Love Me a Wiggle Dress

What do you get when you mix this pattern with this piping and this dress inspiration?

…You get this one…
…a vintage-inspired
(insert other)
Hands down, this is the best outcome of last year’s new-clothes-free year. Usually I would be devising a scheme to get my mits on that gorgeous Etsy dress. And it was only because buying wasn’t an option, that I even considered sewing. Now it seems crazy to have ever considered buying!
 Which came first, the pattern or the piping? I bought this pattern, found the piping and fell in love with that ‘nautical wiggle dress’ in three unrelated incidences. True. I snapped up Vogue 8280 after first seeing it here and there it sat in the stash waiting for the right fabric… and for me to grow some balls. I jumped on a review site and found lots of lovely but very sensible versions for the office. I was still hanging out for a cheeky wiggle dress and when I saw this cute fabric with little jolly-rogers and anchors…Vogue 8280 was free from her shackles!
 I had a good feeling about this one. A pattern combining a fitted bodice, sweetheart neckline and pencil skirt is a guaranteed never-fail for broad shouldered, narrow hipped, up-side down triangle shaped girls. Choosing the right size was kind of important since I am yet to figure out the making of a muslin and some of the reviews recommended you size down. According to the pattern I was between a 12 and 14. I cut the 14 to be safe but when I held up the pieces it just seemed too big, so went back and cut the 12. So far I seem to be getting away with shrinking seam allowances down if I’ve cut too smaller size rather than entirely re-fitting a bigger size. For now.
The bodice fit perfectly and with pinning help from an obliging girl at the fabric shop, I took in the sides of the skirt and changed the shape. Not leaving without my wiggle!
And yes they are fake…eyelashes. I was SO excited about how to style this dress to capture its retro rockabilly spirit. Yet to get in touch with my inner ‘girly-girl’, I had to search Pinterest for ‘pin-up’ style make-up and buy some basics. According to this tutorial you must have pin-up eyebrows so off they went for a wax. The beautician was not familiar with these so called pin-up eyebrows but somehow we nutted out that they had to be long and thin, with a high arch, please. As you can probably tell, I had fun hamming it up for the camera in a deserted (at least I think it was) carpark. Not hard to do when your eyelashes are an inch long.

One of the reviewers said she highlighted all the instructions for the particular view you want to sew because they jump about. Which it does. Invaluable. My personal tip is: write yourself encouraging messages along the way, which is especially good for sewers previously brought to tears by a vogue pattern.

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