One of my new favorite projects turned out to be my first try at matching stripes!
I had this piece of striped fabric in my stash for a while now, but never felt confident enough to tackle matching stripes - and I do like a nicely made striped dress. Until the striped illustration on this pattern from 1940 caught my eye.
It was surprisingly easy! Cutting the skirt on the bias (it also has a straight option) means there's plenty of stretch in the fabric which means I could tug it just a bit if needed to make the side and center seams match up.
I'm very proud of those matching seams! Everything ended up matching except the underarm seams and part of the shoulder seams. Not too bad for a first attempt!
There is lots of fun detail besides, in the top-stitched belt and pleats on both bodice and skirt.
There are lots of things to like about this dress. It is comfortable to wear since the skirt is fitted at the hips but has some extra width thanks to the pleats. With the tie in front, no belt is needed - rare in vintage dresses.
And the top is slightly blousy, but not too much for my taste. No restriction on movement, which again makes it comfortable to work and play in.
Another new thing for me with this project was the contrast I used. I always have a hard time mixing prints. Some people can do it and the projects turn out lovely, but I always err on the side of caution and rarely use a print as a contrast with a print. This time, though, I wanted to highlight the olive-gold circles in the fabric, and we had nothing that matched, so I went down the road to our local tiny fabric store. Everything there was either too green or too yellow, until I spotted a reproduction fabric that was exactly the color I needed...and it had a tiny circle print. I decided it was a perfect match anyway and actually like the way the contrast mirrors the fabric print.
(The buttons were two different brands, on two different cards, bought at different times! They so nearly matched that I used them together anyway, alternating one from each card.)
This dress was a bit of an adventure, but it turned out so well that I felt definitely encouraged. Some projects are boring, some are frustrating and take will power to finish, and some go together without a hitch or tedious moment. This dress was one of those.
So another house dress is added to my spring wardrobe, and my sewing skills (and confidence) are expanded. Now if I could just find a way to also expand my closet space...