1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Rock and Roll dress

March 7, 2012


Hi there,  I’m new to this community and I would like to share the things I make.  I live in a small village in the Netherlands and I love sewing, vintage and knitting.

Boogie Woogie
Last summer I had the great idea of taking dancing lessons. Boogie Woogie that is. Well actually I like Lindy Hop even better, but I live in the middle of nowhere and there is no dancing school where you can take Lindy Hop dancing lessons. I thought if I am going take dancing lessons I need a dress to wear. A full circle skirt, with a petticoat and bright colors.

The dress from hell
It turned out to be a quite ambitious project. I wanted to draft the pattern myself and I used a fabric with stripes for the bodice. Stripes are difficult because you see every flaw in it, you have to work very neat. The muslin turned out fine, so I started with the real thing.

And thats when the problems started. The bodice didn’t fit as good as the muslin did. So I had to alter it a lot. Then I wanted to make button holes in the front panel. At that time I was using a sewing machine, which couldn’t make any decent button holes and it even destroyed my fabric. So I had to replace the right front pannel. At that time I was so frustrated, because I couldn’t finish the dress because of the failing button holes and decided to put it aside.

Second chance
A couple of months later, I saved up enough money to buy a new sewing machine. After all that time I really wanted to finish the dress. But when I took a look at the dress one of the back pannels was damaged as well and needed replacement. Luckily I had some fabric left.
With my new machine I could make button holes without any problems. But when I had almost finished the dress and tried it on for an extra fitting, the space between the button holes popped open. I changed the place of the buttons, but the problem still existed. I even tried snap fasteners(?), but it didn’t solve the problem.  My solution was to hand sew the two front pannels together. So after all the trouble I can’t even open my dress on the front, its just decorative.

I am not 100 % content. The fit isn’t as good as I wanted it to be. But for a second try drawing my own dress pattern its okay. It was the first time working with stripes fabric. And it’s makes a sewing project harder. Everything has to match. I don’t like that the front of the dress won’t  open.

Unfortunately, due some logistic problems I wasn’t able to take the dancing lessons after all, but now I have the dress! Hopefully I can start next season 🙂

  1. You have more dedication than I do, I probably would have given up after all those problems! The skirt looks great for dancing, I’m a lindy hopper and I highly recommend checking it out if you ever visit a city where they have it!

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