After the austerity of earlier years fashion for the young suddenly became fun and young designers, boutiques and fun fashion, heralded the start of the swinging 60s.
The key look of the period was mini skirts and short A-line dresses and coats. Graphic prints were used to create a strong look. It was during this period that tights came into being, so now that young women were free of stockings skirts could become shorter and shorter.
Boutiques were a new way of shopping for clothes, they were dark and mysterious with loud music playing, sales staff wore the clothes they were selling and chatted about fashion passionately.
Mary Quant was a pioneer in fashion and she desIgned dresses which were very short, with zips down the front with a circular pull-ring. She used a new fabric called courtelle, one of the first synthetic materials used in fashion.
Of course we cannot mention the 60s without paying homage to Twiggy probably the most famous fashion model of all time.Her waif like figure epitomises the era and the total change in how women looked and dressed. This was the age when fashion was
young and fun, and girls dressed for themselves not as copies of their mothers.
So, the fabric I have chosen is a silk in a bold pattern, and I will be making it in 1960s style. Fashion in this decade was beautifully made and so I will be concentrating on a garment which looks as good on the inside as on the outside. It will be perfect to take on holiday later this year.
Join me again in a few days and if you like get hold of the pattern and some fabric and make it along with me.
The fabric I am using is very slippery, when I was cutting it out I took care to use a lot of pins but I placed them inside the seam allowance so that they do not mark the fabric.also the fabric is prone to distort so frequent pinning helps to stop it from moving around. If you have problems with slippery fabrics then cut the pieces out in a single layer, remembering to reverse one of the pieces for the opposite side of course! Use very sharp scissors or if you are lucky enough to have some sharp pinking sheers made especially for silks then use them instead.
There are several darts on this pattern so mark them with tailors tacks, pin together, tack if necessary, stitch and tie the ends off. If you use dressmakers tracing paper please be careful because darker colours may not wash out. Also non-permanent marker pens for fabric can become permament when ironed so if in doubt test whatever method you choose on a scrap of fabric first. Dont forget too that fine fabric requires a fine sewing machine needle, you may need to experiment with different feet, I use a teflon foot which glides accross the fabric, or sometimes I use a walking foot.it is worth while experimenting with different feet to see which gives the smoothest seam.also make sure that the needle is new and the stitch length is right for the fabric.
I am going to be using an invisible zipper, do not be daunted by this, it is easy to do and you will not want to use anything else once you have tried it. Next time I will talk you through the process of inserting it and continue with putting the dress together.
By the way, did you know that the mini skirt was different to this style of shift dress? The dress we are making is elegant and easy to wear, it is timeless and a staple in any woman's wardrobe even now. It should end on or about the knee, if you are young and have good legs then by all means make it shorter, dressmaking is about making garments that suit you and your personality.
I tailored tacked the darts,stitched and pressed them carefully. Stitched the shoulder seams and then I interfaced the facings with iron on interfacing.
Neaten the bottom of the facings and join together at the shoulder seams. Stitch the facings to the garment around the neck and armhole edges, clip the curves, press, pull through so that it is the right way out. Join the side seams, press.
Close the zip and pin the back seam together, tack, making sure that the seam alignes with the zip stitching. Machine stitch the seam.
Press the seam allowance neaten the edges. To finish stitch the remainder of the zipper neatly in place to the seam allowance only