Vintage Style Wool Tartan Dress

by - 12:51

Each winter I just can’t resist the temptation of adding a new wool dress to my wardrobe. And what can be more traditional and cosy than a nice tartan? That’s exactly what I thought when I picked this wool fabric.

Tartan is a great print since it ticks so many boxes. It’s festive, it’s classy, it’s elegant… The list goes on. It can be worn for pretty much any occasion, from formal to casual. I had plans to sew a tartan winter skirt, but as soon as I saw Lady McElroy wool fabric I realized that it’s perfect for the dress instead. 

It’s a gorgeous fabric that’s quite thin and is great for dresses (I wouldn’t recommend it for jackets). It’s labelled by the manufacturer as 100% wool, but it most likely has something added to it. The possible synthetic fibre is revealed with a burn test (the fabric melts and a hard ball forms, which is not how pure wool behaves). And if you pull a thread and break it you’ll see a transparent fibre that doesn’t break but stretches a lot. But don’t get me wrong - this fabric is made of real wool for sure, the added “something” is literally that tiny transparent fibre that is probably there to add structure and stability to such a fine material. Which is a good thing, of course. 

The fabric is very nice to work with. It washes and presses perfectly, and it’s easy to cut it too. As soon as I saw it I knew that I want to use it for a shirt dress with a full skirt. After scanning through my pattern collection I found the perfect one - vintage Burda Style #120 10/2020. I was considering using a pencil skirt option but decided that the 3/4 one is much better for the design. I added some cute floral buttons which I think added a nice touch. 

It’s a beautiful pattern that features big pleats, a contrast collar and puffy sleeves. I changed it slightly by reducing a size, but it’s still a loose design that requires to be worn with a belt. The dress is not lined, but I wear it with a silky slip I made a couple of months before - this way the wool skirt doesn’t climb up the wool or cotton thing tights. It’s not a must for wearing with nylon tights or bare legs. I love my new dress and I think the Lady McElroy wool fabric is the perfect one for any winter garment.

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