c) I used black thread in my machine when I should have used khaki so that it wouldn't have shown. Next time I will take the time to go out and find some matching thread.
d) Make sure you have tailors chalk for when you are cutting the pattern pieces out- because you need to lay down, cut one half, and then flip the pieces over and cut out the second half so it is one big piece. The tailors chalk will mean you can draw outlines to help you flip it over accurately.

Here's how it turned out...
I really love how it fits- although this picture isn't the best for showing it- it is nice and tight at the bottom which accentuates my curves, and then the top drapes loosely hiding my tummy. Because it is loose, it doesn't get hot under there- really it is perfect as an autumn dress. Looks great with tights and gumboots :)
While I am on a blog about the fantastic sewing patterns website, here is a wishlist in photo form...

This dress reminds me of the stunning green evening gown worn by Keira Knightley in the film Atonement, my favorite film and book. If you have a copy or can rent a DVD, do, and watch it a second time with the directors commentary on. It is very, very interesting- it made me want to marry the director! Here is her dress;

Just stunning. The movement of the fabric as she walks, to me, evokes fluttering trees and the way long grass sways in the wind like an ocean. When I was little, I had a picture book of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, and this dress reminds me so much of that book.

Just one last photo of the lovely sunny before I go...



  1. That frock from Atonement is one of the most gorgeous frocks I've seen. Thanks for the pattern shop link, too. I've just ordered some!

  2. I know I love the Atonement dress! Its such a lovely colour on Knightley as well. Enjoy your pattern buying! They have an Autumn Simplicity sale on now I think.

  3. Yes - the Simplicity patterns are amazingly cheap! We need photos of your infinity dress - it's gorgeous.