A couple of weeks ago I came across the ‘Dress Like Your Grandma’ challenge, hosted by Mrs. Hughes. The basic idea is to take a picture of your grandmother (or other relative, or general photo if you can’t find any), and to recreate the clothes in that picture.
I really liked the idea, but initially wasn’t sure if it’d fit with my schedule. At that point (first week of March) I still had the bodice for Marije, my medieval kirtle & head gear, the balayeuse for my train, a day bodice for my 1870s dress and a hat & chemisette for with that bodice on my todo list. All to be done before the 1st of May.
By the first of April though, I was running ahead of schedule for all of those things and decided to add the grandma dress to the list!
It also really helped that I had the perfect dress to recreate, and already had the pattern to make it with!
These pictures were taken when my grandmother was about 16 years old, in the 1940’s.
I also already had this pattern.
The skirt is quite different, but the top would work.
So I ordered some white cotton with black dots, and on a Sunday beginning of April went to work! I slightly forgot that my goal dress didn’t have a collar, so mine does have one.
On the plus side, it turned out very pretty and neat!
I was also really happy with the typical sleeves on this pattern, as I wouldn’t know how to draft those, and they come close to the original.
Other than that I slightly shortened the bodice of the pattern, and made a ‘belt’ from a strip of fabric. The skirt I completely drafted myself. It’s basically a circle skirt made of 8 panels (to fit it on the fabric), but cut with a very big hole for the waist and then gathered to fit. The bodice part is lined in white cotton to avoid see-through moments. I actually managed to finish the whole dress in a day, which made me pretty happy. It also shows that I’ve definitely gotten quicker at sewing than I was a couple of years ago!
The finished dress on my dress form:
I didn’t manage to recreate the original pictures, as I didn’t have access to a studio or general ‘blocks’. Instead, I made some images in my parents back yard. In sepia, to fit the theme!