1950s | 1960s | Accessories | Dresses | Embroidery | Hats | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

The End of Vintage Major Work

October 6, 2013

Hello lovely fellow sewers,

Some of you may or may not remember me but I am the year 12 student who was making the vintage Vogue lavender hemp and organic cotton day dress, with felt pillbox hat and embroidered vintage gloves for my Textiles and Design major work? Any ways, a few months ago I finally finished and handed it in for marking, which was the best feeling ever! (see photo below)

I finished with plenty of time to spare and unlike most of the girls in my class, I wasn’t working late into the night and into the next day in a rush 🙂 I was happy with my finished product despite the many problems and frustrations that came with it- I struggled with the bound buttonholes which were a new skill that I had to learn to master pretty quickly but with a lot of help from my dedicated teachers, I managed to finish them OK. Lining the dress was also a hurdle but after many lunchtimes and afternoons spent at school in front of a sewing machine, I was able to line it with white cotton voile beautifully. The hat was surprisingly easy but (despite the pattern not requiring a stiffener) I was forced to add stiff Vilene interfacing into the side of the hat to allow it to stand up. On the side, I included a vintage lace flower which belonged to an elderly neighbour of mine who recently died, so I felt it was a lovely way to reincarnate her memory in a hat that she would have loved. Both my grandmother’s who were my main inspiration absolutely loved the dress and both said that it looked exactly the same as the many dresses they wore, so I think my job was completed successfully!

I also gained a lot of praise from many people when I told them what most of the outfit was made of (hemp/organic cotton material for the dress and eco- felt for the hat) Many were surprised how versatile the fabric was and hopefully this gave many the idea of using eco friendly fabrics in their  future projects too 🙂

Also, for those who helped me out with a brand name which was required for my folio, I settled on ‘Mary-Joan Vintage’, as these are the names of my grandmothers and I thought it paid decent homage to my main inspirations 🙂 Thanks for all your help lovely sewers xx

My best friend (on the right) and I (left) about to hand in our major works


Another photo shoot image

Another photo shoot image
The finished product- we did a photo shoot and my good friend Rosanna modelled for me in front of my Dad's 1962 Valiant S series

the finished hat 🙂

  1. You did a wonderful job on the dress and I really love the hat. I’m so glad to see young ladies as yourself interested in sewing, where I live, most of the schools don’t teach that anymore.

    1. That’s so sad! Well, I hope it gives you comfort that pretty much every school in Australia teach Textiles and Design at school 🙂 And at my school it’s compulsory in Years 7 and 8

  2. My Melon!! so proud! love it and so glad we completed it without too many stresses and tears (well maybe you not me haha) wouldnt have wanted to share the experience with anyone else!
    love you xx

  3. oh wow! you did such a fantastic job! I love the colour. Im from NSW too – we didn’t have textiles and design in year 12 at my school, but my previous school did and we made boxer shorts of all things and a bag in year 7. But I did see a showing at St Marys senior high and the things the kids were making were so amazing! So much detail and skill! Yay for you and your teachers for helping you finish it so well

  4. Looks beautiful! I’m still in high school too (grade 12) but have never taken a sewing class. I was taught by my mom when I was younger, and since most of the projects they do at my school never seem that exciting, I didn’t really want to join. Most people I know that are in it don’t particularly enjoy sewing and just take it because they need the credits, so it’s nice to know there are girls out there who really do enjoy it!

    Anyways, congratulations on finishing the dress! You did a great job on it. I love the hat, especially!

  5. Beautiful job! You nailed it, from the fabric to the accessories styling, it’s all just perfect! My only quibble is that these fashions were meant to be quite SNUG, and your model is too slim for this size. Back in the day, the stylist would have used clothespins in the back to make the dress fit right for pix. Brava!

    BTW, my second husband had the same Valiant. I haven’t seen one of these in forty years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.