1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

70s Boudoir Dress

May 26, 2012

Today I finished my 70s Boudoir Dress. I decided to name the dress after the fabric which it’s made of. 

I was really glad with how the dress turned out and was eager to take pictures of it. When I finished the dress this morning I tried it on and then the worst thing happened (well in a sewing kind of way), when I was closing the zipper, it broke! After all that work, my zipper broke 🙁  

I was so frustrated, I was ready to take pictures and now I didn’t have a finished dress. When I took off my dress, I made the zipper, after some tinkering, kind of work again. Luckily I could take the pictures after all. But I need to replace the zipper for sure, it’s not running smoothly anymore. 

After putting the dress on again it was time to take pictures. I started taking them inside, but the light was so bad, none of the picture came out pretty good. We moved outside, there was a lot of wind so I worried about the pictures again. But one of my cats came along and made my dat. She really wanted to be in the pictures. She distracted me a lot, but she also cheered me up!

Ok, what about the dress? I used a 70s pattern, but I think it has a 40s feel. I already made a wearable muslin so I was easy to make. The dress is fully lined with a white cotton fabric. The dress has a broken blind zipper. Instead of serging the seams I choose to turn the edges of the seams and stitching it. 

When you’re sewing something, things might go wrong. When it happens during the sewing proces, I don’t like it, but I can live with it and often  learn from the mistakes I make. But really, when you just have finished your dress, you don’t won’t things get broken. Please tell me, what was your sewing disaster? What made you get so frustrated that you would like to throw your project away?


  1. Oh, many of my disasters have involved fasteners – buttons, snaps and zips (which always happen quite a ways into the sewing process). One fairly miserable thing, recently, was when I inserted a zip into a bias cut skirt and it went totally wonky (even though I used organza to interface it)! I reinserted that thing 3 times and, in the end, the skirt was thrown away. (I’d even boned the waistband on that one!)

    1. Ugh, I have a bias-cut dress waiting for me to redo the zipper, which as you say “went wonky”! I took the zipper out pretty promptly so it would stop mutilating the fabric, but I haven’t had the heart to tackle the easing and steaming and stay-stitching and etc. that I need to do to put another one in. I need to get a grip because I could use more washable summer dresses!

      1. I think it is always harder redo something, then start from the beginning.. When something goes wrong I put it aside for a while and after some time I’m eager to finish the project after all.

  2. Your dress is really pretty! I like the red heels with it a lot, and I like the kitty peeking over your shoulder too- so cute.
    Just last night, I was tired sewing, and I sewed my two bust darts on the opposite sides of the fabric! 🙂 How I managed that, I do not know….

  3. Since I’m still a beginning sewer, pretty much any new technique makes me want to scream in frustration. But after Googling and YouTubing, and then carefully forging ahead….. So far so good. I’ve done my share of seam ripping, (or as my mom calls it “unsewing”), lol.

  4. The kitty peeking over the fence made my day, too. 🙂 My background in sewing is first from reconstruction of vintage finds and then extensive Home Decor sewing for designers, so following patterns can frustrate me to no end. Something from scratch? No problem. From a pattern? Arrrgh!

    1. I have a little experience in pattern drafting. And I really prefer using my own patterns, because that way I understand what the patterns are about.

      Besides, most of the times, i have no patience to read the work descriptions of the patterns.

  5. How absolutely bloomin annoying. Especially when you have gone to such lengths to make such a beautiful dress… all lined and everything! They do say that cats are very intuitive…. I think yours is especially! Great dress, great pics too. My biggest most annoying disasters mostly involve me painstakingly making something to fit perfectly… and then putting on weight so it doesn’t fit at all any more!! 🙂

  6. Last night I was sewing a dress and put the collar in smoothly and beautifully, until I realized I had put it in RS to WS. Ugh.
    The dress is way cute – the red belt and heels are perfect! Hopefully the second zipper will go in smoothly for you!

    1. Thank you!

      Oh my, I had that once too with a collar. I was so proud because the result was so good, but then I realized I put the wrong side on the right side.

  7. I made a dress for my 8 year old granddaughter, and was putting an invisible zipper in. The zipper was too long, so I snipped off the top. After getting in really nicely (I was so proud), I closed the zipper before finishing the top of it at the neckline, and the pull came off. Duh! It was impossible to get the pull back on so now I have to redo it, and it’s just been sitting waiting for me to get to it. I HATE zippers!
    Your dress is fantastic, and so is your very happy cat!

    1. Thank you!

      Aah too bad! I usually don’t have much problems with zippers, this is the first time it broke. When my zipper is too long I prefer cutting of a bit of the end of the zipper and closing it with a tight zigzag stitch.

  8. Your dress looks lovely, I think the print is pretty and I just love the sneaky cat, there seams to be a sewing/cats-in-photos correlation! heehee!

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