Friday, October 23, 2009

enidtober - cool dress

Here is my second Enid Gilchrist creation - the "Cool Dress" from the 'Play Clothes' (pink cover) publication.

I'm a little surprised that so much time has past since my first go at drafting and sewing one of Enid's fine designs. I suppose picking up pencil and paper to draft the pattern seems like it is going to be so much work, but really once you get started it probably doesn't take that much longer than tracing and cutting a bought pattern. Perhaps the most difficult aspect, for me, is converting inches into centimetres. I know I could just rule it up in inches but I have to think in metric - I cannot explain to you why. Just because.

As with my first Enid, a Matinee Jacket, the actual sewing of the garment was relatively easy. I have however not followed Enid's pattern exactly. This garment was my first ever attempt at doing gathering. When I spotted the material that I liked for the bottom of the dress I didn't know exactly how much material I needed so I guessed - thinking that I had overestimated. When I drafted the pattern I kept thinking that I had done something wrong - the size of the skirting looked like it was almost big enough for me to wear. When it came to cutting the material I realised that I didn't have enough material so I reduced the width of the skirt - there was so much material there already how could it be a problem? After initially sewing the yoke to the skirting using pleats (& thinking to myself - wow that doesn't look like the drawing in the book) I you tubed "gathering" and had my "arhhhh" moment. It would seem I had a date with seam ripper for this project too (it would seem that we're inseparable!) I'm in love with this gathering business - so easy yet so fancy and now I understand why I needed so much material. So, this little frock (geez I love that word - it reminds me of my Nana. I used to cringe when I was little and she said it: "You're so old fashioned Nan" and now thirty odd years later I relish using the word myself) isn't as full as it should be and sits perhaps a little bit "puffier" as a result.
The yoke, made from vintage material, is lined with the same. The pattern calls for bias under the arm pits. It took a few cups of tea umming and arrhing to decide if I should make the bias in the contrasting vintage material or not. In the end I thought the contrast would make a sweet effect - what do you think?

The skirting seams are (of course!) french.
Funnily enough, all that aside, the aspect of making this dress that I really struggled with was sewing the button on - that's right, not the button hole, but actually sewing the button on!!! I kept stuffing it up - over and over. Very frustrating.

The dress looks so adorable on Ms. M. I tried to take a photo of her wearing it this morning while we were at playgroup but we ended up doing finger painting - supervising two finger painting children and taking photos was a bit beyond me and we were all so exhausted by the experience that we were straight home for long naps. I am pleased to report that Ms. M must love the dress too because she didn't get a drop of paint on it. Bless.


  1. it's lovely Sally, great choice with the contrasting bias, I like it. Would love to see a pic of it on if you can catch miss M in it!

  2. Wow Sally - it is so lovely! I love Enid but I never get around to drafting anything. I love the materials that go so well with the design

  3. That's a very cute design, love the colour combination :)

  4. What a gorgeous dress! I'm sure your little one looks so cute in it!

    I am looking forward to making myself a dress soon - with my Mums help! I have the pattern, I just haven't been able to find the right fabric yet. :)

  5. Oh Sally it is just divine! I love your choice of fabric and the shape of the dress. Infact I just love all of it. You must be thrilled. yay!

  6. LOVE IT!!! Looks fabbo - oh I so want to break out my Eids and get have inspired me ..noe to find the time!


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