1950s

WDW Dapper Day Dress

By on November 19, 2016

We decided to brave the crowds on Veteran’s Day weekend and headed to Walt Disney World for our first ever Dapper Day! I spent several weeks procrastinating/agonizing over which pattern from my stash to sew and ended up choosing Butterick 6820. Vintage Pattern Wikia dated it as 1954img_2002This pattern ended up being one of those small miracles where something fits with almost zero alterations. It didn’t call for it, but I chose to line the bodice and used the lining as my fit muslin. The only things I had to change were to let the side seams out just a hair and to adjust the hem length. I also put in a longer zipper than called for. It was a side zip and I could barely get it over my head at first. The bodice fabric is vintage cotton that I found on Etsy and the skirt is just Kona cotton from Joann’s. I wore two lightweight crinolines, one vintage and one that I made previously. The skirt was pretty heavy and probably needed a stiffer crinoline, but I just didn’t have time to make one. I also made a little bolero using non-vintage Simplicity 3921 and cotton flannel. I used some of the bodice scraps to give it cuffs. All in all I’m really happy with how it turned out and it was a pretty comfortable dress to wear. And those giant pockets were great for stashing candy and lipstick! Dapper Day was a blast! So much fun seeing all the unique, handmade dresses and chatting with other sewists!

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses

Sew Retro – The Gertie Bombshell Dress So Far

By on May 22, 2014

I thought I’d give a little update on my Sewing for Vegas Sew Retro bombshell dress and my experience of using Craftsy for the first time.

I signed up for this course with a little trepidation, boning? yikes! But you never get anywhere unless you push yourself do you? And in some respects I have all too easily become used to doing what I can do and sticking with the “safe” stuff.

So first things first:

When I found out about craftsy I thought it would be marvellous for me. As you may know I am dyslexic, so looking at instructions in the written word are usually quite confusing.

Add with that mild dyspraxia and you have a whole heap of confusion when it comes to things such as left and right.

I learn so well when people show me physically how to do something rather than from reading instructions, hence the idea of video classes which I can access at any point seemed perfect.

So sign up I did.

I downloaded the course materials and pattern (easy enough) ensuring that the test square was the right size and then ordered everything I needed to make up the dress (apart from the boning – you really need to measure your bodice pieces for that).

I decided on a cerise medium weight cotton for the main fabric with the lining in a lightweight light blue and white polka dot.

I cracked on with making up the pattern.

Now, I know this should have been easy and it was up to a certain point but honestly, being told that it’s “fun, like doing a puzzle” doesn’t actually make it any more fun and less fiddly.

Oh, and if you’re like me and don’t have a table big enough, prepare for some backache.

This was however soothed by watching the amazingly trashy cultness of Showgirls while I was doing it.


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Next up was marking the pattern pieces on calico for the toile of the bodice.

When I first discovered that the pattern had no seam allowance I was struck by a little bit of fear, I completely didn’t understand how beneficial this actually would be and how easy it would make the whole process. Thread tracing is a new one on me but I feel like it’s something that might change my sewing life!

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After a short time I had my cups made and decided it was time to leave it for the night.

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The next day I began stitching the rest of the pieces together. It took me about 40 minutes of not understanding why the cups weren’t fitting into the bodice sections before I realised I’d sewn them on the wrong way round (dylexia-dyspraxia strikes again!). Once they were un-picked and re-sewn I had a bodice which looked pretty fantastic.

I just made a few adjustments to the height of the cups (these would make me blush in their original form, and I’m not shy by any means) which Gertie talks you through every step of the way, There’s also a section on a full bust adjustment, which I didn’t use but I did watch and it was very thorough. It will be a great reference if I make something for someone in the future who is bustier than me.

I added a little height to the back of the bodice too, in line with the height I’d added to the cups and then I graded this down towards the closure section where the zip will be inserted.

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After this I made the changes to my pattern pieces to incorporate the extra material and I cut more calico for the interlining, marked it up and used these pieces as a pattern for the main bodice material, which I then cut and tacked together.

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Then I made up the bodice as instructed, step by step, including inserting a bit of padding to the cups and a few other tailoring techniques as shown (I don’t want to give everything away).

This where I’m up to, an almost complete bodice. I am so happy with how it looks.

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My thoughts on the class and on craftsy:

I am really loving doing something new and more challenging with guidance from others who have completed the course and from the instructor. I would definitely recommend this type of learning to anyone who is talking up sewing. The instructions are clear and concise and it is invaluable to be able to see in motion what you can only read about in other respects. The little tailoring and hand sewing techniques and finishes and shared experiences from Gertie are well worth signing up for, never mind the fact you’ll have a gorgeous dress at the end of it.

I fully intend to carry on doing more craftsy courses after I have finished this one. What I have learned so far is so much more than I thought I would, and it’s great to find out little tips and tricks so that if (like me) you’re learning as you go, and on your own, you find speedier and more accurate ways to make garments.

Has anyone else made this dress or done this course?

Please link me up with your version, Id love to see it! 

 


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