Vintage Sewing

Drove my Chevy to the levy

March 2, 2009


I am the chevron champion of the universe! This is my newest project which I call my ’58 Chevy. Look at her sharp lines down the back and her styley fins (erm, collar).

She comes from this Weigel’s pattern. Weigel’s was a Melbourne pattern company based in Lennox St, Richmond (not too far from where I live!)

So. She’s not finished, and this is why.

The good bits – that collar is ace. I did a killer job matching the chevrons. And I love, love, love the inverted darts in the skirt which are a super classy way to add volume without adding waist bulk. For these reasons I’ll definitely make her in the future (with alterations, though I doubt I’ll ever find such spiffy fabric for $2 a metre again).

The bad bits – well, the biggest issue is that she doesn’t have underarm darts so she’s unable to accomodate much of a bustage. But I couldn’t think how to chuck darts in without ruining the chevrons. Ideas?

Another issue is that the collar is faced with a bias strip. Despite understitching, the darn thing is rolling outwards. Any cheaty sneaky methods you canny sewers can suggest other than laborious, shaped facing/lining?

Finally, the angle of the chevrons. I reckon the angle should be more acute – looks good in back, but the front looks a bit flat. I also reckon her skirt should have the chevrons pointing upwards for that sassy wasp-waist visual illusion. I followed the grain lines of the pattern exactly (except for the collar, because they LIED and claimed you could cut it on the fold. That’s impossible. You can see in the back view that I cut it in two mirror-image pieces.)

[Incidentally, does anyone else HATE blogger’s photo loading setup? Most vexacious.]

  1. Congratulations on conquering the chevrons! You truly mastered them.

    The only recommendation I have for the rolling collar facing is topstitching around the edges of the collar. Although, since you have such amazing fabric, you may not want to mar the overall presentation with topstitching.

    I despise Blogger’s whole posting setup. I couldn’t believe how unintuitive and unprofessional it was when I made my first post on here a couple of weeks ago. Thankfully, my blog is w/ WordPress. 🙂

  2. Along with the sharper/acute chevrons on the top of the dress, pointing the skirt chevrons up would make a huge difference. I LOVE the pattern. I also have a bust issue and am looking forward to hearing suggestions on how to neatly fit one into that shape dress!

    I would love to see this in a formal fabric. With a peeky little crinoline at the knees. Maybe even a sheer top with a strapless bustier under.

    Your work is fastidious. Very nice job.

  3. Kudos to you for even attempting all that stripeyness….I shiver just thinking about it. It’s loverly…

  4. Beautiful dress! Very well done as far as I can see. It looks a lot like the pattern cover too! I wish I could help with your questions, but alas I am a novice sewer, and probably you could teach me a thing or two versus the other way around.

  5. I love your dress! Excellent work. And you know, I totally wouldn’t have picked up on any problems had you not pointed them out! But you are right about the angle of the chevrons. Would have been better if the skirt ones pointed up.

  6. Marvellous job! You are the chevron queen and have reminded me why am so fond of them. I am TOTALLY willing to put those suggestions into practice re: sharper chevs and wasp-waisting the skirt (hint: loan me that pattern!).

    I also can’t believe how much like the pattern illustration your collar looks!

    Collar roll: sorry, I think you might have to line the bodice. Bust fullness: how about some side gathers? less obvious maybe

  7. Would a collar stay work to keep the collar from rolling? You know, the plastic bits? They always give pretty sharp collar definition.

  8. re collar stay…I actually have a vintage wrap-around 50s cotton blouse with a collar that has wire in it. I’d imagine that millinery wire or something lighter might do the trick. You did such a great job on the dress…Another thing re underarm darts…could you add gussets so that it looks like they’re part of the design?

  9. I. Love. This. Dress.

    You did SUCH beautiful work matching up the pattern! Yes, the angle of the chevrons could be enhanced to be more flattering, but that’s not the first thing I notice.

    If you redo, and decide to sell this version, be sure to tell us!

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