Not the GBSB, week 4 – the Fischer

äyellowPaul FischerIt’s the one.  The yellow dress in the painting, ‘Daydreams’ (1905), by the Danish artist, Paul Gustave Fischer. And, at last, I’ve finished it.

Now, strictly speaking, this is NOT week 4 of my ‘Not the GBSB Sew Arty Challenge’. I’ve not sewn like the wind. Indeed,  the Great British Sewing Bee has buzzed off to make some honey, while I’m still cutting, sewing, and (so importantly for this ‘week”s challenge) ironing away. But it is my fourth sew-a-dress-from-a-painting attempt.

And so, less a honey, moneymaking bee, more a pleating, bleating lamb, I introduce to you, my wearable (if your name is Laura Ingalls), Day Dream Dress, based on the dress worn by the day dreamer in Paul Gustave Fischer’s painting of 1905.

So. step one : the pattern

In truth, I adapted an easy top pattern  –

IMG_3709[1]and added two metres of fabric for the skirt. I also had to insert a front panel, pleated horizontally, as well as adding three pleats to the skirt.

I’d adapted the pattern a few times before, minus the pleats  –

so that’s really where I expected the challenge to be. In the pleats.

Step 2 : cutting out and sewing

mustard yellow...
3 metres of mustard yellow…

I used the pattern as much as I could to make the top.

I sewed the two back pieces together ( although I always leave a gap at the neck so that I can slip the top over my head easily
I sewed the two back pieces together (leaving a gap at the neck so that I can slip the top over my head easily)

I cut the single front piece in two (ready for the pleat insert)
I joined the side seams
I joined the shoulder seams
Time to work on the pleated panel
I pinned the pleats in place evenly
I sewed them in place on the reverse of the fabric
pleats – on the reverse
pleats from the front
pleat panel attached to the top
  As you can see, I’m not a perfectionist. The material was creased, and I had a very obvious tension problem. But, I’ve never let a poorly finished garment ( nevermind the threat of it) get in my way once I’ve started. And, as you can plainly see, this time was no exception.

An iron is a very wonderful aid for the mediocre seamstress.

I sewed on, full speed ahead, attaching the skirt as I went.

I then added the pleats.

You might have thought that this would have been easy. But it wasn’t. At least, it wasn’t easy for me.  My two hour top, which I estimated might turn into a four hour dress, turned into a…but I think I’ve shared enough of my shortcomings for now. Let’s just say that I should have used a tape measure, an iron and pins to begin with.

And so, many, many hours later, I came up with a rough approximation of the dress in the Fischer painting. I quickly added a loop and a button at the neck and … Ta dah!

Clearly not twins separated at birth, nor ‘Doppelgängerinnen’. However, the passing likeness is close enough for me, in a weird, hall-of-mirrors-through-squinted-eyes sort of way.

And look at those pleats. Perfectly ironed, mediocre seamstress!


And wearable?


‘Little House on the Prairie’ style is in, right?

2 thoughts on “Not the GBSB, week 4 – the Fischer”

  1. The mirror image of the Fischer painting is great! It made me laugh.
    Is it wearable? Not seen many Prairie Bitches (Nellie!) around here yet. Or could it just pass for a 1950s sundress with the right accessories?

    1. Thank you Stella. It made me chuckle too. But what was I thinking? I like your 1950’s sundress idea. That might just work. I’d forgotten about Nellie though…x

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