1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A New Frock for the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival

March 30, 2015

If you live in the Hunter Valley region of NSW in Australia, you know about the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival. Chances are if you are into the classic car scene and live anywhere in Australia you’ve heard about it. Those of you who don’t know about it, it is a whole weekend full of 1950’s goodness. There’s a show ‘n’ shine, lots of bands and dancing, heaps of market stalls selling vintage and reproduction clothing, accessories, homewares and gifts. It is probably the one weekend a year when I really love living in the area I live.

I always make at least one new Outfit for Nostalgia Festival. In fact, my very first 1950’s style dress that I sewed was for this festival. So I guess you could blame it for my obsession now? As I will be in my work uniform for one day of the weekend, I only needed to make an outfit for the Sunday (which is the biggest day of the weekend)

I recently came to possess this 1956 Australian Home Journal, and I knew I had to make the pink dress. So I found some divine pink rose cotton from my stash and set about grading up the pattern. As this is a true vintage pattern, and fabric from my stash, I’m also counting it towards my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, Yay!

Pattern and Fabric
Pattern and Fabric
Bodice minus the sleeve cuffs
Pleating the Fabric for the skirt, goodness there is a lot of fabric!

I did modify the pattern slightly, by adding bust darts at the side of the front bodice, as it was quite gapey in the armscye. I also hemmed it a bit shorter than the pattern says to, as I am not too tall myself, it is still quite long though. I used a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle to help set the pleats. No, I didn’t smell like vinegar, and the pleats stayed lovely and crisp all day

On the Saturday night, after working all day at the festival, I made a last minute decision to make a new petticoat for this dress, as I didn’t like how it hung with any of my other ones. I put it together nearly completely with my overlocker, only using my sewing machine for a straight stitch on the elastic casing. Then I put everything on my mannequin and admired my work.



Unfortunately I didn’t get a good full length shot of me wearing the dress, so here is a quick shot of my Mum and I before we headed out for the day. She came and raided my wardrobe and had me do her hair


Please feel free to head over to my blog to see more of my sewing. Parts of the initial construction of this dress are included in this post, and this post has a few more photos of the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival

  1. Perfect match of fabric to pattern, so pretty with your hair ;o) I love the look of the collar/neckline on the other home journal dress too. The festival looks like heaps of fun, might have to make a trip down for some wine and nostalgia one year.

  2. I love this. Full skirt would look good on my pear shape. Modest top with sleeves. Too bad this isn’t a current pattern!

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