It is woman

Princess line dress

Saffron coming to inspect my new creation

Today I finished sewing this princess line dress. (Although it looks black here, it’s really brown).

I had originally bought this fabric intending to use it for a vintage pattern. The experience with the ‘slippery’ black floral I used with a 1940 pattern convinced me otherwise. I couldn’t let the fabric go to waste so I turned it into a princess line dress.

My poor princess line pattern: it has holes it in. It has multiple length marks; it has bits and pieces to change the shape of the neck – round, V-neck, sweetheart; square back, higher back, lower scoop back. In places it’s held together with sticky tape. It’s the legacy of using the one pattern to make… um… let me see… 6 dresses.

I know that some people may ask – ‘don’t you get tired of the same style?’ Absolutely not! To start with it looks so different depending on the fabric and the length.

More importantly, it is one of the most feminine and flattering styles I know. As a very experienced dressmaker said to me – in her Ukrainian accent – ‘it is woman.’

I only have photos of 5 of the dresses – these have all been made using the one princess line pattern. I think I got my money’s worth out of that pattern purchase! (For the sewing aficionados it’s a McCall’s Laura Ashley pattern. I’d get the exact number if Licorice wasn’t sitting on top of the pattern box.)

Princess Line dress in Organza 2008

Leonardo Fabric - back of dress

Princess Line Dress in Sheer Crinkle with Leonardo Da Vinci print

The black one was so versatile – I made two the same! I wear them all year ’round.

Sleeveless princess line dress with top underneath

Sleeveless dress with top underneath for winter wearing

Princess Line Dress Foundation Pattern

This photo really shows off how beautiful the line of that seam is... oh and that I have cat hair on the dress.

Lysh and pickle

Made to mid-calf length - super comfortable!

Lastly, the most spectacular incarnation of the dress. As two dresses in fact (so I’ve sewn it 8 times in all!) The ‘lining’ is wearable on its own; not that I ever would. The colour without the olive lace on top makes me look ill. The outer layer was joined at the seams using rolled hem setting on the overlocker and serafil to make them as fine as possible. The bias was hand-stitched around the collar. I have my wonderful dressmaking teacher to thank for this version of the princess line dress. Without her, it wouldn’t have been. I had a vision for what I wanted. She used her wealth of experience to help me adjust the pattern and make it a reality.

Wedding_2009_0_24 128_s

Princess Line dress pattern made into evening dress

You can see in the second photo that it is floor length. It swishes beautifully as you walk. As Olga said:
It is woman.
Wedding_2009_0_24 144_s


Posted on February 18, 2012, in Dressmaking, Fashion, Sewing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. You’re absolutely right, one pattern made in different lengths and fabrics makes all the difference, as you’ve illustrated very well. I particularly the last two versions though all are lovely. Plus, wearing different accessories, make up, hair styles can change everything, they can make one dress look like many lol.

    • Agree that the accessories can also change the look dramatically. People often say to me ‘where are you going to wear it?’ I can get away with wearing all sorts of things to work. Often it’s a case of choosing the right shoes to dress something up or down!

  2. Oh the last one is gorgeous! My waist being a thing of distant memory, I tend to avoid shapes like this. You may make me feel differently.
    Like you, I am fair. I was a strawberry blond but am now a grey blond. Beiges and anything pale on tht spectrum have ambulances screeching to a halt beside me.

    • My dressmaking teacher says you should work with what you have. Even if you don’t have the waist you once did, a little bit of tapering in a garment is going to look better than a big shapeless sack. I tend to agree.

  3. OMG, I LOVE Princess Line Dress! I have a similar pattern that I adore, just as chipped up. You are a very skilled and adventurous seamstress! Haven’t made any new dresses in a while–you’ve inspired me to make a few for summer, at least!

  1. Pingback: Singer Sewing Machines | It is woman « the scroobious pip

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