Vintage Sewing

Double whammy

April 5, 2008
Hi all. First up I have an astoundingly loud barbeque shirt I stitched up for my feller from Style 1226, a 1970s body shirt pattern. As you might expect, the collar is enormous. It’s unclear whether or not he’ll have the chutzpah to wear this in public, but with gentle encouragement, I think he might. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to consider your loved ones as walking mannequins pleading to be adorned, don’t you?
I’m going to inflict the same pattern on my brother for his birthday. I’d post a picture of the awesome pattern cover art but I can’t actually locate it in the sewing room chaos at present.

Next up is a vintage dress that I bought recently even though it’s terribly, irreperably stained and worn, plus much too short for me. It was only five bucks.
I thought I’d run it past you all, dear SewRetro experts, about the prospect of carefully disassembling it and using it as a pattern because I just love all that crazy pleating in the bust and at the back (which I didn’t photograph, sorry) there is a splendid fishtail skirt. Anyone got any advice? Is this absolute folly?

  1. Yes – take it apart and make a new one!

    If it was a better piece, I would probably try tracing around it or over it and draping what I couldnt outright draw out. But if it has seen its better day, why not.

    Maybe you could recycle the dress fabric afterwards somehow.

    Make a mock up first though before you cut into new fabric!

  2. Salvaging this dress for a pattern is the best thing that could happen to it at this point in its life. Go for it!

  3. I would definitely give it a try. Take lots of pictures for reference. Mark the pieces somehow so you know how to fit them back together. I mention that because it is definitely something I would forget to do! that is a gorgeous dress.

  4. Absolutely use the dress as a pattern! It has such great details… The striped fabric should be helpful too, since it will help you keep the grainline straight. Most striped fabric has a lengthwise grain, but to double check, just remember that the lengthwise grain is firmer, while the crosswise grain has more stretch. This dress may have been cut crosswise just for the sake of design; if this is the case, I would still cut it on the straight unless I found similar fabric. Good luck, and please do keep us posted!

  5. Wow, I love all that pleating too. Good luck recreating it – it will be well worth it!

    BTW, tell your fella that (from what we can see) he looks GREAT in that shirt, and should totally wear it in public. I love the fabric!

  6. Oh, love that shirt! That material is a winner. BBQ ahoy!

    I second third and forth the frock suggestions. Take lots of photos of it before you unpick, and keep doing pictures as you unpick the sections so you can see how they go together.

    …and then I’ll steal it offya when you’ve finished, it’s lovely!

    PS It looks a bit like the label says ‘Fabulous’

  7. love the shirt – it’s so funky. I think there is some crafting law which requires the receiver of hand laboured goods to wear them at least once in public, at least that’s what my mum used to tell me about these hideous jumpers my gran used to knit me!

  8. Thanks for comments all…

    and Moggy, the label says “Fashionation”

    which is probably reason enough to recreate it.

  9. Love the BBQ shirt. I think you should take the dress apart and trace a pattern and make a new dress and show it to all of us here when done!

  10. That BBQ shirt is hilarious. My husband would NEVER EVER wear something like that for me!

    The dress looks quite lovely. It would be a wonderful pattern. I’ve disassembled and used the pices as a pattern – it is time consuming, and fiddle-y, but the total effect is worth it.


  11. You don’t need to take it apart to make a pattern from it! I took a class on copying ready to wear and made a pattern from a 40’s dress and didnt have to take it apart.

    The process involved marking each the dress pattern piece with a thread of running stitch on a crosswise and lengthwise grain line, laying it flat, pinning a section of sheer silk to the garment section to be traced and tracing the section seam edges (keeping the grainlines matched). There’s a little more to it than that, but its the basic idea. Works like a charm. Email me if you want a better description. It sounds harder than it is 🙂 glamarama at gmail dot com

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