Ta-da. Here's my Sew for Victory dress (Du Barry 5384), all finished and looking rather spiffing.
Apologies for the foliage, by the time I realised it was in all the photos the sunlight had disappeared...
The process of sewing this dress was pretty uneventful (in a good way) and it all came together easily enough. My only whinge was with the silk cotton I used to underline it. One of the reasons I always veer towards silk cotton for lining or underlining is because it's so easy to work with - I knew this fabric was an impostor straight away as it didn't behave itself at all when I was cutting it out. In its favour though, it's silky to the touch and slinky against the skin and it looks fine on the finished dress. The underlining, plus the addition of a ginormous central back zip means the dress slips on and off wonderfully easily.
Talking of zips, I tried my very first hand-picked zip on this dress and am delighted with the result. I really didn't trust the badly behaved silk cotton to play fair with a zipper foot - I just knew there would be bunching and unpicking and swearing and screaming to contend with further down the line. So I hand-picked the zip, using Tasia's excellent tutorial and it worked like a dream. It did take a good hour to sew it in by hand, but it was 22 inches long, so that's not surprising. The accuracy and neatness on the other hand, are way better than my usual efforts so it's definitely an hour well spent.
For fabric, I used a charcoal grey lawn-like cotton from Walthamstow market, which, considering the quality, was an absolute bargain at £2 a metre. Yes, I know I wear a lot of grey but I do love it as a colour and I have grey eyes so I'm allowed to! I had to include a pop of colour somewhere though, so I finished the sleeve hem and neck with red polka dot bias binding. I'd have liked to have added it to the hem as well but ended up simply machining a narrow, overlooked hem instead. The pattern allows for a two inch hem, but with the gored skirt, this just looked ridiculously bunched up.
The fit is lovely, comfortable yet flattering - I think it's all in the panels which cleverly define the waist. I'm in love with this dress, I think it gives me a sexy shape, yet is elegant at the same time, which is what drew me to 1940's styles in the first place. My husband even made a rare, unsolicited comment, saying it was his favourite of all the dresses I'd made. It may not sound like much, but believe me, coming from him, that's praise of the highest calibre.
Thank you Rochelle of Lucky Lucille, for organising such a fun and interesting sew along. Rochelle's knowledge of the 1940's is astounding - I learnt so much during this challenge and loved every minute of it. It hasn't finished yet though, don't forget to check out Lucky Lucille on March 31st for a victory parade of awesome 1940's lovelies. I, for one, cannot WAIT!
It's a shame really, I'm all dolled up with nowhere to go. I'd give anything to roll up to a swing dance right this minute. I'd be wearing the perfect dress anyway. x