Wednesday, 31 July 2013

1940's McCalls girl's dress

I had been hoping to share with you a tale of a fun filled forties weekend, but to say that our weekend didn't go entirely to plan is an understatement!

We arrived and set up on Friday, the sun was shining and we had great company pitched up next to us.  Saturday was quiet, but nice enough.  A few familiar faces had come along to see what this new event was all about and when the day was through, we enjoyed a seriously tasty ploughman's as we watched everyone in their finery, making their way to the evening dance.

However, as dusk fell, our Gala tent did a great impression of a sieve and as the heavens opened, our original frocks were in danger of being ruined as great drops of water came straight through the canvas!  As the light faded quickly, a frantic rush saw everything packed away and moved out of harms way before we bedded down for the night in soggy beds for what turned out to be a very poor night's sleep.  As I lay in my bed, rain pounding on the canvas and midges making a meal of my ankles, I wished for my comfy, dry, clean bed. 

A drunken fool compounded my anger and was close to suffering my wroth when, at 2.22am, he thought it funny to run around the trading village, with his cape flapping, yelling, in what I imagine was his best Transylvanian accent, "I'm a vampire, I want to the suck your blood!"  I was not amused, although I have to admit that we did all laugh about it the following morning when he staggered to the toilet looking somewhat worse for wear! 

On Sunday morning, as soon as dawn broke, we packed down and headed wearily home.  We don't like to leave an event early.  It doesn't reflect very well on us and to have a gap in a row of tents doesn't look good for organisers, but short of magicking a new canvas from thin air, there was nothing we could do. 

So with not a single photograph from the weekend, something which is unheard of, I have had a flick through some of my older photographs and found that I never showed you a dress I made for a special little lady of mine, so here goes! :o)

- x -

Many weeks back, I decided that C needed a new '40s style frock.  She had her dress from last year but fancied a change and who was I to say no?! 

Children's patterns for anything other than tots proved tricky to track down but patience paid off and I finally found exactly what I was looking for in the form of a McCalls pattern that I bought from a lovely lady with a serious addiction to vintage patterns.  

I know I harp on about using original fabrics where possible, but I couldn't justify using a vintage piece when I knew it would only fit C for this season and so nabbed, with permission, a piece of cotton from my mum's rather mammoth fabric stash. 


Although the chest measurement was spot on, C is very tall for her age so I added length to the body and the hem.  The hem has 4 inches in it so should allow for plenty of growing room.  When the dress was finished, I had to add two little tucks in the shoulder because it was too big on her.

I love the full puff sleeves and the yoke with the stripe design running in the opposite direction.



She's at the age where she loves nothing better than to dress up so posed happily for the following shots although I should have ironed it before I left her model it :o)



The first time she got to wear it at a 1940's event was at Quorn station.  As is so often the case with me, I left details like the side and back fastening to the last minute which meant she was stitched into it at 7am and cut free from it at 7pm.  No one noticed though and she was so pleased that she got so many lovely comments about how she looked. 

Here she is on Quorn station wearing her original 1940's moth nibbled cardigan and new to her CC41 sandals which were an auction bargain at just £3.00!!



24 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! She looks so darling!
    -respect-

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  2. Wow all I can say is that that dress is too adorable! Your little girl looks so cute in it esp. with that lovely cardigan! Very inspiring :)

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  3. So sweet, well done. and what a great little model!
    I have given up camping, unless it's just me on a mattress in my 4WD. I have enough rain, bugs and noisy neighbours at home!

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    1. I have to agree on the camping front. It was not a pleasant experience this time and my husband is not keen to repeat the experience anytime soon!! :)

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  4. Looks great!
    Love the pattern as well:)
    http://balearaitzart.blogspot.com.au/

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  5. What a cutie! She looks fab :) I love the fabric. Sorry to hear you had a rubbish weekend, doesn't sound much fun xx

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    1. Thank you Joe. She is rather pleased with it :) Hmm, the weekend isn't one I want to repeat in a hurry!

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  6. A fab dress, am very jealous! And I love the cardigan too - makes me wish I was a kid again!

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  7. Oh now I'd love that dress for myself - although I don't think I'd be such a good model as little C! Your weekend sounds like one best forgotten - hopefully you'll have a doubly good one this time to make up for it! Jane x

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    1. Thank you Jane :) I'd like a version too! We have another weekend away planned in a few weeks time. Hoping it doesn't rain!

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  8. She's adorable! The dress is great - I'd happily wear an adult version!

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    1. Thank you Nicole. I'd love a version too! :)

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  9. Aw she looks gorgeous, great sewing! :)

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  10. She looks so sweet! Lovely dress and I want a pair of those sandals :0)

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    1. I want a pair of those sandals too! :)

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  11. What a lovely dress and a super cute model. Reminds me of all of the wonderful dresses my Mother made for me when I was a child. Sorry to hear your weekend was literally a washout.

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  12. What a cutie-pie! She would probably love to hang out with my daughter... who also has a couple of handmade 40's pattern dresses :) And since she is also homeschooled, she'd be OK discussing any weird things they think of ;)

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  13. That is such an adorable outfit (and one that I would happily wear myself)!

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  14. Sorry to hear that your weekend did not go as planned, trust the british weather to be unpredictable, but the dress that you made little C is so, soo pretty and she looks utterly adorable in it!
    Ps. Glad to here its not just me that leaves the finishings to the last minute - a skirt I made a few weeks ago has still not got a proper button on it (saftey pinned), though I've worn it twice, thats terrible isn't it, I must sew one on tonight ;-) xxx

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