Remember when Felicity was extremely helpful with my sewing? What she was mainly helping me with was this dress, which I am calling the ‘Little Miss Muffet at the Village Féte’ frock.
First, the name of the dress. I’m sure you’re wondering. I have an elaborate and complicated mind, but this one isn’t too odd once I explain. I first fell in love with the lace for this dress, because each little circle reminded me of a spiders web. I like spiders! The obvious person to wear a dress covered in sweet spider-web lace would be Little Miss Muffet, all grown up and over her fears. I first sewed the lace as a straight line, but it was boring and lacked dimensionality, so I cut it in dags, which remind me of the bunting you see at summer fêtes. So it’s a dress for Miss Muffet to wear to the fair!
The dress was inspired by ca. 1910s ‘lingerie’ frocks and linen dresses such as this one from FIDM, and this one and this one from the V&A. This particular version was intended to be a quick & easy working toile, where I played with patterns (this is based on a couple of original patterns from my collection and small images in Janet Arnold & Norah Waugh) and techniques, but didn’t invest a huge amount of time.
And then I decided I needed to do things like appliqué my lace with dagged edges and sew more lace around the hem and yet more lace on the sleeves, and three days of steady sewing later….
Worth it though! The model looked spectacular, and it is deliciously summer-y.
The fabrics from this dress represent a lot of my favourite fabric-sourcing places, all in one garment. The main body fabric (white linen) was a gift from the utterly wonderful Lynne. The blue linen was a stained tablecloth I picked up for a coin or two at one of my favourite op-shops just a few weeks before, with the idea that I might use it for fabric. The lace I purchased in the Fabric Warehouse 40% off sale (and sewed it into the dress before the sale was even finished!). The hidden lingerie buttons that fasten it were also found at a favourite op-shop. It’s really nice to see long-term stash items and recent buys all come together in one happy garment.
Technically I could submit this as an entry for the Historical Sew Fortnightly ‘Tucks & Pleats’ challenge, as the front bodice is shaped with three pleats. However I’m not entirely sure I consider this done.
I feel it needs….something. I’m not sure what. Perhaps long under-sleeves? Or something as simple as blue under-sleeves to mirror the blue on the skirt?
It may stay as it is, but it may get a bit of tweaking. Watch this space