It’s been ages again since I updated this old space. I do wonder sometimes, if anyone reads the blogs ( I still do from time to time, but not as often as I used to) or whether we all hang around at IG looking at lovely pictures. ( I do that too, more often than I used to). I did however make among other things, a nice dress from a 70s pattern, the first non-contemporary pattern I’ve ever used. You can read all about it on the Minerva Crafts Blog.
Back in March, I think, I decided that I wanted to take part in the Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge, organised by Tanya of Mrs Hughes, not so much for sewing something vintage, but more as a tribute to my grandma.
Going through some of her old pictures, I chose the below as my inspiration, because I loved the short jacket and I though that she looked fierce and she is, trust me. I also loved the story behind it. During my grandma’s wedding, her godmother gifted her the fabric out of which the dress was made. The tradition was that it was laid on the shoulders of the bride and the groom, as if it weaved their lives together. It was a silk red fabric, which must have made the scene magical.
I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t going to replicate the dress, because I was not going to wear it and I really wanted to create something that would appeal to my style. I also knew that I wasn’t going to use silk, as I didn’t want to ruin it. I bought a fuchsia poly crepe for the dress part and a blue Irish linen for the jacket. As I didn’t want a full circle skirt, I looked for something that could imitate the volume of the skirt at least. That’s when I came across Megan Nielsen’s absolutely gorgeous Flint Pants. I wanted, however, to stay true to the shape of the dress bodice and for that reason I used Simplicity 1587, view B, as a top for my pants. There was no doubt from the moment I saw my grandma’s photo, I was going to use my all time favourite, the Bellatrix Blazer by Papercut Patterns. But despite all my planning, disasters did happen and I never managed to take part in the challenge, as by the deadline all I had was un-hemmed pants, a horrendous top and the blazer just cut out.
I initially hated the pants and it was only after they had a press with my mum’s high pressure steam iron (it’s old but it works miracles with pressing) that I realised how delightful the Flint pants were. So delightful that I made a second pair, straight away.
It always surprises me how different garments can look, when using different fabrics. The second version is in a thicker, less flowy fabric and holds the shape of the trousers better. I don’t know which one I like the most, I guess each to its season. Haha.
I cut size xs and didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern. I loved making them and now I’m considering a shorts option for winter to wear with tights. They are so effortless to construct and the instructions are just perfect, so well articulated. The no zipper closure is also genius, because I hate buttons, but I hate zippers more. I did put the buttons on the inside, as I wanted to keep it clean on the front.
I finished the raw edges with the overlocker and this particular pair is on constant rotation. So comfortable. I don’t fall in love with a lot of patterns but this is one of them. Do try it. I think it will also look great as wide leg pants, not as wide as the culotte, style.
Of course, I couldn’t leave the Bellatrix unfinished, since it had already been cut. I cut again the smallest size, but shortened the bodice and omitted completely the pockets to resemble the one in my grandma’s picture. I must say, I love the outcome, although a bit shorter than initially intended. This has also been worn very often at work.
The Bellatrix is a lined jacket but as this is linen, I decided I could skip that part of the construction. I finished the raw edges with bias binding, which looks great in my opinion.
For some unknown reason, maybe because it was a present, I got too much of the linen fabric and as I like a suit, I thought I’d team the Bellatrix with my nemesis at the moment, the Named Clothing Pulmu Skirt I have developed a love hate relationship with this unbelievably gorgeous and clever pattern. You have not seen darts like these before. I won’t talk a lot about it here, as I’m intending to do a separate post for this pattern.
I think it is the perfect match for this cropped Bellatrix.
It is a very flattering piece from the front, the back and the side. The later being the highlight of the pattern. The side panel and slit are insane. I didn’t use the belt this time, as I decided, I prefer the skirt without it.
This particular version is a bit on the tight side, but allows walking and sitting comfortably. I cut the smallest size again but I think I should have gone one size up at parts. I didn’t even attempt to line the Pulmu skirt as previous experience ended up in a nightmare, but finished it in the same way as the jacket. It is linen after all.
So I may have failed in the dress like your grandmother challenge but managed to make four dress like me pieces. Bonus they combine well with each other. (minus my face in these pictures)