Last autumn I started making a new winter dress from some caramel coloured wool from my stash and a piece of tartan wool I got at a charity shop – blue and brown are my favourite colours, and they complement each other beautifully.
In the middle of January, I finally got the dress finished. I’ve named it the Tartan Caramel dress.
As usual, it’s made from my own patterns, the bodice from the same one as the hobbit bodice, the plaid dress with matching skirt, the Blackberries in Cream dress and the Merida Dirndl. Both lining and interlining are made from cotton scraps from my stash (a would-be dress that ended in disaster – sewing doesn’t always work out as planned), and I flatlined them to the wool for sturdiness. As with the Merida Dirndl I embroidered a tag with my initials, just because it looks cute.
The bodice closes with hooks and eyes down the front, and it has a panel behind it to prevent them damaging the blouse worn under it.
The bodice closure extends into an offset skirt closure, the placket hidden in one of the skirt pleats.
The petal sleeves are unlined (mostly because I ran out of fabric), but have a facing from the lining material, as does the skirt hem. The pockets too are made from the lining material. Since I was short on fabric, I couldn’t make them quite as deep as I’d have liked (big pockets are fabulous) but at least I can fit my mobile in them.
I trimmed the neckline, sleeves and skirt with strips of the tartan. There was just enough of it to trim the dress – I have a very short strip of it left, in case it’s needed for mending at some point.
I also made a matching, detachable belt. Originally I wanted a self-fabric buckle in the front, but it turned out badly, so I made it close in the back instead, and hid the closure with a bow. While the front of the skirt is knife pleated, the back is cartridge pleated.
I didn’t have enough of the caramel wool, so the skirt is a tad shorter than I would have wished. It would have ended up even shorter if I hadn’t pieced in a strip of the caramel wool, that I had previously trimmed an old skirt with, and hid the joins in the fabric under the tartan strips.
I mean to always wear this dress with a blouse under it – it is a winter dress after all. Long sleeved blouses worn under sleeveless (or in this case short sleeved) dresses is perhaps my signature look, if not the only one.
I love wearing these kinds of dresses, I just have to keep making each one special, so my style won’t get boring and too predictable – changing the neckline of the next dress perhaps?