Happy Easter weekend everyone! I am so excited to be sharing my latest, and I dare say, my most favorite sewing project to date: The Saltspring Dress by Sewaholic. This would have to be my favorite not just because it was a fun and easy pattern to work on but because I got to finally use some of the vintage fabric from my father’s collection. To give you a little background about how I landed on stacks and stacks of vintage fabric, let me introduce to you my father:
That’s my mother, my father, and me in our back yard, circa 1988 aka the mustache years
My dad was a good family man. Always had the video camera out, always showing up to my dance recitals or volleyball games. He was born in Queens, NY. After high school he spent a few years at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He then worked at a an artist and designer, creating different prints used in fabric. He then relocated the family (with my older sister only 2 years old at the time and me as just a bun in the oven) to South Carolina where he worked for Springs Industries. He continued to work designing and printing fabric that would be used mostly for sheets and upholstery. At some point while I was in middle school the company closed their doors, sending their operations over seas to China or somewhere. My father’s career changed a bit over the years from their on, going from videography to where he is now working as a media tech guy for a company on Daniel Island. But those boxes of fabric samples that he brought home in the 80-90s stayed with my family throughout my entire childhood and even after they moved to Charleston in 2008.
So now flash forward 20 or so years and here I am buying fabric like a crazy lady, totally forgetting what my father once did for a living, until one day my mother says “hey do you want all these old boxes of fabric?” Uh, heck yeah! And that my friends is how I got a hold of this beauty:
The Saltspring dress works well with any lightweight wovens like a rayon, voile, or a lightweight jersey knit. I knew I wanted to make the maxi version, so I need to be able to get fabric on a 59/60” bolt. This was harder for me to find in stores as most of the prints I really loved were only 44” and the ones that were 59 or 60” just didn’t suit my taste for this project. So luckily for me, this fabric from the old box was both a perfect spring print and also was large enough to cut for the maxi version.
This pattern was easy to follow with great graphic along the way to help. I decided to opt out of doing tied straps and instead took the measurements off of a perviously owned spagetti strap shirt and used those measurements to make full straps from front to back. I also used a smaller seam allowance with the straps (1/4 instead of 3/8) because A- I knew that would make them a heck of a lot easier to turn right side out after sewing along the edge and B- I thought it would just look nicer then having a skinny strap.
The elastic casing was much easier then I thought it would be. What is great about this pattern is that the casing is already “built in” by having the bodice intentionally longer than the lining. I like this much better than other patterns I have seen that have you go back in later and add a strip for casing. Oh and of course this dress had to have pockets. I just love pockets!
I used a regular zipper versus switching to an invisible zipper and just top stitched very close the the edge so the zipper is not as noticeable. Please ignore my big booty or just quickly move to the next photo. My J-Lo booty is not my pride and joy.
I am in love with this fabric and how it moves! The one downsize to using vintage fabric though is that since this was in a box for oh 20 years, there is a fold line across the front of the skirt part that I just could not get out despite steaming and pressing and washing and then pressing again. I think it’s just here to stay. It’s not too noticeable and seeing as though I always wear wrinkly clothes this should be nothing new for me!
Here are some more photos of me around the house and out and about town in my Saltspring dress. This has been the perfect dress for April. Light enough to wear on hot days but also covers my not-yet tanned legs!
Leo the cat is not impressed.
Will and I on the Folly Beach pier.
Standing in front of our neighbors azaleas.
I thought I would stretch the dress down for this picture and show how the dress looks if you don’t have the “fold over” bodice. Kinda looks neat this way too!
So that’s a wrap for me on the Salspring Dress. I have already had a request from a friend to make her one of these dresses. So my search for a rayon or voile in a 59 or 60” bolt continues. To any of you fellow sewers out there, have any suggestions on a good one to use?
Until next time! xxoo Priscilla