Hippie Time

I may not have owned any hand sanitizer when the COVID-19 outbreak began, but I did have a wide variety of strange craft supplies to keep me busy when I couldn’t go to work anymore. In the fabric section of my personal store I found many yards of this embroidered stuff that might be silk!

The embroidery seems a little delicate, and the fabric is nice and light, so I thought a chemise type dress would be nice. I have a fascination with historic dress so I decided to base it on this 16th century Irish pattern from Reconstructing History. Believe it or not the original design is made completely of rectangles, including the neckband. I had to do an adjustment for larger armholes, and it was a simple matter of cutting a bigger square gusset for the underarm seam– no curves, no grading!

I cut everything narrower than the original design called for, because historic dress involves a lot of yardage and I wasn’t going for a historic garment, and the dress still came out so wide around the neck! Were my pleats wrong somehow? I suppose I’ll never know. I took it as an opportunity to provide some extra shaping by pleating it again in a few places, but it’s still a pretty big neckline. We’ll see whether that’s a problem when I get to wear it somewhere. It looks nice enough standing still for a quick try-on, and I also gave it tabs to attach to bra straps (a pretty standard alteration for me that makes a big difference). I cut the sleeves an entirely different shape than the pattern called for and gathered them into wide cuffs with some buttons from the button drawer. I’m pretty pleased with the overall effect. Is anyone else cultivating a quirky new wardrobe?

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