Vintage Sewing

New Silhouette

April 30, 2012

I have recently been inspired by all the amazing Mad Men sewing projects people have been doing based on Joan. I absolutely love the straight or wiggle dress styles on other people and decided it was time to try out a new silhouette for myself. I also decided to sew from a pattern again – something I rarley do as I find it’s often more work than just making the pattern myself.

I brought the below on ebay – it’s a Weigles 1654. According to wiki-patterns Weigles Patterns PTY LTD was started by a polish immigrant to Australian in 1877 and closed down sometime in the 1960’s.

The pattern was easy to follow however I needed to adjust it by 2″ in the bust & hips and 3″ in the waist. This was the first time I’ve graded a kimono sleeve pattern – I just guessed and made it up as I went but I think I got it right (although the gusset insert could maybe be a little bigger). I also decided to change the collar as it’s not really my style. In need of instant gratification I didn’t make a toile but decided just to try it out…..

The fabric is something I picked up in Mexico last year. I love the non-tradition colour combination for this check. Unfortunately the kimono sleeves took up more fabric than I thought and I could only just fit the dress in and had to sacrifice some of the matching checks to do this. I do like the sleeves and how they end up on the bias at the cuff. I think the collar shape is a bit too 70’s and would change it if I sew the pattern again. I would also make the skirt a little more straight as it’s slightly A-lined now. Overall I’m not sure about this style on me – I feel that the full skirt styles that I usually wear suit me a more. I don’t think I have the curves to pull this off and feel more like my grandma than Joan!

On a side note this last picture of me is in my sewing studio that I rent in the Inner West of Sydney. There’s heaps of extra room at the other end of the room. Unfortunately I am not using is as much as I’d like anymore and am looking for someone to share it with me. So if you live in Sydney and your lack of space is stopping you from sewing more email me ( and we may be able to work something out! It’s a shame to see it wasted.

Happy Sewing!

  1. I now wish I lived in Sydney so that I could share that space with you! Looks like a great place to sew and the dress looks amazing, that’s the first pattern i’ve ever seen from that label.

  2. I think you look fabulous, that style makes you look very slender, stylish & chic. Sometimes trying sometime a little but different just takes a while to get used to – like a new hair colour! I saw your picture and immediately thought ‘Wow’!

  3. I totally agree with LizJane. The style emphasizes your slender shape in a good way. You look graceful & lovely! I love the double buttons and the Scotty dog too!

  4. Thanks! 🙂 I was wondering if you would like to follow each other’s blogs?
    I just thought it would be really great to have a new blogger friend like you. I’ll follow back. 🙂

  5. I love it! It’s definitely not grandma-frumpy on you. It highlights your figure, and looks lovely. The plaid transitioning to bias on the sleeves is wonderful!

  6. I think that dress is awesome! The fabric is terrific, and the shape, even though it’s more restrained than the big-skirt styles, is actually very nice.

    Looks great with boots, too, by the way. Girl after my own heart!

  7. wow if i were in sydney (or australia even!) i’d totally share your sewing space with you, it’s fantastic!! i agree with your collar assessment, i LOVE the plaid you used…. as for maximizing your curves, what if you took in the bottom of the skirt to make it more tulip shaped and thus make you look more hourglass?? you might pin it and see what it looks like. it is a smashing dress though!

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