Vintage Sewing

It may be late but I did finish…

September 23, 2007

More than a year ago, I claimed to be making a retro inspired dress using a Target tablecloth as fabric. Well, I finally finished it last week. It feels good to be done…but it doesn’t fit!

Well, it fit when I cut it out (a year ago). It fit when I attached the bodice lining (months ago). It just doesn’t fit me now. Throughout this stressing summer, I lost weight. I was shocked at how much. And for me that’s not a good thing. However, I am not taking the dress in. I will get my weight up once I find a job and no longer freak out about how much food costs.

the back

My dress just doesn’t look as cute as it should. So even though I finished it, I’m not happy. It’s loose overall which isn’t that bad until you come to the waist. My waist comes in much more than that and I want the 50’s New Look silhouette that is the dress design. I will be buying a petticoat soon, however, in the meantime, maybe a belt will help? They show one on the pattern.

So, I will be on the lookout for satin-like ribbon 2 in or more wide, something you just don’t find at JoAnne’s or Hancocks anymore. Maybe grosgrain instead?

I also have this retro McCall’s pattern from 1966. This top just needs to be hemmed a little longer than shown. I looked forward to making this pattern. I thought it was simple and I could whip out dresses and tops from it all summer long. However, I’m having fitting problems with this as well. It just seems to be drafted really big, regardless of my weight loss. The sleeves were longer than pictured, I had to cut off about 2 inches. After easing the sleeves in, they are actually puffy.

I promise next time I sew anything where fit is a major part of its design, I will make a muslin. That will be extremely hard for me because I am an impatient seamstress. But if it eliminates this frustration, then I will do it.

  1. They are both great — you are being too hard on yourself.

    I have that McCall’s pattern as well, so I’m glad to hear of your experience with it as I haven’t had a chance to sew it up yet. My friend even has some crazy fabric that’s like the green one pictured on the pattern envelope to try out!

  2. Well, the ‘fabric’ you chose for the dress is wonderful, and in the pictures at least the fit looks fine. Wear it in good health!

    I’m not sure about the top, though – it looks like it might be one of those things that only looks good on the super-slim and small-boned Gidget gals.

  3. That fabric looks lovely on you. I reckon a petticoat and belt would really help – I find that with the frocks I have this shape, even when they fit well, feel more ‘shapely’ with a belt.

  4. I think that dress turned out super-cute, and kudos on re-purposing the tablecloth! 🙂 I think it will look wonderful with a belt & petticoat. 🙂


  5. Love it, and despite it being big, congrats if you wanted it,it looks great. That fabric is also really pretty. I’m also an impatient sewer, I’ve never done an acutal muslin and have regretted it a couple of times, but I usually only sew with dollar a yard fabric from Walmart or reclaimed sheets from the thrift store so I’m not particularly perturbed by the waste when it doesn’t end up perfect. I do have some more expensive fabric that I’m kinda scared to cut into, lol.

    Still, good job on your dress.

  6. I agree with Abby. Both of them look good. I love the material on the dress and way you used it for this pattern. It looks great on you, belt or no. Hope you find a job soon because you are clearly a talented person.

  7. Dress is great. I really like the top as well.

    I am impatient about sewing also. I pin fit patterns using Fit For Real People with pretty good success. Tweaking done during sewing.

  8. Sorry to hear of your fitting issues. I think they both look great.

    Also, I am wondering if anyone knows where I can get a copy of the McCall’s 8251 pattern? I have become a bit obsessed with it. Thanks in advance.

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