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Elephants and bees...

Here are a couple of dresses I've finished lately... please excuse the dorkiness of the photographs.
(Click the thumbnails for larger pics, if you dare!)

I am too scared to move in the bee dress, in case it wrinkles.
I'm going to spend the rest of my life ironing it, I think!

It's made from a pair of IKEA curtains. Yes, really.
100% cotton, really nice and thick, although it does crease terribly, which is why I'm going to be doing a lot of ironing. It's fully lined, in a lightweight polycotton. Putting the lining in was a complete bugger, if you'll excuse my language. Because the front of the bodice is gathered at the shoulders, the lining had to be a different shape, which was a bit tricky to work out. The original pattern just has a facing on the neckline, which I couldn't use as I'd changed the bodice, and I wanted a complete lining to make the pale fabric a bit more modest.

The pattern started life as Butterick 6582, view C. I changed the bodice to get rid of the extra panel, as I thought that would detract from the simplicity of the bee fabric. I also made the skirt shorter, although I kind of wish I hadn't. I had plenty of fabric left over, and it would have been nice to have a big swishy skirt. I was afraid it would look too bridal that way.

Whee, elephants!
I might wear this to work tomorrow. Why not?

This pattern is that old favourite, Butterick 4790. It's the fourth one I've made, and I have plenty of different combinations in mind!

Both the elephants and the camouflage fabrics are lightweight polycotton.

The only alterations I made to this one were to shorten the bodice by about 2" ( I am very short waisted), and to bind all the way around the hem. Oh, I lowered the neckline a bit, too. I love this pattern, because it's such an easy one to make. Quick too - this one was finished in a day.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 6th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
I like them! I really like the elephant fabric. I want it. haha
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
It's mine! All mine!

*runs away*
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Jun. 6th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
After seeing the last one you made I went and got the pattern on ebay :D

Those look awesome :D
Jun. 6th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
(the butterick 4790, lol)
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Soon everyone will have made a Butterick 4790. Maybe it's on a secret mission to take over the world...
Jun. 6th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
i remember seeing that bee print a while back and thinking it could make a cute dress!
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
I wasn't sure whether the bees would be too far apart, but it just works!
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
CUUUUTE! I love both dresses! (although the first is one I'd wear, and the second I don't think I could pull off. Even though I love elephants and not bees, but AAANYWAY...) You've done a really superb job! :D

P.S. I have those shoes in black. They are so great!
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

See, I would quite happily wear the elephant dress every day, but I'm still not convinced I can pull off the bee one.

I have those shoes in black. too. ;)
Jun. 7th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
the elephant one is CUTE. if you move the bees might sting you :-P hope youre not allergic.
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
So far the bees have been very well behaved... I'm not allergic though. ;)
Jun. 7th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC)
Those are so lovely. I have those curtains, I've always thought they'd make a pretty dress. I was right!
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
Hooray, I'm glad I'm not the only one! Now it's your turn...
Jun. 7th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
Everything is so cute! Please tell me where you got the elephant fabric! I love it.
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
I got it from my local fabric store - they have great shops, but the website is TERRIBLE! They do take mail order though, I think!
Jun. 8th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
I live in Reading and the one here has the most ATROCIOUS stock, they must send all the good stuff to wherever you live! The one in Brighton has good stuff though.
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Oh! I live in Reading too! Small world... ;)
Jun. 8th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
Whenever I go in there they never have what I'm looking for, or if they do it's very poor quality. I've lived in Reading for 4 years, but only bought one piece of fabric there in that time. I usually get it off the rude woman with the market stall by the county deli.
Jun. 7th, 2007 11:33 am (UTC)
Lovely dresses. I always eye up the ikea fabric for dressmaking but never spot anything (but then I go what, like once a year). I have completely the opposite problem, I'm very long waisted. I have found oddly that the patterns that fit me best with no adjustment are girls ones from the late 60's early 70s. Long waistedness was obviously in demand then.
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
Shamefully, I have never been to an IKEA. (I live in the only part of the UK that doesn't have one!) I would love to go and look at all the lovely fabrics they don't show you online.

The B4790 should be perfect for you, if you're long waisted. But you're right, I think the late 60s/early 70s had a lot of dropped waistbands. They would probably come down to my knees! ;)
Jun. 8th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
And modern patterns don't cost me £1 from the charity shop either! It probably helps that I am a 12 in 60s sizing, as medium sized as it gets so it's easy for me to find 2nd hand patterns of approx the right size
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
Ooh, lucky you! I can hardly ever find vintage patterns the right size, as my waist is too big. That's why I like the reproduction patterns; they tend to be bigger. :)
Jun. 7th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
I got the pattern you used for the elephant dress on sale the other day, and now I'm happy I did - that looks great! I hope I can do it justice :)
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
Hooray! I think that pattern is trying to take over the world!
Jun. 9th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
These dresses are so funky and fun! Really great fabrics! I'm really short waisted too, and it's so frustrating to go clothes shopping because I spend all of my time folding up clothes to imagine what they would look like if I just fixed them here, and here, and here... But I'm a sewing novice with no time to fix any summer clothes, though maybe I will in the fall! Thanks for posting which patterns you used because it looks like they'd fit me too!
Jun. 10th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
These are amazing. The second one is ten kinds of awesome. Great work!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )