When I saw the new Penny Dress by Sew Over It, I got really excited to make it. That excitement was intensified when my friend Fleurine asked me to be part of the blog tour that she and Bettina were organizing! If you don’t know Bettina, you need to, she’s absolutely hilarious. I immediately said yes. I love working with both of these ladies….not to mention all of the other gals that are part of the tour, too!
Ok, I want to interrupt the flow of this blog post to mention that I’m going to be meeting Fleurine IN PERSON in exactly ONE MONTH! She’s flying from Tromso, Norway to the States, specifically Denver, Colorado! We are going to fabric shop, sew, talk (in English because she has better English than me), and just hang out. Yep, I’m excited!!!!
I knew I wanted to make this in a Liberty of London print and Thao from Little Cumquat informed me of a 30% off Liberty sale at Pink Castle Fabrics. Done and done. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Thao a lot the last year and let me tell you, homegirl is wicked smart.
The Penny Dress itself is a simple sew and definitely a great option for a beginner seamstress who wants to branch out a bit. It has the typical features of a shirtdress but doesn’t require as much technical experience. It doesn’t have a collar stand, uses a faux placket, and has a drop shoulder so you don’t have to ease in a sleeve. All of these are good design options for a seamstress that doesn’t have as much experience yet but wants to sew herself a shirt dress.
I made a UK size 10 that had measurements of 35, 28, 38 which, conveniently, are my measurements. After making a muslin of the bodice I decided to grade out very slightly at the bust. I wanted the elasticized waist to hit me, ya know, at the waist so I also added 1.5″ to the length of the bodice at the waistline and 1/4″ to the shoulder seam. I’m 5′-9″ and the dress hits me right below the knee.
One thing about this pattern that I wasn’t used to was that there are pictures instead of illustrations. It wasn’t a big deal and the pictures were easy to see and follow, it just wasn’t something that I was used to.
I decided to accent the dress by using contrasting fabric for the facings, The facings help to construct the placket, so just know that if you’re using different fabric for the facings it’ll show on the outside of the dress. I used this gorgeous blue tencel chambray from LA Finch Fabrics. I love this stuff and want to make an Ogden Cami from it, too. (I want to make an Ogden Cami out of everything).
I think that the vintage style of this dress is really beautiful and classic. I sort of feel like I walked right out of the adored ’50s (or the set of Mad Men.) Wearing this dress gives the impulse to grab a Manhattan and a vacuum cleaner and start goin’ to town on my shag carpet. I say this as a sincerely complimentary (and sardonic) ode to an era whose image of a woman’s duties are, nowadays, laughable. However, had I been a part of that time I would’ve worn this dress, drank that Manhattan, fiercy pushed that vacuum, and had a good time doing it. Because really, a good time is where it’s at. I can’t say I would’ve had a hot dinner waiting for my husband though. I don’t cook.
Enough ramblings now.
If you want a chance to win a copy of the pattern all you have to do is enter in a Rafflecopter giveaway!! There are five patterns that are being given away! Give it a whirl so you can give the Penny dress a twirl!
Be sure to check out all of the other ladies on the tour! You won’t be disappointed! Also, a huge thank you to Bettina and Fleurine for organizing and to Sew Over It for providing the giveaways!
The Penny Dress pattern was provided to me for the blog tour at no cost but the opinions stated above are solely my own.