For a long time I’ve been thinking about adapting the Dandy & Rose style to make a shirtdress.
It was Stevie Freeman, co-owner of Lewes’ very special americana-themed shop, Union Music Store, who gave me the spur to get on and do it. Here’s Stevie posing inside her shop for The Observer earlier this year.
In my fabric store we found some dark blue polycotton chambray with a soft drape and a lovely sheen which was perfect for the job. Then Stevie picked out Liberty’s classic stawberry print ‘Mirabelle’ as the contrast yoke.
She wanted a truly western look, so I suggested piping the yoke. Later on, I couldn’t resist adding the collar and front band to the ‘to be piped’ list. I used Liberty’s plain cherry red lawn to make the piping – extravagant, but worth it to get that special colour, especially as it exactly matched the pearl snaps I had in stock.
I based the dress on McCall’s 6506 – perfect because it has a proper collar stand and button band, both essential for a western look.
I cut the yoke from one of my favourite vintage patterns, again by McCalls .
But hey, I only made the dress. It’s Stevie who wears it with absolute yee haw!