Thursday, October 10, 2019

An Oversized Estate Sale Floral

I have had my eye on this Claire McCardell pattern for some time.  Of course, I have so many ideas for my next project swirling around in my head and this one dropped off of my top ten to-do list.

But when Emily mentioned the pattern recently, it reminded me of the wonderful design.  Of course, I couldn't find the perfect fabric in my stash, but it was only a matter of time until something suitable showed up.  A muslin was made, cinching the deal.  It's a fabulous dress!

And then I found this oversized rose print at an estate sale and there was enough yardage for the McCardell, miracle of miracles!  It was certainly meant to be.  I suspect this is a quilting cotton from the 1980s or 1990s.  I just love the graphic print and as soon as I found it I knew that it would be just perfect for this dress design.

The bodice of this dress is cut on the bias, meaning that the opening v-neck is on the straight of grain.  McCardell genius, you might say.  I went a little overboard and decided to stabilize the opening anyway with a strip of rayon seam binding since it has become a habit.

The front facing is cut in one with the bodice, as you can see here.

And, of course, that rayon seam binding gets a lot of play in most of my projects, as it certainly did here.

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive about rayon seam binding is how it works on curved edges.  The answer is, the product is woven on the grain, but because it is very thin and narrow and irons beautifully, you can ease it around curves without too much fuss.

And here is the front bodice with the cut in one facing folded into place.  The seam binding I used to stay the neckline opening was stitched just inside the fold line, and if you look closely, you can see the white thread on the red and black portions of the fabric.

I did forget just how much extra yardage is needed with an oversized print like this.  So while I had slightly more fabric than the pattern yardage requirements stated, it was a fight to get everything cut out.   I ended up piecing the sash because I wanted print placement on the front and back bodice to look as intentional as possible.

The skirt is pretty fabulous on its own.  I may just have to make a skirt from this pattern in the future. And another potential project gets added to the very long list . . .

A regular zipper was hand stitched into the left side seam.

And I catch-stitched the hemline in place.

Because my favorite vintage style bra has very narrow set straps that like to peek out of necklines, I added lingerie guards to the shoulder seams.

It's easy to make your own with a snap and a short length of ribbon, and I think they look much nicer than the store bought options.

And that means the dress is finished, right down to the smallest detail.  This is definitely a pattern I plan to make again in the near future!


  1. Dear Laura,

    this is so beautyful.

    Greatings from Stuttgart / Germany from where I really enjoy to see the wonderful dresses you always sew.


  2. Really looks great in that rose print!

  3. The muslin is so beautiful, it's wearable.

  4. stunning, love your detailing. The print is such a find and perfect for the dress

  5. what a great pattern and it's beautiful in that print. Fantastic

  6. I really like this print, prints with black setting off bold colors always catches my eye. As always Laura, you picked a winner and ended with a gorgeous dress.

  7. What a great print! Love the dress design, as well. You do such nice hand sewing.

  8. Just fabulous! Love your print for This beautiful dress,