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New from old…

Hello all, I have just finished a little 1940s dress for my lovely daughter who has just taken up ‘Swing’ dancing and I must say loving it…she’s like a duck to water 🙂

the original dress was found in a charity shop in london , the shop originally wanted £25 for it , but it was in such poor condition I persuaded them to sell it to me for £5 and planned to use it as a pattern.

I put it to one side and then came across two pairs of grey polka dot pillow slips in a sale.

I thought these would fit in great with a ‘make do and mend’ theme.

four pillow slips unpicked and washed on a hot wash was just enough and to keep the original dress alive I used part of it for trim.

I adjusted the dress pattern very slightly by putting a centre back zip in (I used a peach invisible one , not vintage this time)

I used both fabrics  to create a tie back belt instead on the covered buckle one on the original which hung too heavy on the fabric.

(opps, sorry forgot to turn piccie)

I also added an underarm gusset for movement while dancing …this I feel is the weakest point on a fitted dress

and some shirring at the front shoulder as my daughter has a good size bust and without (as in the original) it looked bulky.

I turned the hem up to the regulation war time  19″ from the ground 🙂 and used original fabric cut on the bias to finish it of…

I must say my daughter and I am very pleased with the result , especially as a chap she met a a dance weekend said her dress was beautiful and

looked like it was made for her…well it was !! :))

Maxine all ready for the dance with original 1940s brouges and victory rolls by me…

hope you enjoy my post as much as I enjoy all of yours. Mrs Bee





About the author: I teach the technical side of costume for performance at london college of fashion.i collect and sell vintage sewing equipment and i make on of garments for clients using vintage patterns,notions and fabric where possble. I also love an oppertunity to dress up in vintage at any excuse which i have been doing for 40 years…

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Aisha J. June 16, 2012, 6:06 am

    Very nice, Mrs. Bee…Maxine looks like she stepped right out of the 1940s era…makes me want to head to my local charity shop and see what jewels I can find, too…thanks for the inspiration.

  • Fashion Friends Diary June 16, 2012, 6:27 am

    Amazing transformation!


  • LadyD June 16, 2012, 5:05 pm

    Its a small world. I met Maxine at the lindy exchange and thought it was a fab dress. I thought it was genuinely vintage.

    • jax black June 16, 2012, 5:26 pm

      Thats cool …thats a great complement …i hope you enjoyed the weekend 🙂

      • LadyD June 18, 2012, 7:18 am

        Yeah. It was really good. I’ve only been going to lessons since february…but felt I got a lot out of a whole weekend of dancing and of course good excuse to dress up.

  • Anonymous June 21, 2012, 8:16 am

    I need another dress, trousers,short cullottes and to repair the 1940s evening dress I got in Southend….
    OK, you finally won me over…i want so many things as the era is SO glamourous…when do we get the sewing machine out??
    MUM 🙂 xx

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