There was a scary moment when she came to try it on and I thought it was too small, but luckily it fits really well. She tried it on before I sewed in the sleeves and we decided it looked fine without them, so I added some bias binding round the armholes instead. 1970’s puff-shoulders were never going to be within my daughter’s comfort zone!
I had to reduce the bodice by two inches all over, length as well as width, and I know I should have got her to try it on earlier as it could so easily not have fitted. The instructions for the front bands were very confusing and I ended up just following my instincts. Because of the adjustments to the top, the skirt had to lose a few inches of width to be in proportion. It’s still a really good swooping half-circle.
I don’t know how often she will wear it as she is not a dressy girl – it is definitely for layering over jeans and a camisole as the ladderwork fabric is quite sheer. She dug out a long white cotton petticoat from way-back-when which looks pretty funky under it too.
Verdict? A success! Phew! A landmark in many ways, as I think she will trust me to make her more clothes in the future… and I do think that every girl needs at least one dress in her wardrobe.
13 on Saturday 13th – eek!
Stats: Vintage 1970's Butterick "Betsey Johnson Young Designer" pattern 6978, in age 13-14, reduced by two inches in bodice width and length and the skirt shortened another six! The material is pure cotton from Favourite Fabrics at Ebay and was £3.99 a metre. It has alternating stripes of ladderwork and dotted swiss embroidery. Simple black buttons from John Lewis. Evil black Vilene 180 interfacing which melts within three feet of an iron - grrr!