The best part about sewing is that you can create unique makes for different occasions; today was one of those extra special days that warranted a creative make to celebrate.
This is the Vogue 1627 dress pattern by Zandra Rhodes. It is definitely an special occasion dress and with a vintage 70;s vibe thrown in, it was the perfect choice for my "By the Pool" celebration today.
Today was the first time in 52 years that I have not gone back to school in some way. I started Kindergarten in 1970, graduated in 1983, then went straight on to Uni and into teaching and administration. To mark the occasion I wanted to create a caftan that I could wear "By the Pool on the First Day of School"; something glamourous, fun and flowy with a retro nod to the year that I started school myself.
This pattern was originally released in the 1970's. It is a re-take on the Field of Lilies Dress, an iconic chiffon dress pattern by Zandra Rhodes. It is designed as a pullover dress with a ruched elastic waist but I wanted it to open completely in the front for an easier on and off, especially when coming out of the pool. For this pattern hack, I left one side seam for the skirt piece completely open and rotated it to the front of the dress lining it up with the V-neck opening of the front bodice. I then ran the bias binding that goes around the bodic and neckline all the way to the hemline. This was an easy conversion, eliminating the elastic casing at the waist.
To maintain the gathered effect for the top of the dress, I added one half of the elastic casing to the bottom of the bodice,gathering the top and bottom pieces to fit the band. This added the element of a waistband without any elastic. I added 4" to the length of the bodice so that the band hit at my natural waistline.
The pattern offers the option of adding glass beading to the trim of the kimono sleeve. As I knew I would be wearing it near water I choose a more casual mini Pom-Pom trim. I also added this trim to the hemline to complete the look.
I still wanted to be able to close my caftan so I encorporated the tie sash from the pattern and sewed it to the opening of the front bodice at the waistband. For added detail I cut the sash pieces from the border print of the fabric. The fabric itself is a vintage single glaze fabric, a perfect choice for a cool coverup that adds drama and drape to the overall look. The gauze ensures that it will be cool and it will dry quickly. I trimmed it in a coordinating green bias binding for a bit of contrast.
As I was not worried about the sheerness of the dress I did not include the lining pieces for the bodice. I did however take the extra time to sew french seams on all seams that were not encased in the contrasting bias binding.
This is a fun, creative pattern to sew. It is best suited for light weight drapery fabrics like chiffon, voile, crepe de chine or satin. The styling does make it an extra special garment that can be worn as a cover up by the pool, lingerie or a caftan-style dress for entertaining at home. I think I will wear mine as a robe during hot weather as well.
I love the vintage vibe of this pattern. It is such fun to wear and you will feel elegant and chic whenever you do! Have fun hacking the pattern so that it fits your needs, you won't regret giving this pattern a try.
After All..... There is Sew Much To Design.
Happy Vintage Caftan Sewing,