Q: I'm wondering if anyone could help suggest a good starting pattern to make a specific dress. I am in love with a dress Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood wears.
I've searched vintage patterns but can't find anything similar, so I was wondering if anyone knew of a pattern that would be a good jumping off point. Thanks in advance for any help!
A: Hmm.... well, Melissa, this may be tricky. When I first looked at the dress I thought how simply it could be modified from a pattern like one of these:
|New Look 6699|
|New Look 6676|
|New Look 5140|
- the slight sweetheart ruched bust piece
- the narrow halter straps
- the separate midriff panel
- the swingy circle skirt
Individually, all of those elements are easy. Any of the patterns above could easily have those details if it doesn't already. To get the gathered part over the bust, all you need to do when you cut the center front bust piece (out of the fabric--cut the lining exactly as it says) is move it over a few inches, so it's much wider than you need it to be. Then gather the top and bottom and sew it right sides together to its neighbor pieces just as you would a flat piece!
But the issue is, if you want that exact bodice part--it looks like a scooped frame on the midriff panel that surrounds the partial bust part--I don't know if there is a pattern that will help you. You may have to experiment and make something up. And looking at vintage patterns will probably help. Here are two vintage reprint Vogue patterns that do the angled frame around the bust:
During this search I ran across many dresses that Sookie would wear, if she could. One dress that looks really familiar at first glance, but has different pieces, is this one!:
P.S. It is pure coincidence that the pink and white sprigged summer dress with ruching on the bodice that I posted two days ago is very similar in flavor to the Sookie dress we're copying. How funny! I guess it's just a great summer look. Mine even has a modified circle skirt, which is unusual for me. Anyway.
Readers, have you seen any patterns with that great vintage scoop in the front?? Help Melissa out if you have any other suggestions!
Thanks for reading and contributing to Sewing Circle!