Be gentle….I’m a newbie!

by Jenny Sews on January 7, 2014 · 7 comments

in Vintage Sewing

Very excited to post and share my very first attempt at a classic vintage holiday dress!

I have not yet been sewing a full year and have not yet had any lessons, but have had so much fun playing around with vintage and vintage-inspired patterns, and experimenting with different fabrics and designs.

This dress is a mash-up of Simplicity 3045, (a lovely vintage dress pattern with a softly pleated skirt and scalloped neck edge), and my favourite Sewaholic Cambie dress bodice.

I decided to use the Cambie dress bodice pattern rather than the one for Simplicity 3045 as it gives a very snug and flattering fit on my torso with minimal adjustments. (I have at least 10 dresses using the Cambie pattern for this very reason. It’s a sure-fire winner for me!)

Using a bargain bin red velvet remnant (NEVER again- what a mess to sew with! So slippery. Any hints?) and a sweet vintage-inspired holiday fabric from Etsy, this dress turned out quite well I think. I added a pretty vintage brooch and thick black “Santa” belt to complete my festive ensemble.

(As I was sewing it, I also listened to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” album a million times, so it’s very likely that added some extra holiday flair!)
Hope you like it!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne January 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Very fun for your first post! And I agree, you must listen to appropriate music to complete the project:)


Jenny Sews January 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Hi Anne- thank you :)
My latest dress I’m working on involved a Russian Doll fabric. What to listen to then, I wonder?


Catherine Alekna January 8, 2014 at 7:31 am

congrats and welcome to we sew retro! Your dress is fab!
I made something with velvet recently, i found if i used the stretch needle that worked out the best! good luck!


Jenny Sews January 8, 2014 at 8:40 am

must get one of those. Thank you Catherine :)


Amy January 8, 2014 at 11:06 am

very cute!


Housewife Betty January 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm


Your dress turned out great, and you should post some pix of your other dresses. The last velvet I sewed was a heavy dress velvet, like the type for evening wear. I found that it is easiest to iron it on the back side on top of a plush towel. I never saw the need to spend the money on a velvet board. Also, it definitely likes to move when you sew, but I have no good tips for that. I think I’ll try the stretch needle. Honestly, I found sewing with slippery silks and satins more hellish than velvet.


Maria Olshin January 12, 2014 at 1:20 am

Your dress turned out beautifully! I made three velvet bridesmaids gowns for my daughter’s wedding, and the best thing I can suggest is baste, baste, baste. Also, you might try lightening the pressure on the presser foot. The machine’s feed dogs will always feed the lower fabric faster that the upper fabric, so pinning closely in the seam allowance or basting are your best bets for keeping fabric from shifting while sewing.


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