I got a length of vintage blue-gray dotted Swiss fabric on eBay a long time ago and it languished in my drawer for years. This summer I pulled it out and put it to use. I'm not sure how old it is - it's a thinner cotton than quilter's cotton, has a nice sheen, and is fairly stiff.
Which should have warned me not to attempt a dress pattern that was more suitable for a softer fabric, but hopefully I've learned a lesson now for the future. And it's still a wearable dress, though it has issues.
I originally paired it with this pattern. When I went to cut it out, I found that the bodice pieces were missing, and since I was doubtful about the ruffle in this stiff of a fabric anyway, I went with a different bodice pattern, though I kept the sleeves and skirt from this one.
I had a little less than 3 yards, and it's narrower than most modern bolt widths, so I was afraid I wouldn't be able to squeeze a dress out of it easily. To my surprise I even had a piece leftover, large enough to save for contrast for a future project.
The bodice pattern I used ended up with plenty of issues too. It had dart tucks in the front, but they didn't lay right (probably again the fabric choice) and made odd little peaks in the wrong places. So I tried turning them into plain darts, but had the same trouble since they were too sharply angled. So I ended up pretending it was a princess bodice and sewing a seam all the way up the front.
I also scalloped the front for a little detail since I wasn't using a ruffle. I do like the shoulder tucks, the sweetheart neckline, and the decorative bows I added!
The color is interesting. If I put it next to blue it definitely looks gray, but on these pictures it looks more blue. I can get pictures of it and it looks like different fabric on each picture depending on the lighting, because of the color difference. I do like it, but I should have stuck with a plain gored skirt instead of trying to force it into my mental image of how I wanted it to behave.
I would like to make this skirt again in a rayon sometime, though. The short radiating stitch detail is really pretty.
I intended it for a simple summer dress, so accessories are simple as well. A 1940s lightweight half hat with some vintage millinery daisies pinned underneath it, basic white gloves with a little dot detail to tie in the dots of the dress, and my new Miss L Fire Betty heels.
I've been searching for dressy, true white vintage or reproduction sandals or shoes for years, and while it's not my dream white shoe the Betty style is pretty much the only one out there so far. Normally I would only get a pair of Miss L Fire if I find it on eBay, but they had a very nice sale for all their red, white, and blue styles over the 4th of July so I used my shoe fund money to snag a pair. They are actually very comfortable. I wore them the first time without any breaking-in pains. At last I have some white summer heels! I'm sure I will wear them with everything while summer lasts.
I am definitely pleased with the cute sleeves, however, and probably will use this sleeve on other patterns!
Not every project is an unqualified success. But at least if we learn from our mistakes, it is not a waste of time.