One of my dear followers Jenny has been in touch.
She is going to a winter wedding and has bought this lovely deep pink fabric, a colour I think will look great on her, and a Fake Fur jacket that she got off eBay (£4.50 – bargain!). In terms of the styles she likes she explains:
“I am in my 70’s, but whilst I don’t like to stand out with statement clothes I am definitely not Beige Granny. I like casual and sporty, not frilly and glittery. ”
Jenny bought this fabric planning to make it up as New Look 6000.
This pattern is very popular with dozens of version available through the Google search engine. In its simplest incarnation it is a simple sheath dress with bust and waist darts. Alternate views have a rolled collar for a “retro” look, short sleeves or elbow length sleeves with cuffs. The nicest feature in my opinion is the asymmetrical look with six pleats radiating from the side waist. Jenny has been planning View C, with covered buttons.
But, she writes
having made 3 toiles I don’t think it is right for me. I made it firstly using an old duvet cover and liked it so adjusted the pattern and made it in a piece of leftover peachskin and hated it. I decided I was using the wrong size so went up from a 14 to a 16, even though many reviewers said it runs large. Anyway I decided it was wrong for my figure and fabric. Could you help with suggestions for a pattern please?
Let’s have a look at Jenny wearing her”duvet” toile which she feels highlights her tummy. She fears that in a solid, heavier crepe this would be worse. What do you think?
Let’s consider Jenny’s bodyshape. Her bust and hips are fairly evenly balanced, without a very indented waist, so she has a semi-shaped figure. A sheath dress is ideal on women with straight body shape, although it can look good on a semi-shaped body so long as the shaping is carried out effectively. Jenny notes, correctly, that she doesn’t want a large skirt – “knee length and fitted suits me best”. That is right – the large skirted dress works best with a shaped (hour glass or pear type) figure.
Jenny has asked for some other pattern suggestions.
I am stuck mainly because to my eye and understanding this dress is good. She could go for the darting instead of the pleating, but in my view done well (so the fit is close but not at all tight) the little bit of pleating disguises any slight tummy issues, and the overall silhouette is very good. I think the built up neckline would be very pretty and frame Jenny’s face. It also makes the dress more interesting and dressy – allowing a button, or even using the shiny side of the fabric. From her letter there seems to be a bit more of an issue to do with the size and fitting rather than the pattern itself.
So I am putting Jenny’s question out there. I know many of you are more familiar with patterns than I am – Ruth F and Demented Fairy to name just two of my favourite experts.
Let’s see if we can offer some help to this lovely lady who emphasises that she is an introvert (in clothing terms I think she is a Classic dresser).