My love of the 70s is well documented, and I had been wanting to make a dress inspired by some lovely Biba dresses that I spotted on Pinterest. I would wear the life out of all three of these dresses.
I loved the shape of the neckline on all three, and also the button front on the first two. I also loved the sleeves on the middle dress, and even made a toile of one. But it wasn't really wide enough above the cuff, and making it wider would have made it impracticable; also, if I'm wearing long sleeves, I tend to end up pushing or rolling them up anyway.
So, I drafted a bodice from my block and made a toile with a princess seam on one side, and the pleats from the By Hand London Anna dress on the other. The pleats won, and I love how the neckline turned out.
The sleeves are widened at the cuff, and gathered at the sleeve head. I used them before on this dress and this blouse. The skirt is a self-drafted A-line skirt.
Let's talk about the fabric. It's some viscose that I bought in the Christmas sales last year from Fabric Godmother. It's called "Medallione Viscose - Emerald and Royal", is 100% viscose and gorgeous. But, sweet child of mine, did this stuff shift!! I stablised it with spray starch, but it seems like when I blinked, it had thrown itself across the room!
So everything ended up getting cut out on a single layer, on the carpet. This made it easier to get a straight grain, but you can see in the photo above that it shifted a bit on the bodice front right - it's a bit off grain at the bottom of the buttonholes. Naturally, the other side is perfect underneath!
I love the fabric covered buttons; I hadn't made these before, and they weren't as difficult as I expected. There is an invisible zip the side seam, and I stablised the edges with some interfacing. The hem was a bit of a nightmare, and it ended up as a "that'll do rightly". But it doesn't look to bad.
I feared that this might have turned out to be a wadder, but I really like it! I have two more lengths of viscose in my stash though, so if anybody has any top tips on working with it, please share!!