Getting the knives out

Finally I finished my knives dress.

You made many helpful suggestions.

I should have followed them. Especially Mrs Mole’s one of putting four darts into this dress. I didn’t take her advice. I did use red bias binding, which I think is rather nice. But this shape of shift dress doesn’t suit me. No amount of larking around in front of our beautiful geraniums will get us away from the fact that this is just not a great shape for me. Even on Camilla it looked like pregnant-cleaner wear. On me it makes me look like a size 16.

I know what I was trying to achieve. Her is an old photograph of me from the 1960s. Christmas time, with my little brother James, standing in front of the tree. I seem to have had this dress in my mind when I made my current one. I love the baggy tights and Mary Janes from a brand called Start-Rite (no wonder we had trouble with our spelling). They X rayed your feet in the shop. And the blouse that is longer than the dress.

1966 kids clothes
Kate and James Christmas c1966

Anyway I think Mrs Mole was right that the dress needs remodelling. She suggests a tunic, with darts, to wear over trousers. Or maybe baggy red leggings.

On the other hand I think garment is destined for the Oxfam shop.

15 Responses

  1. Let me (and only me) know which Oxfam shop your stuff goes to ;😐

  2. Sorry, I have to agree with you, it’s not a good look. Before Oxfaming you might try changing the neckline.

  3. I think you’re being a bit harsh, but I agree the neckline needs looking at. I’ve a curvy figure and sewed the Colette Laurel shift dress a few years ago. It is unfitted at the front (to showcase a beautiful fabric) but has 2 long darts at the back to stop it looking like maternity wear. It’s not my usual look, but I get lots of compliments wearing it and it’s VERY comfortable. That’s maybe a compromise option.

  4. You still look slim and lovely to me! I do agree it’s not a super flattering style. I made a denim tunic dress last year which had side darts but none at the waist, and while I love that style to look at, if definitely wasn’t for my figure so I added a drawstring waist which worked a treat.

  5. Stephanie

    I love the fabric so I hope you modify it. Couldn’t you put in front darts and a zip now? Or change the neckline to a v and wear it without the top underneath and maybe with thin red belt? Or the top/tunic thing. Or maybe a simple A-line skirt and tank that you can tuck in!! Love AnnieB’s comment. 🙂

  6. Well, I also think that you should save it for the fabric and the piping. In my view, it’s the wide a shape that isn’t flattering on you. A slimmer cut on the bottom would rescue it. Or you could cut it into little pieces and send each of us a knife. I want a red one.

  7. Oh Kate, your dress is just darling and it is never too late to make vertical darts! The colors are bright and lively to match your personality and it would be perfect for twirling and cooling off when the heat visits the city. Hold onto it a little longer before you ditch it and try it with shorts for a cool modern look.

  8. viliene

    Lovely fabric, would be a shame to give it away. Could be nice when remodelled into a shift dress, possibly with sides in grey or bright red if there is not enough fabric. Burda had dresses like that a while ago. And I agree, a different neckline would look nicer.
    Second option: skirt

  9. Well, I think it’s a great fun dress, and your slender frame does show in the last shot. The front darts seem to be a good idea, as does the belt. I hope you’ll salvage it, and show it off to all of us. Your garden looks spectacular!

  10. It’s not that bad just a lot different to your usual silhouette but as you’re not happy with it as is, what about cutting it down to make a simple shell top? The red accents would match a fair few clothes that you have already.

    You could save the offcuts for when you want to line itty bitty pattern pieces.

  11. I’m with you on this Kate- the fabric’s great, but it isn’t doing anything for you. Maybe salvage enough for a skirt OR top, and use the rest for facings.

  12. Oh dear, I hate to see the fabric go, hope there can be some re-do that makes it more lovable. Many many years before you got your Start Rite mary jane shoes (and many miles away) I had red mary janes from the StrideRite store and they also x-rayed one’s feet. And had a glass cage full of monkeys. No subsequent shoes have been quite so awesome, altho now I hate to think of the poor monkeys in shoe store jail.

    ceci

  13. Please do not give to a charity shop. I agree this style is not ” you”, but this fabric deserves to be used again. Put out of sight for a while ( yes, I know, not very kondo-ish) and you will later on find the inspiration to turn into something else.

  14. You won’t care how flattering it is in 40C Kate! I think we all need a dress that takes us from washing the car to weeding the garden -seriously, tuck the skirt up into your undies a little and voila – cool, serviceable and handmade.

    • I have actually worn it to bed, and one whole weekend when I couldn’t be bothered to have a shower, and to drive to my mothers. We all have a sloppy side I think.

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