Vintage Sewing

intro and "no buts" dress

December 15, 2007

Hi all, my name is Nora and I’m blogless. But I have been enjoying the posts on this blog for quite awhile. I’m an acupuncturist, a knitter, and am teaching myself to sew, so needles are my life (learning to fence is next).

I decided to give this pattern, which I’ve had for awhile, a whirl:


I thought was pretty far beyond my capacities (I’ve never attempted piping before, and was worried about the sleeve trim and midriff shaping); plus the measurements were 34-26.5-36, and mine are more like 36-29-39…but magically, it fits!

Of course I’m not as attenuated as the figures on the envelope, but who is, really? This dress is SO comfortable. There’s a tie in the back, and pockets, so it’s like wearing an apron, in a good way. Here’s a detail of the midriff and the fabric (I have no idea what year it’s from, but it’s vintage cotton – and pardon the weird “stain” by the armpit, it’s not really there, it’s just on the photo somehow):


I planned to do an FBA, but forgot, and didn’t have enough fabric to try again, so the top of the midriff is about 1 inch too high. Oops; but it’s not too obvious (or uncomfortable). I also had to add a CF seam because my fabric wasn’t wide enough to cut it on the fold (so the fabric isn’t matched there). Oh, and the sleeves were way too puffy. Luckily, due to my bleary-eyed late night sewing, I attached the first sleeve inside-out, and had to take it out anyway; so I wildly just shaved about an inch off the top of the sleeve cap. Somehow, it worked. Beginner’s mind I guess. I’ll definitely make it again, it’s so comfy and works great with a cardigan too.

  1. Darling, show off your work and stand back for the praise, DO NOT tell us of any “mistakes” or flaws. It’s a rule. We are not to diminish ourselves or our creations.

    Now my turn, Oooooh! aaaah!, lovely. I want one! I must find that pattern. The fabric is perfect! You did an abolutely lovely job. I predict a series of similarly wearable fun dresses from you. Will you be wearing this for Christmas dinner or any parties? I love the midriff and the pockets. Tell us all how the piping went.

  2. Thanks for the kind comments, everybody. The piping was surprisingly easy – I just pinned a lot more than usual. Easing in sleeves is what really stresses me out – that, and that hemming always takes longer than it seems like it should (and so close to the end)!

  3. Wow, it’s totally awesome. I love the piping and that’s such a cute pattern. It looks really great on you. What lovely little details. Oh, and I agree, hemming is the worst. That’s what I spent all Saturday working on, the six hemless dresses waiting in my closet :).

  4. You know, I would never have looked at that pattern and thought it would be one I’d make. But when I see the finished product, it’s just splendid. Keep sewing – you clearly have a knack for it!

  5. The print of the fabric is SO. VERY. COOL. I love the colors, the out of control flora and fauna…oh man. Just a total 10. Great work on the construction as well, it looks like it fits well!

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