Vintage Sewing

Facings are not my friends..

May 1, 2010
I bought this lovely looking pattern the other week, looks simple, classic, bit of a challenge to make but nothing I cant handle.

I have been sewing for 2 months and i think i may have just a tinsy bit of an inflated idea of my own ability.
I embarked on it this weekend.
Anyone who has sewn with old patterns knows the joy of translating the scant instructions.
This pattern has a complicated facing that gets sewn on and then turned inside out, now I am about as good at working out spatial things as a blind man is at parallel parking, so it took me 5 goes to figure out which bit gets sewn onto what bit.

but, I did it…

Only trouble is now Ive got it to the point of the top sewn onto the bottom i have realised it

A) Is gignormous in the top even though I have altered it heaps
B) Looks like a matrons dress
C) the colour does nothing for me

What do you sewers do when you have this problem?

I have thrown it in disgust on my chair and plan to ignore it for a week.
  1. I love facing. I face everything, EVERYTHING. I mostly create my own facing pieces and abandon ones that come with the pattern.

    I always tell new sewers dont be afraid to up something up. Just because you have done a garment does not mean it can be something else. This might be inspirational to you.

    I like the color. I dont think every dress needs to be a show piece. We all need some staples that can compliments accessories.

    Good luck with it!

  2. I find shortening a dress, even if its just a few inches above the knee always makes it feel younger. And add a red belt and heels, would make it super cute. This might be the type of dress that is a canvas for fun accessories!

  3. Great advice from both of you…I would not scrap it…but maybe we can start a club for "chair renegades". I have a piece I am struggling with sitting on a chair too. I love the idea of red with this, purple, turquoise, gold….it just needs wonderful embellishment. Stick with it. I am new to sewing as well and wonder if my ability and dreams of what I might be able to sew don't match up. But this is how you learn, everyone needs to start somewhere. I just wish I had a mentor that lived near so I could ask questions and get advice. I really want to become a steamstress.

  4. Would you be willing to post pictures of you in the dress for ideas? If it's really blousy on top, what about making it a tunic-type top for over leggings? Chop it off about mid-thigh, add a chunky belt. With bright coloured leggings/skinny pants I bet the colour of the top won't be so much of an issue.

    If you can get the top to fit a bit better, my instinct would be to stitch down the gathers at the shoulder (either part way down or turn them into mini-darts), open up the front into more of a v-neck (which would entail fiddling with the facing again :P), and hemming it at or just above the knee. 3/4 sleeves can help too.

  5. You did the right thing by leaving it sit for a while. Sometimes you just need to walk away and count to ten. You could always jazz up the color with some eye catching jewelry or shoes in a bold color. Red goes great with grey. Don't give up!

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