The Hippy Chick Dress. Finally.

by Erin on January 30, 2006

Hotpatterns Hippy Chick Dress
I finally finished the damn thing — the Hotpatterns dress, that is.

I had *exactly* enough of the red flower material for the yoke — it's Liberty, of course, from a piece I bought in London years ago. (I made a blouse out of the rest and hardly ever wore it, because I don't wear blouses. And then I tore the blouse. Arrgh.) I found it while digging through my Giant Bucket O' Scraps for something else, held my breath and yes! There was enough. The main body of the dress is a remnant I bought for $3 at Vogue Fabrics a couple years ago. (I bought about eight yards of it, and I think I have enough for maybe one more dress.)

I'm planning on doing a write-up of the pattern on PatternReview, because, my god, the instructions made NO sense. I finally gave up trying to follow them and just put the dress together the way that seemed logical to me. (They were also misspelled. $20 for a pattern should buy me at least spell-check!) So if you are a beginning sewer and haven't put in several dozen flat sleeves or can't pull gathering in your sleep, don't try this at home. The pieces fit together great, though, so once you figure out the order, it does go pretty well. I only had to "sew with the iron" (that is, press the hell out of pieces to make them join up well) once or twice, and those were probably my errors, not those of the pattern.

I really think this pattern would work best with lightweight fabric that has at least a little stretch, which is what I will try next time, even though I found three other Liberty scraps that are dying to be put into service! I guess I could always make the main body in stretch and keep the yoke and waistband Liberty.

I'm a little unhappy with the neck–I have to look up that article in Threads about what to do with gappy v-necks; you can see in the picture that it doesn't lie as flat as I would like. And the midriff band is not completely even. But hey, it's done, it fits, I really need to find a heavy jet bead choker to go with it, and I'm wearing it tomorrow. And I'm sure that this will be construed in some jurisdictions as "permission to stalk", but if you happen to be in New York (where I will be on Tuesday–not for anything to do with Fashion Week, I hasten to add), and you see this dress on some random person, feel free to say "Hey, aren't you A Dress A Day?" Whereupon I will blush like a rouged radish and stammer a confused affirmative.

Here's a somewhat fuzzy closeup of the fabrics:

Hotpatterns Hippy Chick Dress

If I have time to hit Paron's while I'm in NYC (doubtful) maybe I'll grab some stretch lightweight black silk and see if I can resurrect the pink stretch silk camouflage print that I sacrificed to a failed project last year. I swear, the best part of this pattern is being able to use all the bits of fabric I've saved as too nice to throw away but too small to do anything with. (I don't quilt–rather, I don't quilt WELL.)

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

ks January 30, 2006 at 7:34 am

Beautiful dress. I love the Liberty print. I will be traveling to NY in March with my mother and one of the things I really want to do is hit some great fabric stores. Would you mind recommending a few?


Jonquil January 30, 2006 at 8:31 am

One of the tricks is to sew transparent elastic on the underside of the gappy bit. Beats unpicking the whole frelling thing!


IA January 30, 2006 at 9:04 am

Hmm. I love both prints, but I think all that gathery stuff would make me look very bulky. Which is why you made the dress for you, and not for me, I’m sure. But yes, I agree that something with a little stretch would probably be great for the next iteration.


Jonquil January 30, 2006 at 9:54 am

You think it requires stretch? I’m thinking it needs lots of drape — challist might be good.Hmm. I have this stretch of Liberty challis that got moth-eaten (sob!). It might be perfect for this.


Anonymous January 30, 2006 at 10:10 am

Hooray!But I can’t see any pictures!Boo-hoo!k


La BellaDonna January 30, 2006 at 10:16 am

I’m with Anonymous K – I can’t see the pictures for this entry or the polka-dot sweater entry, although I can see pictures for the previous entries! :(


Erin January 30, 2006 at 10:22 am

Okay, I think I fixed the problem. The pictures weren’t showing up in Internet Explorer because it doesn’t like blank width and height values.Y’all KNOW you should be using Firefox, right? Right?Bbbrug, there’s a version of the dress with a non-gathery skirt, too. Thanks Jonquil for reminding me of the elastic trick! And yes, you should give your Liberty challis a new chance at life …Fabric store reqs coming soon!


Anonymous January 30, 2006 at 1:07 pm

Hooray! Hooray! HOO RAY!REE-VIEW! REE-VIEW!(I’m working on a dress in a similar shape, navy rayon jersey. It’s a 1972 pattern. The model is done up like Penelope Cruz in the movie “Blow”. I’ll be sure to show you. Unless it looks too crummy.)-k


sheri January 30, 2006 at 4:44 pm

Props for your shout out from the Manolo!S.


Helen January 31, 2006 at 2:44 am

Have had a rummage on the Hot Patterns store and though some of the ideas are fine, I think you got the best one – overpriced and a bit “highstreet” for my taste. Vintage patterns are just so much better value and so much more stylish, to refer to yesterday’s post…Congrats on the combination of fabrics, too, very satisfying, and they look v crisp – GORGEOUS!!


anna January 31, 2006 at 6:06 am

congratulations on a great dress… i really love it. terribly envious of your sewing machine abilities – i’ve had one too many furious tantrums of frustration at my crappy old machine. sworn not to attempt another project until it is replaced.


Meredith January 31, 2006 at 7:45 am

I’ll look for you around NY wearing that pretty thing!


La BellaDonna January 31, 2006 at 8:20 am

Jonquil is right about the wonderfulness of clear elastic. I used it to rescue a polarfleece dress which gave passersby far too much to see, and I often use it where patterns would normally have me put in stay tape. For instance, I’ll put it in the shoulders of a top or dress (woven), so that it has some movement, but will return to shape, or I’ll use it in the shoulder of a knit, to keep it from bagging out.


JuliaR January 31, 2006 at 11:54 am

Good for you and thanks for posting one of your own creations! You might find that a clapper will help on the pressing of fiddly bits. (My clapper is just the block part. I dont have the point presser attached to it.) I am so waiting until I use up my ugly fabric so I can go buy some pretty stuff like you have and make myself a dress for Spring! Thanks for the continuing inspiration.


anna February 3, 2006 at 4:52 am

ps: this might be way off… but let me know if you’re ever interested in trading some dress-making for some knitwear.


Erin February 3, 2006 at 1:35 pm

Anna, thanks so much for the offer! I’m afraid I never really have time to do dressmaking for other folks — and even when I did have time, it always ended in tears.


Anonymous September 9, 2007 at 6:37 pm

Keep up the great work. It very impressive. Enjoyed the visit!


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