Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Teal Uganda Dress

The weather over the past week has been making me think it's spring, though I'm hesitant to actually believe it as we've had snow in April the past two years. The grass is turning green. The chicken's egg production has doubled. I'ts been above freezing for well over a week. It's been over two weeks since there was any snow. Sunday it was so delightfully warm I wore a sundress all day - without a jacket.

The exact sundress I wore on Sunday? That would be the second dress I made from fabric I bought during my September Uganda trip to wear during my January trip.

I learned the hard way the first time I washed the fabric, this lovely dark teal cotton wax print is not colorfast in the slightest. It dyed an entire load of laundry teal. Thankfully, most of the load was just jeans, which are now a little bluer than they were, but there were a couple things I was quite sad to have stained. All that to say, I definitely should have pre-washed this fabric by itself, rather than with a load of regular laundry. And I'm only washing this dress with things like jeans from here on out.

Moving on from my fabric pre-washing woes, I decided to use Vintage Vogue 1172, a design from 1957. It called for nearly 6 yards of fabric, which worked out well since my cut of wax print was, you guessed it, 6 yards long.

The skirt (the main fabric hog of course) is essentially a full circle skirt, plus some. It's comprised of 4 quarter-circle gores sewn between 4 narrow A-line skirt panels.

These A-line panels are at the center front, center back, and sides of the skirt.

Thus there are no true side seams in the skirt, just side front and side back seams where the quarter circle gores are sewn to the A-line panels. This made deciding on pocket and zipper placement interesting.

I decided to add my inseam pockets (not included in the pattern, I just put pockets in everything) to the side front seam between the side panels and the gores.

As for the zipper, the pattern recommended putting it on the left side, where a side seam generally would be, and just cutting a slash into the skirt for the zipper. I was not convinced this would be very sturdy, nor did I think I'd be able to get a very nice looking zipper installation this way.

I decided to instead put a lapped zipper in the left side back seam, where the princess seam of the bodice lines up with the gore-to-panel join in the skirt.

Not a very orthodox zipper placement (I've never seen a zipper in this seam before), but it maintains the structural integrity of the dress and blends in seamlessly with the design.

That said, if I make this pattern again, I might just go the easy route and add a center back seam to both the bodice and the skirt and stick the zipper there. I'll let you know next time I have 6 yards of fabric begging to become just such a dress.

Fabric hog, strange zipper placement, and all, I really do like this dress quite a bit.

It's very comfortable, and I imagine I'll wear it quite a bit as an everyday dress this summer.

The bodice, with it's combination of princess seams and side bust darts, fits very well.

The wide, slightly low neckline lays nicely and perfectly showcases this necklace I was given on my first trip to Uganda. The ladies made the beads themselves from paper!

This pattern seems to be a bit longer waisted than most Vogue patterns I've used as the waist seam actually hits me at my natural waist, if not a little lower, rather than right at the bottom of my rib cage  where most "waistlines" hit me.

The belt pattern piece included in the pattern is slightly curved for a very nice fit! I made this belt just like I made the one for my lavender dress - interlined with cotton duck canvas, finished with a buckle (picked up on clearance at Hobby Lobby a while back) and hand sewn eyelets.

I wore this dress for church and going out to dinner (on our way to the airport) on our last Sunday in Uganda.

It made me slightly ridiculously happy to get to wear this dress in the same place I purchased my fabric.

I finished this dress about 2-3 days before we left for Uganda - and it was definitely worth it!


  1. Your stories are so amazing!

  2. That fabric is gorgeous! And it works so well with the pattern. I love your pocket and zipper innovations. Who cares about conventional methods as long as it works best?