It’s a simple shirt dress in a 1950’s style with a flat collar and a dropped shoulder. I really love the bodice and have one planned in a black viscose. Its going to be so much fun with a semi circle skirt (perfect for swooshing!), an elasticated waist (perfect for eating all the food) and that collar (perfect for making it look extra smart!). However, when I measured up I was a definite size eight on the waist and hips but a ten on the bust. Considering the style of the top I didn’t really think it warranted a full bust adjustment as it is quite loose fitting and so began to wonder about just making up a size 10 – after all the elasticated waist should cinch it in, right? Rather than dive right in and make the dress in a size 10 I thought it might be best to toile the bodice and check I want doing something crazy by going for the bigger size. It was then I saw on the Sew Over It instagram an amazing hack for the Penny dress. They had extended the bodice slightly and added some ties to the front to make a tie-front blouse. I immediately fell in love with the idea! I could toile the bodice whilst getting a wearable piece of clothing out of it.
I printed out an assembled the pdf pattern and cut out just the pattern pieces for the bodice in a size 10. I added 4 cm to the front and back bodice pieces (as the weight of the skirt would not be holding them down). I then added a triangle extending the centre front down by 25cm and drawing a diagonal to the side seam.
I then pretty much constructed the blouse as per the instructions for the dress bodice, but before moving onto the skirt instructions I just went straight to hemming.
The dress calls for three buttons but as I didnt want a massive hole where the tie front was I added a fourth. I could have started the buttons a bit lower on the neckline and I might do this for my dress (the button placement is left entirely up to the sewer with this pattern – there is no buttonhole guide)
Pattern: Penny dress – Sew Over It
Fabric: Orange twill from the Man outside Sainsburys (Walthamstow market – London)
Alterations: Size 10 bodice with 4 cm added to the length and tie front extensions to the front bodice piece.
I really love this pattern and can’t wait to make the dress – I also love the hack and can see this becoming one of my wardrobe staples, the fabric is really soft to habdle and feels gorgeous against my skin! I dont think I would want to make this with abything with less drape as the loose fitting bodice would end up quite stiff.
I really love the drop shoulder sleeves and think the styling fits in really well with the tie-front