I have wanted to make a Dottie Angel frock for a while, and wondered how it would look using some of my favourite vintage Laura Ashley textiles, so when one of the online pattern suppliers I use had a Simplicity sewing pattern sale, I quickly ordered Simplicity 1080 so I could try out this Dottie Angel pattern.
I had read some online reviews on making up this pattern and several had commented on the pattern instructions referring to the use of bias binding to trim the arm and neckline seams. I omitted this and simply overlocked the seams and then topstitched them flat. I found the ties rather l-o-n-g so would probably shorten if I make this again.
Above shows a close up of the neckline which I simply overlocked, then pressed under flat and topstitched to finish.
You will see from the photo above that I used a vintage 1980s Laura Ashley skirt for the main "body" of the frock, and as this skirt had a button front with adorable self covered buttons, I simply cut the front as one piece from the fastened skirt so that the frock was made with a button front. I adore the vintage Laura Ashley textiles and cannot resist buying garments (and the good thing is when you restyle clothing the original size does not matter!!!) when I am out vintage shopping.
For the contrast hem panel I used an earlier piece of vintage 1970s Laura Ashley cotton in a pretty duck egg blue and ivory floral. This is actually a slightly heavier weight cotton than the floral skirt but this did not really matter as it was used for the hem section.
The pockets were cut from a vintage 90s/00s Laura Ashley floral shirt in a size 8! I cut them from the sleeves so have plenty of fabric left for future upcycling projects. To be honest, I found the pocket construction outlined on the pattern a little odd, but I stuck with it and was pleased to find some toning vintage bias binding in my habby stash to edge the pockets.
You can see that the ties seem quite long, maybe I would make them a bit shorter next time.
I was attracted to this pattern as it reminded me of a pinafore pattern I stitched way back in the 1980s. I made the pinafore in burgundy cotton and then stitched a two piece skirt and blouse in burgundy and blue brushed cotton so I could mix and match the blouse with the pinafore, or wear the checked garments together like a dress.
I totally LOVED Laura Ashley clothing back in the day. I would catch the bus into Oxford and queue outside the shop in Little Clarendon Street and when the doors opened, we would all flock inside and swoop on the rails of new frocks. In truth, I spent a lot of the late 70s and early 80s looking like an extra from the early episodes of Downton Abbey! They say you shouldn't wear a style if you wore it first time round, but I guess that hasn't stopped me yet.....