First Post: Good, bad, downright ugly?

July 29, 2012

This is my first post on We Sew Retro after being a lurker for a while now and I need some opinions on this dress that I just finished.

I was saving this (what I think is) vintage or retro cotton fabric for the right pattern because I could not decide what I wanted to make it into, and I finally decided on a basic shirt dress (Simplicity 2246) to show off the pattern on the fabric, and now I think I hate it. I’m trying to decide if I should leave it as is or shorten it to a longer blouse or not too long tunic length. It does look a bit better on me than it does on my dress form but I am habitually camera shy . Honest opinions would be greatly appreciated.

  1. This is really cute! I would keep it as a dress instead of cutting it down to a tunic or shirt. You did a good job and you should be proud of yourself.

  2. I really like it – love the pattern. Maybe you are just not used to wearing big prints? I think it is fun and beautifully made.

  3. Take a break from it. I made a dress that I hated when I finished it….put it away for a little bit and now it’s my favorite.

  4. it’s really a beautiful dress, do you try to wear it with an other belt, eg in wide leather red ou white ?

  5. Love it. Would wear it in a heartbeat. Actually, I think the shirtdress is a perfect match to the fabric – it looks straight out of my 1970s sewing books.

  6. I think it’s charming, sass it up with a blue or red leather belt. Go bold
    i’m sure you will love it when you hear all the compliments you will recieve…good job,well done 🙂

  7. For the love of sewing leave it alone! lol I totally know how you feel though. I have a couple of those in my closet. I like this dress, totally unique. You’ll have tons of people asking where you got it!

  8. I love it- I actually missed out on some similar fabric recently that I was a bit gutted about. Play around with how you style it up- a solid colour fitted belt will break up the bold print, and you can always cover up a little with a plain cardigan so it isn’t quite so overwhelming. Different colour accessories can completely change the look of a dress like this- red, white, black, blue or yellow would all work!

  9. I love it! I think you picked the perfect fabric-and-pattern combination.

    I’d wear it with black tights and black heeled mary janes or oxfords, but that’s just me. Don’t give up on it yet!

  10. Definitely don’t cut it. Think on it. Wear it around the house to get used to it. If you are anything like me, its probably the bold colors and print that you aren’t really comfortable with. Once you’ve worn it at home a few times, call a couple of very good friends for a lunch date. Wear the dress, and don’t say anything… just wait for the compliments to roll in! Its the perfect pattern for that print!! Very cute!

  11. It looks great on the dress form! And if it makes you a bit uncomfortable because it’s not quite your usual style – well, go you! Experiment! People often think that the amazing thing about sewing/refashioning your clothes is that you can make everything absolutely perfect for you and never have to go out of your comfort zone. That’s part of it, but sewists are also fashion boundary-testers – we have fabrics and patterns that we like but don’t know what to do with; we have odd-looking garments that we remake into slightly less odd things – we are creative; we challenge ourselves. We remind ourselves and everyone else that fashion is not about buying clothes from shops, fueling the consumer-driven economy and fitting into a paradigm of the season as defined by clothes retailers and the media, but about exploring the tremendous, exciting variety of ways to make and wear clothes.

  12. I also like it long and don’t think you should cut it down. I agree that you should wear a wide belt. If you really feel like you need to change something, I’d edge the lower hem with a deep navy to match the flower centers and then add a wide belt in the same color. I also might make it sleeveless and trim the armholes with the same navy. Overall I really like it! I agree that some projects need to marinate awhile before you make any radical changes. It’s cute!

  13. Don’t doubt yourself and second guess this dress. It looks great. I have made some doozies in my time, and the more nervous I felt about the initial wearing, the more raves I got. You will be angry with yourself later if you cut it up.

  14. Thanks everyone for the helpful opinions! I am definately keeping it long now 🙂 My intention was to wear a regular medium width to wide belt with it but I tried on every belt I had in colours that would go with the fabric and ones I thought might complement nicely, ie every belt I own, and they all looked terrible so I made the self fabric belt to tide me over until I could find one that would go with the dress.

    Maybe if the weather is actually nice tomorrow i’ll wear it out and try and get a picture.

  15. I love – I think it looks brilliant as it is. Like one of the other comments, I’d wear it with opaque black tights and suede boots, and maybe even a black jacket, if you still feel too bright. I think it’s always a problem when it’s something you’re not used to wearing – my tip would be to go somewhere that no-one knows you and you can pretend you are somebody else, until you get used to it! xx

  16. Hi – new to your blog. Can I just say – don’t cut it!! It’s an adorable dress. I really like some of the other posters ideas. But I also see this as a late fall dress – with brown knee high boots and a brown leather jacket (or camel boots and jacket) and of course, scarves. It’s too cute to cut!

  17. I seem to be the odd one out: I *don’t* like the print, or at least not the effect that it has created here. However, cutting the dress down won’t help with that, and the basic shape is fine. I’d agree that a non-self-coloured belt would probably help.

    1. I don’t like the print for its own sake–I would never buy fabric like that–but I think it’s ideal for the dress. Something can be awesome even if it isn’t to my own taste.

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