May 19, 2010

Rick Rack, Lassie's Wacked, give that dog a bone.

Okay folks I did it, after over a month of working on McCalls 5861, I am finished. Well, not exactly. Now that I have seen it in photos from behind, I see there are some issues that need fixing. Mostly around the waist where it meets in the back. It also may need a snap or eye-hook to keep it closed in the back (more about that later). Wishing hubby had asked me to move so his truck was not coming out of my head in all the photos. And there are the 3 goats watching in the background. Billy, Helen and Maude. Nicky the German Shepard makes his second debut on the blog and of course Angel finds her way into a picture.

As you can see, I have made a couple of changes.

  1. My waist is not as small as the said pattern suggested and so the buttons do not go up in a straight line but rather on a diagonal.
  2. I changed the pockets by lining them with the striped sear sucker and then flipping the top down and adding matching buttons .
  3. I also had to totally change the darts in the bust. If you look at the photo below you will see on the right hand side where the darts were before I changed them. Let's just say they were up around my neck and no where near fitting me.
Since I did not have "Hazel" my  body double yet (I will introduce you to her soon) I was having fitting problems and did not figure it out until the whole dress was put together. I had to take the bodice from the skirt on both sides (remember it is a double sided dress) AND I took out all the gathers from the skirt and started over.
I tried to show you where the old and new darts are with this photo. If you look closely I have written it in red on the right hand side.
 4. I added rick rack all around the hem. This happened because I could not find an off white rick rack at my sewing store so I ordered 7 yards on line. No big deal, but 14 days after the post office said it would arrive the tracking on it said it was in STILL in Springfield Ma.and HAD been there for 14 days. I thought it might be one of those circumstances where it shows up long after I am gone and departed and so I ordered 7 more yards, which I received in 4 days and then of course almost 30 days after ordering it, the other 7 yards arrived. The hem on this baby is HUGE...did I say HUGE and it would have taken me years to hem it. So I rick racked it.

Here is a photo of my hallway and the fabric before I gathered it. Of course my kitty Angel is always nearby.
 Here is the skirt flared out a bit so you can see how much fabric there is.
The mail man arrived just in time to see me doing this photo shoot. Now all the neighbors are surely going to think I am the resident "Lisa Douglas" and I wasn't even wearing my cat eye sun glasses. Well the back of this dress just laps over the fabric and do I dare say as I took this photo I "may" have flashed the mail man!!!

Woops..that's better.                       And me laughing hysterically at the thought of what I just did.
Don't you just love the scarf too. Picked it up the day before for 50 cents at my favorite thrift store.

Another little problem that only I will know about is that the rick rack is not cotton and thus melts when ironed. I only found this out after melting a bit of it while ironing seams. Look on the top layer midway down the neckline.
And here is the reverse side, which is much plainer. I guess this could be a day to evening dress.
Hubby was heading out and in a hurry to photo me so I did not have time to straighten the bonks out of the hem. There is also a real problem on this side with the waist and how the buttons meet. This will have to be addressed.
This dress was featured in McCalls Summer Magazine 1961 as a mother/daughter outfit.

Now onto new things.


  1. Oh wow, it's reversible! How fantastic, really nice job for someone new-to-sewing!

  2. Your dress is lovely - so neat that it has two sides! I laughed at your comments about your neighbors... I know my neighbors wonder about me and my constant outdoor photo shoots!

  3. I love your dress -- the fabrics (and that it's reversible) and of course the rick-rack!

  4. Impressive for a "new" sewer! Reversible! Rick rack!

    I have an orange kitty, too, but it's a she. Aren't they characters?

    Nice blog. It will be fun to see what you sew up next.

  5. Oh, what a darling dress. I love the colour combo in the fabrics you chose, they look great on you.

    Good job!


  6. OMG. That dress is FANTASTIC! I love the color, the full gathered skirt and it's REVERSIBLE!! You look absolutely lovely in the dress! Great job!!

  7. i adore this dress! it has everything that I love about that era in fashion and it looks fab on you! For me, the real star here is the choice of fabrics...stunning!

  8. This dress has everything! Ric rac! Diagonal buttons (it looks like you've done that on purpose as a snazzy feature)! Reversibility! Wow!

  9. 1. I think the diagonal button treatment worked out great, and looks intentional.
    2. Wondering about Hazel--- I am looking for a comrade to make a custom dress form with duct tape===is that what you're doing next?
    3. One more excuse to go yard/church-saling often, you can usually find lots of rick-rack.
    4. My favorite is the contrasting flap of the pocket w/ big buttons. Makes the dress, IMO
    GReat Job!

  10. Wow, love the material you chose and I hope I'll become as good as you.
    joan in italy

  11. Lovely dress. Love your attention to detail. And gorgeous fabric!

  12. Bravo! Tres Bien! Molto Bene! Fabulous! Great job! Love the dress---sooo cute and the fact that it's reversible makes it extra special.

    Ok now Lisa Douglas, it's time to start affecting your Hungarian accent, dahling! And just be glad you flashed the mailman and not Mr. Haney!

  13. You are just the Bees Knees Miss Sassy Lassie! And when you figure out exactly what those ARE you let me know! That would be SWELL!!! OXOXO
    Your biggest fan!

  14. What a great dress, I can't believe you managed to make it reversible oO that rocks! The photoshoot is adorable too :)

  15. Looks fantastic! I know you had some issues with it, but over all it looks great.

  16. Thanks for all of your comments. It was the hardest thing I have sewn to date...but up ahead may be a new challenge. Started a muslin today of a sheath with jacket Simplicity 3084, which I am making in a satin brocade.

  17. Wonderful! I love everything about it! The colors, the rick-rack, the buttons... Fabu!

  18. Omygoodness! I love it and such fun pictures too!

  19. That dress looks great on you. I love the blue/brown side. I am inspired.


I appreciate each and every one of your comments. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.


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