janetheclerk

Archive for the ‘dresses’ Category

cherry pie

In 50s clothing, clothing, dresses on 13 May, 2011 at 10:41 am


isn’t this fabric wonderful? it’s pure cotton, amazing to work with, has enough weight to hold it’s shape in the classic 50s skirt, and it’s adorable. however, it is not cheap. hence, this dress was made for a friend of mine.

the design of the dress is very simple; top section to empire so that it could be tapered in, with a basic bust dart, a midriff section to slightly below the waist, and then full circle skirt. i can’t quite remember the debate on the straps, but once i saw the design of two pieces and then a tie at the shoulder, we decided that this was the way to go.

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swing dress

In 14+, 50s clothing, clothing, dresses, kids on 5 May, 2011 at 9:42 am

i’m not sure where i got this idea, but it’s hardly surprising, considering that i love 50s clothing, and the idea of dancing the night away. i found all of the stretch netting very cheaply at a waste shop; the stretch poplin in plain white was a little harder to come by, so the netting lay patiently in wait for quite some time.

i learnt a few very good lessons in the making of this style:

  • bust and waist darts are a good idea for the under layer, but the top layer should be without them
  • with the black and beige dress, i should have sewn the two layers of fabric as one, so that the dark seams weren’t so visible
  • for a real swing look, the under layer should be made from fabric with a bit of weight to it – the black and beige dress just doesn’t hold its shape unless a petticoat is used


i was so excited in making this dress for my niece. i had kept the netting especially for her, and i measured her, and it was going to be so wonderful. and then i did something very silly. i waited about four months between measuring and making; she was 8 at the time, and growing at a significant rate. the whole thing ended in tears, as she loved the dress, but it didn’t fit. i was so disappointed in myself. but, we move on. my niece still loves me, and we’ve had a good chat about the whole thing, and i’m allowed to make things for her again.

alice or jackie?

In 14+, 50s clothing, clothing, dresses on 14 April, 2010 at 1:14 am

i have finally gotten the a-line pattern right, and it’s a wonderful dress – flattering while covering all the lumps and bumps, of which i seem to have a lot lately.  the deep neckline gives the eyes something to look at, while the lack of waist darts gives room to have a big tummy day.  the shape of the dress is maintained by darts in the back.

with alice in wonderland fever all over the place, i started this one out as an alice dress; the blue fabric is reminiscent, and the delicate ricrac keeps it playful.  however, i ended up putting a very 50s style collar onto the dress.  the collar was a bit of a bind, i went through three iterations before getting one that looked good on the dress.  so, is this an alice dress or a jackie o dress?

the orange fabric will have a-lines made out of it, with 3/4 sleeves and a ruffle collar.  very exciting.  these will be on sale at euphoria in durban, and on etsy.

Baby in Golden Daisy

In clothing, dresses on 18 March, 2010 at 11:24 pm

I look to make clothes for normally sized people that flatter assets and hide liabilities, using clever designs and more than a few tricks of the eye.

This is a very simple babydoll dress made out of local cotton twill; my own design and pattern. The fabric comes from the da Gama company, who make the better known shweshwe fabric. This just caught my eye, and I can’t seem to get enough of the big happy golden daisies.

For this dress, I chose to use the failsafe empire line, with gathering under the breast; this is a gentle finish that adds bulk to the bust, while making the area below look slimmer in conrast.

This dress shows a bit of cleavage, and again uses the empire line.  The dress is knee length, and best of all has inset pockets which are big enough for a cellphone or keys.

Delicate cotton lace finishes off the neckline and the armholes, and the dress is fastened with a zip at the back.

I currently have this dress in this fabric available in sizes 10, 12 & 18;  they’ll go up on etsy, and I will be making it in other fabrics soon.