1960s | Dresses

Impromptu swing dresses

By on April 27, 2014
It’s Sunday, and I have to go back to work tomorrow after 10 relaxing days off! But happily I think this has been the most productive work break in a while! 

On Friday, just for funsies I whipped up a new dress so I could have something to wear to my first day back at work tomorrow. Something to help ease back into the work week that was fun and easy that I knew would fit without any problems, and here she is Simplicity 7436!

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing


By on October 27, 2013
How nice it is to finish projects – especially those which are so simple and leave you feeling like an expert! 

This sewing project was an aim to get back to the simpleness of sewing and 60s design. A shift dress with contrasting collar and cuffs. No fussy bows or ruffles, just plain, simple and easy. 

Something reminiscent of the mid-60s. A simple silhouette which suited many, and which was so different to the dresses of the previous years. A Peter Pan collar to recall the clothing of their childhood and cuffs to balance.
After recent stressful occurrences in my life, doing something so basic is refreshing. Being able to be in control of something and knowing exactly how it will look in the end is awesome! 

Especially when sewing with Double knit, oh double knit, how I love thee! Let me count the ways! Its comfy to wear, forgives small mistakes and has a nice amount of stretch. (unlike the now un-trust worthy Lurex…)
However – there cannot be blue sky without rain. Everything was going along swimmingly until the hem where my machine kept skipping stitches, I’m not sure why that was. I changed the needle, checked the tension, re-threaded the machine and yet it still skipped. When I made a test on some cotton fabric it was fine. I’ll most likely unpick the machine stitches and hand-hem it later on.

Why must you forsake me machine!!!
The pattern I used was Butterick 4772 – I drafted the collar and cuffs, though now that I look at it, I should have tried to balance the width of the collar and cuffs a bit better.

The cuffs are fairly simple, though I didn’t put them on the way I should have. Why not you might ask, well it may be because I’d had a few wines before leaving work that day….

Here’s a tip – sewing while drunk/tipsy is not a good idea. It makes you lazy

They look okay though! 
I’m going to have many a fun times wearing this dress I think. Sensible enough for work and dressy enough for a night out. 
Cat xo

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1970s | Dresses

Barbara Dress

By on October 5, 2013

After taking my time to make this, I have finaly finished my Barbara Hulanicki inspired dress 

I actually finished this last weekend, but never got to take photos! Cheeky me, but finally this lovely lady is complete and I love it! Its soft and feminine and even if it’s really more 70s than 60s, I must argue – for its inspiration comes from one of the great ladies of the 60s – Barbara Hulanicki

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1960s | Dresses | Modern Patterns

Tuffin Dress

By on September 15, 2013

I have been reading the Foale and Tuffin biography recently and as an insight to the name of this dress, I have named it after Sally Tuffin. Dress designer of the pair of “two cocky, feisty bolshy, arty, clever-clogs young women”

For those of you who might not be familiar with them, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin met at the Royal College of arts in 1955 and eventually went on to design wholesale together for various retail stores including Woollands 21 shop, before opening their own store. They were featured early in their careers in Vogue in 1962 and travelled with Mary Quant and few other British designers to America for the ‘Youth quake’ tour in 1965. They made clothes worn by Cathy McGowan, Modelled by Jenny Boyd and with Mary Quant and Barbara Hulanicki, form my own version of the “holy trinity”

The pattern of this dress is the Burda Mondrian Dress. The dress pattern is very interesting – a creative version of a drop-waist dress, with a nod to 1965. The Burda version is colour-blocked with a different colour for each piece. 

As shown in the illustration, this dress is supposed to have a belt and pleated skirt. But through mainly happy accidents, my version ended up like so…

The instructions don’t give you a pattern piece for the skirt, so I just measured out a piece as it said. Maybe I was supposed to double it or something because the skirt just ended up a plain skirt without the pleats. I decided I liked the straight skirt as a pleated skirt could become the victim of a gust of wind and show everyone that which they are not supposed to see!

I did actually make the belt, but it didn’t sit as nicely as I’d hoped and the only buckle I could find was quite heavy and just made the fabric sag down at the front so I took it off.

I think I’d rather it in this minimalist version – just the red and white without the fussy decorations.

The fabric I used was a Ponte de Roma – a stable double knit which is light enough for summer and wrinkle resistant. I added white bias to the arms and left-hand closure.

The dress is actually a wraparound dress – and closes at the left shoulder, kind of like a dentists jacket. I used a few different sized press studs to close the dress. The while buttons are purely decorative but pop against the red

And because I couldn’t help myself, this dress just calls for some abstract model poses don’t you think?

Thanks for taking a look dears!

Cat xo

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