A Fish Trap Tiki Dress

It’s just about summer down here in Australia – and that means it’s time to start sewing summer dresses!

I’ve just finished a ‘Design by Clothilde’ pattern 3170, and it’s from 1960 (although I tried my darnedest to make it looks 50s).

And the pattern – isn’t the neckline killer?!

The fabric is an Indigenous Australian design called ‘Fish Traps’, another Babbarra Women’s Centre print from Spotlight. Thank goodness I got it for $7 a meter on sale, as this sucker took five meters! (The fabric was originally $20/m).

I’m in love with these Babbarra prints, they looks really ‘tiki’ in my opinion!

I had to re-size from a 36″ bust to a 40″ bust (and the waist of course), but it worked out fine. I completely lined the bodice and added some side boning for stability.

I also changed the skirt from a pleated circle skirt, to box-pleated skirt cut straight on the grain – the fabric pattern would have looked a bit odd otherwise.

If you’d like to read further, I have more on my blog!

 

Bombshells and Seashells

bombshell swimsuit

I made me a swimsuit! And thanks to the wonderful pattern design by Closet Case Files I couldn’t be happier. Not technically a vintage pattern but it comes with a definite nod to the 50s! I love how it covers most of my body… and holds it all in!

I found it a bit fiddly to make, in places. And I can’t claim any experience working with spandex so I feel a bit of a fail on the inside where it looks a bit scruffy. I sewed the whole thing using a zig zag stitch and so the side seams for instance could really do with a bit of an overlock, especially where the rouched edges create more bulk.

bombshell swimsuit

I encased cups into the halter pieces and sewed them in position by hand with tiny hand stitches.

It really isn’t a bad fit for a first try but next time I would certainly make the elastic in the legholes a bit tighter and perhaps increase the body length a little bit.

More info and pics over on the blog

HSF Challenge 22: Gentlemen

Wow it looks like I don’t have hands in this picture….

So my Halloween costume ended up doubling as a HSF Challenge, specifically Challenge #22: Gentlemen. The aim of the challenge was to either create a garment for a man or a menswear inspired piece for a woman. Well I made overalls so I guess that counts!  I went as a Woman’s Land Army: Crop Corps member. The overall’s are made with denim from my stash, it has some stretch so I’m assuming the fabric has lycra in it (not historically accurate but using up the stash, yay!) The buttons, zipper and bias tape are also from stash. The only thing I had to purchase was the pattern. I used Wearing History’s Overall pattern (I see jeans and other pants in my future) during Lauren’s Kickstarter campaign. I chose not to line the bodice and instead I used bias tape to face it. The tops of the pockets are also faced. The buttons were from something my grandmother gave me to chop up but I can remember what. The hem is hand stitched and so it the zipper. I added a zipper instead of the button placket because 1 I didn’t feel like making all those buttonholes, 2 I didn’t have more of the same buttons in the stash and 3 I wasn’t quite sure how to attach the placket so I try that another time when I don’t have a deadline. With the overalls I made a WLA armband. I used red and navy yarn for the design and some scrap navy fabric for the main piece. These overalls are super comfy once you get used to the lower crotch length. Mummum gave me the shirt to wear with it and then I just wore my brown boots to complete the look. I feel like I should have my hair in a bandanna or a snood but oh well.

 
The Scoop:
Fabric: Stretch Denim from the Stash
Pattern: Wearing History Overall and Trouser Pattern

Year: 1940′s
Notions: Bias tape in two colors for top and pockets, two button and a zipper.
Hours to Complete: Sewn over 4 days including a mock up
First worn?: Halloween
Make again?: Yes! plus pants and shorts and a short overall playsuit too!
Total cost: $12 for the pattern but everything else came from the stash.
I’ll Leave you with a picture of me wearing my new overalls with my red wool Ike Jacket but pop on over to http://perdudansletemps.blogspot.com/ to see more

Camera Addict

After a few months of working on big historical costuming projects, I needed a break for a quick vintage project I could whip up for some instant gratification sewing.

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So a dirndl skirt in the cutest camera novelty print fabric was just the ticket! Usually, I stay away from novelty prints but I just had to have this one being that my husband is a photographer.

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It didn’t hurt that the print included three of my favorite colors-mint, orange and chartreuse! I’m not sure I would have picked to pair these colors together myself but somehow they work. More photos and construction details over on my blog.

Have you tried any new prints or color combinations lately?

Advice on backless dresses

Hello,

I was hoping to get some advice on a project I’ve been working on. I’m making a dress to wear to a Christmas party at the end of the year, and will be drafting the pattern myself. I wanted a simple design to show off a beautiful silk brocade fabric I bought on a trip a few years ago, and when I flicked through my old pattern catalogues for some inspiration I was immediately drawn to this design (Style A, the short version):

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I love the demure neckline at the front and the dramatic V-back. Of course, though, with a backless design comes the bra dilemma: I’d like a bit of support, but a normal bra isn’t going to work!

I was wondering if anyone has any advice or recommendations about backless dresses.

  • has anyone made a similar dress (or owns a vintage one) and has tips about how they are constructed on the inside?
  • I know that backless evening/wedding gowns usually have a built in foundation with bra cups/boning etc. Would such a foundation be appropriate for a simple dress style like this, or will it be too much/too bulky?
  • If a foundation is recommended, how would you attach it on the inside, given the dress has a high neck at the front?
  • what materials would you recommend to make the foundation from in a light dress like this?

The easy option of course is to just find a backless bra, but since the fabric is really special I don’t mind putting in the extra effort to make a foundation if that would be the best option.

Thank you in advance for your help!

amyrose