Vintage Sewing

My First Summer Item

June 19, 2007

Just completed my first official “summer sumthin” item and it is also a first in two other respects … Maudella and sleeves.

Belted the dress as despite the a-line being beautiful, on a fuller figure than the slim/flat model it did look quite quite silly – most especially from the back! The fabric is a beautiful quality vintage cotton, from ebay (where else!).

Hoping to have some more summer items in the near future, depends how this job hunting malarky goes and therefore the available time I have to stave away boredom.

Happy Sewing everyone 😀

  1. Great job! That is a tough set-in sleeve, so you should be very proud of yourself.

    It looks good with the belt, but may I offer a suggestion to get it to fall better without belting: Try cutting the body of the dress on a bias. It will need a bit more fabric, but I think bias cut dresses and skirts are so flattering it is worth it.

    In case you don’t know how to make a bias garment; Lay the pattern so the arrows are on a diagonal on the fabric– at a 45 degree angle to the grain, then cut as usual. A few cautionary notes; hemming bias cut garments can be tricky, so take your time and consider a hand stitched, rolled hem. Also, if you hang the dress on a hanger, it will have a tendency to twist out of shape in time. The grain wants to fall downward, and so you should always hang the finished dress for a week or so before you hem it. You may find you need to straighten (re-cut) the hem line before sewing. Finally, don’t hang it by the shoulders for any length of time if you want it to stay in shape…fold it over the hanger. A lot of old sewing books from the 50s advise this.

    I made a dress just like the sleeveless one,(drafted it from a store-bought dress I have). I am built a lot like you, slender but not stick thin, but it falls very nicely. Since it is bias cut, it doesn’t have the stiff fullness of an A-Line, which tends to look maternity-like. Mine did twist out of shape a little, but I don’t really care because it was a cheep remenant, and sewed up super quick. Still, it lasted me 2 summers of looking good, and now I can just wear it around the house.

    Congrats again! Keep sewing!

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