The inspiration for this dress came when I eyeballed the fabric on Dress Fabrics. Maeve has some gorgeous fabrics, her customer service is tip top, and I may have already bought some denim from her to make jeans. (I bought my fabric with my own hard-earned beans, and just think this is a great shop, and also I like to support local businesses.)
Anyway, back to the dress. As soon as I laid eyes on the fabric this dress jumped, fully formed, into my head - I love it when that happens! The tartan shouted pleated skirt, and I liked the idea of a By Hand London Anna bodice with it.
I didn't make the Anna bodice, but instead drafted this from my block; I rotated the bust dart into the waist dart, extended the shoulders to make kimono style sleeves, and that was that. The skirt is pretty similar to the By Hand London Zeena dress skirt; but, oh my goodness, did I make heavy weather of those pleats!!
Won't bore you with the details, but there was a lot of crawling around the floor and pinning to decide how deep the pleats should be versus how much fabric I had. It took way more time than it should have...
In consequence, the skirt is about 1 1/2 inches shorter than my preferred length as it was the only way that I could get the checks to match at the waist. It has the world's narrowest hem, and I was a bit concerned about the shortness. But I have worn it, and nobody said that my skirt was half way up my bum, so it's obviously all in my head!
The fabric is cotton, and is a bit like a double gauze as it is tartan on one side, and purple on the other. I bought 2 metres, and ended up with scraps after making the skirt. It has a slightly lose weave, so it was a bit tricky to match up the stripes completely, but I love how it turned out. Also I am very happy that my love of tartan can now extend to summer clothes, although I did get some grey and purple tartan during the week for a winter dress.
Have a great week,