Cocktail dress with pleated overskirt
The daughter and great- granddaughter of sewers, Amber Smith recalls her first project was creating a pair of harlequin shorts for her school swimming sports at age 11. Reflecting on this project, Amber remembers, "I think it took about four goes to get the leg/crotch seam right. But I persevered and felt pretty fancy on the day." Unpicking, it seems, is a downside of experimentation. The construction of this dress was also labour intensive, with hours spent kneeling on the floor marking out and pinning the folds for the skirt. She remembers: "Eventually I gave up and used the width of the floorboards for the pleated layers." The dress is based on a vintage pattern (Vogue 6253) and inspired by the fabric of the overskirt. Read more about the history of home sewing in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Home Sewn.