Hello Vintage Friends,
While I’ve been a faithful reader for the last year I didn’t get to sew very many vintage patterns. This is something I’m determined to change in 2014! I started with a January birthday and broke out an adorable 1940 McCall pattern. It was the perfect project to ease me back into the vintage sewing world.
I was worried it would be too short on her but it ended up fitting perfectly. All the construction details and the happy recipient can been seen on my blog. Happy Sewing Everyone!
“You’re making a what?” my sewing group giggled.
“It’s a 1950s wiggle dress.” I repeated.
“Because back then they made them so tight certain things wiggled when you walked.” I said with a suggestive shake.
Sorry for the lack of wiggling. I’m still learning how to take better pictures of my wearable projects. This pattern was a true gem. To read all the sewing nitty gritty pop on over to my blog. The real question is… does it need a belt?
First I just want to say thank you to everyone on here! I have been so inspired by seeing everyone’s projects and enjoyed getting to contribute to this lovely community! I can’t wait to see what happens next year!
I wanted to start the new year with a clean slate so figured I should get my last vintage dress posted on here! This was actually the first full vintage dress I made and I wore it all summer! It just took that long to get pictures of it!
The moment I saw this pattern I loved it. Pleats are my favorite and that lovely red… who doesn’t want to make that dress?!?!
I decided to use a gorgeous coral cotton I picked up last February that has been mourning quietly on the shelf that it was not a dress yet.
I did a tissue fitting and things came out ok so I didn’t take in the bodice at all even though it read a size too big. Whoops. When I finished the dress and put it on, the neckline did need reduced. Can you spot my clever fix? On the other hand the waist fit perfectly with just enough ease. Next time I will just take a pleat out of the neckline and it should fit perfectly. The skirt had to be reduced to half the volume the pattern called for since I did not have enough fabric and wasn’t going to wear a petticoat with it.
In honor of sewing thoughtfully, the slow clothing movement or whatever it’s called, I added a couple special additions so it would be more wearable for me personally. I added pockets. Special pockets for my insulin pump! A hole in the inside allows me to thread my pump through so it is always accessible. I much prefer this to where it usually gets stashed when I wear dresses. This added a little extra time to the making since I had to remember how to do hidden pockets and finish the raw edges differently.
I also added the lingerie straps since I usually have kids crawling all over me and I hate showing off my undergarments in church. Or any public place for that matter.
I finished it by hand picking the lapped zipper topstitching for an invisible finish.
It came together very quickly even with the adjustments I made and the construction was super easy. I am delighted with it and can’t wait to make up another version in a solid or more subtle print so the neckline pleating will really stand out.
Well that’s it for me this year! Hope everyone has a great time celebrating! Happy New Year!
Sometimes there is a perfect marriage of pattern and fabric. That’s what happened with this little gem. I only got to wear it a few times before the weather got too chilly.
This was a great learning experience for me. Since the fabric was almost sheer I did my first underlining. I treated the two skirt layers as one but I did the bodice wrong sides together so the darts were supporting each other.
- Supporting Darts
I kept the facings but did no interfacing since there were three layers of fabric. It seemed to work well that way.
The first alteration I made to the pattern was to do Gertie’s handy waist alteration. It works wonderfully well, when you remember to do it. I forgot on the overlap piece. Thankfully it is the under layer since there was no fabric left to recut the piece.
- This is why you trace!!
I also added bias binding I cut down as a piping along the scallops. So great but learned a LOT there. I need to mark my stitching line much more accurately so the piping is uniform the whole way across.
The second adjustment I made was to insert a zipper in the side seam instead of having buttons all the way down the side. I really wanted to showcase these mother of pearl buttons I picked up on our family trip back East and there were only three. Note to self, put in horizontal buttonholes to prevent sliding. Apparently this only bothers me.
I hand stitched the hem to the lining so there is no hem line showing on the front. Because of the underlining the skirt hangs beautifully with great body. To finish it off I decided to make a belt from a vintage kit I had. When I finally figured it out we decided we liked the floaty bow better. I especially like how it adds to the back.
I really like this dress and am looking forward to next summer when it can get more wear. The kimono sleeves look great but I don’t like how they feel under a sweater so this will only be a warm weather dress.
My hat goes off to people who Model for a living. I was falling off this rock.
To read more about my experience working with an unprinted pattern check out my blog.