I used my 1950s sundress pattern as a sort of sloper to make bodice alterations on this dress, since the fit should be about the same. It worked! No muslin needed, and I'm really happy with how it came out. There are minor adjustments that could be made, but I'm not sure I'd even bother. The main fabric is quilting fabric by Heather Bailey that grabbed me when I was at High Fashion Fabric a few weeks ago. I squeezed this dress out of three yards of fabric (instead of the four-and-something the pattern called for) by taking several inches off the hem when I traced off the pattern. It ended up being the perfect length, which was pure luck. I would have had enough to make the collar out of the same material, but I wanted to bring out the flame red, so I looked for a solid fabric to use for the collar in that color. No luck -- all the solid reds were too blue-toned. I did however find this tiny dot fabric that was close enough, so I went with it, and I love the way the patterns work together, much more than my other pattern-mixing attempt, even those fabrics were designed to coordinate. To bring everything together, I added a tie belt (maybe some day I'll try a belt with a buckle, but it's already been established that I love bows) and made one-inch bias tape to finish the hem in the dotted fabric. ( Making that bias tape really brought home just how full a hem this dress has, too. My first guesstimate of how much I would need got me about 60 percent of the way around!)
I did a full lining in cotton batiste as per usual, but also used the included facing pieces to reinforce the area where the buttons and buttonholes would be in lieu of adding interfacing, which I kind of hate (I did use it in the collar, though). I attached it to the lining like this:
I'm probably jinxing my next project by saying this, but this one came together like it was meant to be. Wouldn't it be nice if they were all like that? I don't have the perfect shoes for it, but I think I'm most likely to wear it in the house without shoes, so it doesn't really matter.
And as the title implies, this dress inspired some spinning. Days later, my husband (who is my photographer for my finished items) mentioned that while I was twirling around out in the street, he could see London and France and probably destinations even further north. So that exercise will not be repeated. :) Fortunately the worst of it was not captured on film. It kept the dog entertained too, as you can see: