Vintage Sewing

So finally I sew something vintage…

July 4, 2007

… and it turns out frump-o-rama, on me anyway. I feel like a stern aunt with no sense of humour when wearing this one thus Esme is modelling it. She’s a little wider of hip and shorter of waist than I am so it ain’t quite so shapeless on me but it certainly isn’t as deluxe as the illustration promised (something to keep in mind – they stylise to flatter, of course, and without severe corsetry, no one has proportions like this.)

I’m thinking it might work in a plain dark colour; I ran out of grey stripe, which explains the white bodice. One of my major problems is that I like to test the pattern before cutting into unreplaceable fabric. So my toiles are generally something I don’t like much. Like this grey – although I did think it looked like it was of an appropriate era.

Sigh. I’m too despondent to post the other thing I made, a wee shirt in screaming buttercup yellow, also unwearable.

Time is running out on my Perfect Pattern for the Post-It Note Yellow Brocade (remember, interesting neckline, lil’ waist, slim skirt) and I could post more pictures of patterns I missed (despite a great tip-off from Moggy, thanking you muchly) officially becoming the most pessimistic, unsuccesful poster on SewRetro. But no one wants that.

Happy news soon, I hope.

  1. How dissapointing! And such a sterling job matching your stripes too! Have you tried wearing it with a net petticoat? Sometimes they help to get that Pattern Cover Look…

  2. I think it’s a very nice dress, extremely well made (I wish I could match stripes like you can!) In a more jaunty fabric I believe it would not make you feel ‘stern auntish’. I think secretly we all feel a little disappointed comparing ourselves in our frocks to the cover illustrations of vintage patterns. That may be why nowadays they put such dull, flat illustrations and photos on the covers, so we don’t all just give up sewing due to CIIPSD*

    *Cover Illustration Inspired Post Sewing Depression

  3. Dumb advice probably but have you considered shortenining it? Most of my vintage dresses/skirts get shortened a good 6-7 inches off out of packet length … this nearly always solves my dowdiness issues.

  4. Ah yes, I think we’ve all experienced dowdy when we were imagining delightful. While I also love grey it can look pretty dull. How about tying a wide red sash around the waist? Maybe a line of black buttons down the front of the white bodice?

    Love the style and looks to be worth making up again.

  5. I also applaud your stripe-matching, and think that shoulder pads might help a lot (most of the dresses from that era seem to have padding to square the shoulder, which also makes the waist look a little smaller). They don’t have to be thick or anything, they’re just for a little structure. I think the style is pretty nice sewn up, otherwise – but I know that feeling of disappointment when you realize the amount of discrepancy between the drawing and reality (I made myself a 1950’s drop-waisted dress, and without a crinoline or a waist cincher it looked like the frumpiest dress I ever had in high school in the 80s – when I was thinner and it might have been cute. Horrors!)

  6. I agree to try shoulder pads. I have a pattern nearly identical, sans buttons, and it looks very frumpy until I add shoulder pads. Vast improvement!

  7. I love it! But maybe it would be better with a dark bodice? What’s wrong with the old auntie look? You could be ushering in a new fashion trend!

  8. The color is a bit drab but, assuming the dress fits you, there are three things you should try before giving up on it:

    1. shoulder pads
    2. petticoat
    3. posture

  9. Lordy what a lovely supportive bunch here. My first response was “shoulder pads? REALLY????” but of course, looking at the illustration it’s clear that there’s some artificial structure there. The length – point taken; petticoats – oooh, fun, have to make some; dark bodice – yep, I agree, it was one of those hindsight things; red sash- sassy!! and finally posture – Great Aunt Maude never slouches. The very idea!!

    Thanks so much, folks.

  10. I have no great words of advice, although I must say, what a clever group! Two (or 10) heads are better than one after all.

    I just wanted to commiserate on the astounding fact that making a dress does not in fact give you the figure of the illustrated model. I really don’t see why it shouldn’t… hmph.

  11. It’s not as bad as you think! I agree with the comment above about switching out those buttons – put some red ones on it! While you’re at, find some red shoes, they’ll look great.

    We all have moments where we think something will look really cool and when we actually get it made it looks terrible. The key is to figure how to make the most of what you’ve ended up with.

  12. I’m sorry if this is a tiresome question, but what pattern is this? I see the number, but I cannot make out the company anywhere. Thanks! Good luck with adjustments by the way!

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