1960s dress

Hello, it’s my first post here, and my first try of using vintage pattern too..

Where to start? I needed a dress for a rather formal event.. After a lot of pondering and wasting time researching on pinterest and such, I thought I rather fancied this vintage Vogue Couturier Belinda Bellville dress:

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The problem was I couldn’t find it (by that I mean couldn’t buy it for a reasonable price, the cheapest I found was £50+, and it’s not what I’m prepared to pay for a pattern.. )

To recreate this vintage pattern, I found another pattern from the same era, very similar Simplicity 8498:

S8498

As you can see the front looks absolutely identical. The view 1 even has a self fabric belt  buttoned in back that is very similar to a band with a bow in Vogue Couturier 2112. And it’s  much cheaper!

I was very excited to try a vintage pattern for the first time… but I’m afraid it was the case that on PatternReview website described as “pattern ok, but didn’t work for me”.  Well, it was a nightmare!

Now, according to my bust measurements, I’m between size 14 and 16. I bought size 16 to be on safer side.. but when I made a muslin for the bodice, there was no room in it for my bust! I couldn’t believe how small it was! (I mean the bodice, not the bust..)

I’m very glad that I made a muslin! I spent 3 days fiddling with it, and in the end there was no line or curve of the pattern that had been left unchanged!

You can read the whole saga of my troubles on my blog, here I will show only the result  :)

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The back was a challenge.. Center back opening from Vogue 2112 just didn’t look good.. I ended up making a V-cut instead..

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The fabric is lovely Duchess satin that I bought on Goldhawk road in London. When I was buying it I spotted discounted muslin, and I bought about 3 metres of muslin for making, well, muslin :)

It was the first time I made a proper muslin, and, as I said, it was the right decision. I couldn’t believe it, but it really speeds up the process! After all alterations were made on the muslin, it was so nice and easy to sew with actual intended fabric!

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My thoughts on the pattern.

As I said, it didn’t work for me.. Maybe my shape is wrong for this particular pattern, or because it’s vintage. I don’t know.. Besides, I’m not sure about those french darts.  Next photo shows: the pointy problem with french darts; the second dart on the bodice that was not intended by the pattern; and that I could’ve done better ironing..

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Thanks for looking at my first contribution to this wonderful community (not sure whether there will be more, as this painful experience kind of put me off vintage patterns..)

You can see more photos and info on my blog.

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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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Some belated photos of a dress I finished last year…

Simplicity 3107 in Crimplene, I had to wear it today, so better grab a moment for a quick few photos before Rob was off on his bike.

My first project working with crimplene, in this pretty pale blue that came from my Nana’s stash.  You can read a bit more about it in an earlier post, here.  Here’s the original pattern envelope, I have also made another variation in red synthetic satin.

I have all these unresolved issues with this dress, the crimplene doesn’t sit quite so well, so maybe not the best fabric choice, and the raglan sleeves… I love them, I’m not used to them.  I would like to make it again, but will need to delve deeper into my fabric stash….

You can read more over at my blog, Mermaid’s Purse.

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Went a little out of my comfort zone and massively struggled with the set in sleeves BUT I think it turned out rather nice in the end, if you’d like to see more of my woes please check out my post on my blog

Burgundy ruffle dress front

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