Monday, 2 May 2011

The "Sookie" dress

Now, as I still have a huge pile of UFOs, I have restrained myself from doing any more "I'm just starting this project" post which never gets a follow up! However, with the warmer weather we've been having, I couldn't help my mind wandering towards the dress I wanted to make a few week ago when the Sew Weekly had television characters as their theme. I (and several others by the look of the forum!) immediately thought of Miss Sookie Stackhouse from Trueblood, who wanders through a vampire ridden Deep South wearing pretty girly sundresses and looking like (as the brooding Bill says) "vampire bait". Now that would probably have been the end of it with my motivation levels recently, had it not been for a yellow flowery cotton remnant I had picked up which was perfect. Of course there was only 1.2 x 2m of it, which was a slight problem. I waded through all my patterns to find one that didn't use more than that and settled on Butterick 2434, which had the advantage of being proportioned for different heights, so I wouldn't have to lengthen the bodice.

So here we go, with the standard Sew Weekly format.

The Facts
Fabric:  2m Cotton Remnant, I think bought from Edinburgh fabrics.Patterns: Butterick 2434 view C
Year:  doesn't say-presumably 60s
Notions: pink invisible zipper (that the lovely Zoe of So Zoe sent me)Time to complete: Too long, about 4 hours in front of tv reworking pattern and fitting and about 4 hours sewing (mainly through fitting again -its a very simple dress)First worn: today!Wear again? Yes definitely! 
Total Cost: about £4

Now yet again I am insanely jealous of all you folk out there who can just make up a garment from a pattern and it fits, sadly, unless I want to wear a sack, that isn't going to work for me.  I cant stand how long it takes to do the FBA, and then muslin it up and then alter the waist. This time I tried the Y method from Fit for Real People, which adds volume in in a more general way (its quite similar but there is another slash line-it's more like doing a FBA on a princess seam) if you need more than 1-2 inches extra. Frankly, I can't say I'm impressed, as the whole thing just ended up enormous in the muslin (though this is almost certainly my fault!)

Luckily, this is where Agnetha came into her own, as I just gave up on the pattern, seam ripped the darts and just worked it out by folding. I then copied the new pattern onto paper.

When I got the whole thing put together, I had managed to drop the waist somehow, and the skirt was very odd. Unless I cut it wrong (entirely possible!) the side seams of the bodice and skirt don't match up.. which seems wrong. So I had to fix it, which luckily took out the gathers at the waist (which I wasn't that keen on anyhow).

But I like it! It took far too long, but I was rather distracted by watching tv whist making it. I feel very like Sookie in it. I think it may be my favourite me made item ever! (EDIT-helped by discovering pleasantly that after sitting down in it for several hours that it doesn't seat or go weird in any way)

To celebrate I went out in the sun and visited Greyfriar's Bobby Kirkyard to take pictures in a creepy setting. Of course it wasn't actually creepy as its a beautiful graveyard and full of people having ice cream, but still! I felt like a bit of an idiot, taking pictures of myself with a self timer and no tripod, but just about pulled it off! They all ended up slightly over exposed however due to the lovely sunshine so I've darkened them down to look more mysterious (the pretentious faces are also the result of having to take very few pictures, very quickly before people started to stare!)

And here are some non moody shots to show what it's really like.


  1. What a gorgeous graveyard :) I am glad I have my husband to take my shots ;)

  2. Thanks ladies! It was a bit of a battle (both the making and photographing), but it was worth it!