Completely convinced that I wanted to build a conservative wardrobe of muted tones and classic lines, nobody was more surprised than I was when, after “quickly” nipping out to get some sewing thread, I returned home an hour (or more) later with an armful of more floral prints than I care to mention.
Although I did not buy it on this first visit (but yes, I did go back for even more fabric shortly thereafter), a palm tree print caught my eye that day. Even though I was pretty certain that the fabric was kinda kitsch, I just could not stop thinking about it. When paging through a Burda magazine a few days later I noticed this Paul & Joe dress in the most beautiful pink palm tree print that was featured on one of their designer inspiration boards. I then realised that it was that very dress that had planted this seed of thought in my subconscious.
Certain that a palm tree print shirt dress was an invaluable addition to my wardrobe I set out to find an adaptable pattern to make this a reality. As luck would have it my mom had this old Vogue V8028 pattern in her collection. I’m always a little hesitant to use patterns where there is only a garment illustration and no photo, as these illustrations are usually stylised and thus not a true reflection of fit. My impatience and time constraints got the better of me however, and I decided to risk it.
The most obvious of the changes that I made to the pattern was the removal of the faced button stand on the front skirt. I also changed the the box pleats into knife pleats, which I had to make slightly smaller in order to match them up with the waist control darts which I let out a few centimetres (there were some teeny waists a couple of decades ago!). The skirt I shortened to just above the knee (and then immediately regretted it), and narrowed the collar and added an integrated turn up to the sleeve.
Please excuse my bruised and battered legs (the perils of parenthood). I did contemplate Photoshopping them, but decided to rather keep it real.
Although I do like the finished dress, there is something strange about the fit that I just can’t put my finger on. I love it on the hanger, but not so much on me. I’m thinking of making it sleeveless or lifting the waist slightly. Perhaps its the old school pattern that resulted in a fit that I am not used to or it’s just not a silhouette that suits me, I will give it a wear or two when my legs look a little less terrible and see if it grows on me.