Dandy & Rose

Bespoke Western Shirts, Handmade in England


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Vintage Vogue Western Tailored Dress

It’s only March and I have already made two dresses for myself this year. The pile of books on my dining room table? No – haven’t read them.

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This is my version of Vogue’s reproduction 1939 western tailored dress, V9127. It was meant to be my Christmas break project, but it proved so time consuming that I had to put it aside while I got on with some Dandy & Rose orders and come back to it. I finished it in late February. I’m glad I persevered though! It was worth it! I don’t know why Vogue think this pattern is ‘Average’ difficulty. People must have had a lot more skill, time and patience in 1939, that’s all I can say. The construction has hardly any edge-to-edge seams – those long curves on the front are created by turning under one seam allowance and then top stitching it in place on the seamline. Of course, it wasn’t that clever to use a triple stitch that you can’t unpick easily but I do like the look.

 

And those pockets… tricky. The collar didn’t roll quite where it should either, so one of my arrowhead tacks has disappeared under it. And O look, it’s not quite flat for the photo, but it does sit OK now, I promise! I took a lot of fabric out of the bodice at the side seams too – the blouson made it just a little bit too bulky.

I love the fabric I used. It’s a stretch viscose crepe from Dragonfly fabrics. I picked out this colour, but by the time I ordered, they had sold out; they ordered in a roll specially, which is what I call customer care! It drapes beautifully and it’s stretchy enough that I didn’t need the side zip.

To get a proper look of vintage tailoring, I ordered custom made belt and buttons from Harlequin. They were very reasonably priced and arrived within a couple of days of ordering. More great service!

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Stevie’s dress

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.

stevie in shop. jpeg

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.

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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.

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I cut the yoke from one of my favourite vintage patterns, again by McCalls .

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But hey, I only made the dress. It’s Stevie who wears it with absolute yee haw!

stevie in dress