As in Mary Quant-ified!
I came home from my holidays keen to make another Fibremood Zita to fill a gap in my wardrobe for when it’s very hot. I spent hours dragging stuff out of my stash to find the very fabric I wanted. I began with some unevenly onion skin dyed cotton, but didn’t have enough; the Zita takes much more fabric than you’d think. Anyway, after looking at all sorts of fabrics I went back to my onion skin fabric which turned out to be linen on closer inspection, and thought about making a top. But I wanted a dress, so I cut the top off the pattern and made a kind of yoke. As I was cutting the yoke I realised that I could incorporate the bust dart into the seam, which I did, but then managed to make the seam too high. I am ignoring this little problem!
I duly finished the dress and hung it up overnight before taking photos. I foolishly hemmed it and found to my dismay that the hem dropped all over the place. I could possibly have lived with the back being longer than the front, but not the strange looking front.
I redid the hem using my Mother’s hem ruler and Mark to do the pinning. I cut off a huge amount in some places, and was quite anxious that I’d be adding a band on to the bottom. I put it on a contrasting towel so you can see how much it dropped by, but only in places.
When I was in my early teens we called this style of dress a “tent dress” and I had one very similar when I was 14. I remember I had really big, nicely shaped patch pockets, so I added some to the dress instead of the included in-seam pockets, of which I’m not a great fan.
You might at this point be wondering where Mary Quant comes in (unless you have already spotted the pocket)? Well I received some iron-on vinyl with my Cricut which I immediately put in the “never going to use that” pile. Then I began wondering what the difference is between having it sitting in a drawer, giving it away, or using it myself. I’d never buy any, but given that I had some I thought I should use it. I did a bit of research on how it worked and cut out a Mary Quant style flower and a heart, which it was suggested I used as a test.
There’s a bit of a faff with ironing on the vinyl, the iron has to be dry and at a particular temperature and it has to be held on the vinyl for a specified number of seconds. I cut out the heart, but decided I wanted it on the dress, so as not to waste it, and it did turn out to be a little bit mediocre. It’s on the centre back seam of the yoke, so not hugely visible.
It looks a little bit wrinkled, so when I put the flower on the pocket I took even more care, and I am pretty pleased with the results.
I used some gold vinyl that was part of a mixed pack. I initially thought I’d use black as that seems more of a Mary Quant colour, but I really like the subtlety of the gold.
I have to say at this point that I really like the iron on vinyl (I’ve now lost whatever green credentials I had!). It is lovely to the touch and seems to be embedded into the fabric. It is guaranteed to survive fifty washes, but I’ll probably wash this by hand so it all lasts longer. I can’t see it breaking down in landfill though, which makes me sad, but as I said, I already had it so there was no point in not using it.
The back of the Zita is quite low, so I won’t be wearing it out in the sun without some sort of a tee shirt under it. I also find the shoulders a bit wide, so I might be modifying the next one. The weather is pretty chilly down in the south of our state, hence the leggings.
You can also see that the hem of the dress is now perfectly straight – phew!
When I was in the UK I read an article that no-one was now ironing their linen; creases were very “in” and spoke of a high quality garment. Whilst I’d never not iron a linen garment, I am happy to show it creased.
I took a gazillion photos, standing in front of various spring flowering plants, then I couldn’t decide which I liked best, so here is a selection. I love the drape on this dress.
I thought I’d add a couple more photos of our plants, they bring me such joy.
Of course I had to show the dress whilst seated. It is wide enough that I get plenty of leg coverage when sitting down, and it is very comfortable. That’s one of our frog ponds behind me.
I was quite pleased at some point during this make when I realised that it was a perfect entry for the Magamsewalong challenge on Instagram, the monthly theme for which is “Overcome October”. I did overcome some difficulties with lack of fabric and, most importantly, I overcame my reluctance to use the iron on vinyl in my stash. You will be seeing more of it as I use it up.
And my usual treat for getting to the end…