Indian Pink Dress

If it wasn’t dripping in healthy colour, I’d call this my “Frankenstein Dress” as I’ve stitched it from 3 tutorials and in the spirit of experimentation.  The Sleeves I made back in October (don’t worry, I’ve kept them in the fridge!), the Bodice is from Pattern Magic 2 and the skirt is based on Adele Margolis’ “Pegged Skirt” instructions in my favourite drafting book

A pegged skirt is wider at the hips than at the hem, the shape of a typical clothes pegA tulip skirt is a more fashionable term for pretty much the same.  If you’d like to create the tulip effect using darts for shaping and if you want to ensure that it fits you well, it’s easy enough to draft with the Basic Skirt Block as your starting point.  Tute below. 

Pegged trousers could presumably be drafted by a similar method, with the darts changed to pleats.  It’s a very eighties look though, best avoided by the less than willowy!

The fabric I used is calico, dyed Powder Pink with a tiny pinch of blue (a gloved pinch, I hasten to add: this stuff isn’t good to handle).  I was aiming for a dusky pink but got a richer, deeper shade I’d like to call Indian Pink, or maybe Honeysuckle.  I had no luck finding a matching concealed zip but eventually settled for a lapped one.  To me, lapped zips are a bit of a forgotten skill so I referred to this great tutorial.

The dress was a pleasure to make and soon as I realized I was happy with the fit of the pegged skirt, I adapted the pattern to make a full lining.  The sleeve lining was stiffened with interfacing to help retain some rigidity in the square shoulders.

Tutorial: Drafting a Pegged Skirt

Step 1 Begin with the Basic Skirt Block (make a muslin to make sure it fits you).  Draw a straight line from dart point to the corner of side and hem.

Step 2 Cut along the line and close dart.


Step 3 Draw two new dart lines in the area between the centre front and the original dart.  They should be about 4-6cm in length, depending on your size, with the inner line being longer of the two.  As for their exact position, it’s up to you.  You could draw them and place the block against you to see what looks ok in proportion to you.



Step 4 Cut out the area between the lines drawn in previous step.  Open out the two parts of the block by hinging them at the side-hem corner.



Step 5 Place pieces on a larger sheet of paper.  Separate the two major sections by a distance of 4.5cm (or 5cm for bigger sizes) in the area of the original dart point.  Place the smallest piece in the gap and draw two new darts on each side of it.  This is the fiddliest bit, but you can move the middle piece about till each of your darts has equal leg lengths.


Step 6 Fold darts toward centre and redraw the waistline, keeping close to the original and smoothing out any jaggedy bits.  Draw seam allowances and the hem allowance (notice my rubbish short hem allowance?  I ran out of paper!  Don’t do that!).  Draw a fold line to complete the pattern and cut out.

Step 7
Repeat all of the above for Skirt Back, remembering to add the centre back seam allowance in the final step (if that’s where your zip will be).

11 thoughts on “Indian Pink Dress

  1. You look beautiful in this dress. The colour and style are perfect for you. I never would have thought calico could look so soft and lovely. Fab – I want one!

    • Thank you 🙂
      It was a particularly nice calico so it seemed a shame to waste it! But it certainly wasn’t an expensive project.

  2. Gorgeous, what a fab colour and calico, who knew! Love all about this, the sleeves, the neckline and the shape and positioning of the hem, you look lovely in it, very girly. Thanks for the tut too

  3. Love it. The colour and style really suit you. And that is totally an Indian colour (goes well with gold and comes out of something botanical XD). There’s a dried fruit peel that imparts exactly that colour to whatever you cook with it (usually soups and things because it quite tart and high in vit C) goes awesome with seafood. My grandpa used to make it. Saw this dress and the memories flooded back <3

    • Thanks 🙂 Your grandpa sounds like a very talented one! Mine once made me eat a cream cheese with jam sandwich for breakfast 😯

      But it really is a good colour for darker skins and hair (who don’t suit girly or, god forbid, salmon pink). I’ve never given gold or gold colours a look-in but will have a more open mind from now!!

      Do you know what the fruit was? It would be great to “bottle” a natural form of this dye. I thought about boiling red onion skins but I’d have to buy a tonne of onions….

  4. Wow what a lovely result of your assemblage and the colour is beautiful. The pink is lovely on you ….

    TJ (theperfectnose) I’d love to know what the fruit it too please please!

    • Thanks Julie! I did think of making it into a pattern. The difficulty wouldn’t be in the making but in finding the right fabric that’s drapey enough for the top (which is on bias) and stiff enough for the skirt. Chambray possibly.

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