Posts Tagged 'vintage sewing'

Vintage Vogue 8875 – Cherry Blossom Dress

I mentioned a while back that I wanted to make up Vintage Vogue 8875 in a silky poly floral fabric I had been saving for a special project, and I decided to jump right into it and make myself a new dress for my cousin’s wedding. The wedding was set to be a very classy affair in black and white — much fancier than the usual Southern Baptist weddings I’ve attended where people sip punch made from ginger ale, pineapple juice, and orange sherbet while nibbling on a cake baked by the bride’s aunt.

In other words, MUCH fancier than my own wedding.

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When Vintage Patterns Go Wrong

Time to chalk up another learning experience.

I’ve been working on a muslin of this adorable 1940s Mary Dunbar toddler dress. I love the sweet little scallops! I could just see it made up with a pink and white stripe fabric for the main body and a light breezy floral print for the scalloped sections with coordinating buttons down the back. I almost used this pattern last year, but I decided that the scallops looked too intimidating and I put it back into my pattern drawer. This year, armed with new knowledge about sewing curves, I decided to give it a try.

1940s Mary Dunbar 2013-02-24 003

Unfortunately, this pattern is more flawed than any pattern I have ever used — and believe me, I have used some really crazy patterns.

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Sewing Project: Matching Mother and Daughter Easter Dresses

This entry will take care of two of my 2012 sewing project goals — a 1950s pink “housewife” dress and making matching Easter dresses for my daughter and myself — because I ended up combining those two goals into one. Sounds clever, right? I actually had no other choice. I kept running into problems that forced me to change my plans. The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men / Gang aft agley, as Robert Burns once wrote.

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Well, At Least I Tried…

I couldn’t revive that 1940s red satin cocktail dress.

I was close to finishing it but I thought it might be too big, so I just basted the sides where the zipper would go and tried it on. Sure enough, it’s HUGE in the waist, hangs crooked on my body, and the seams are — for lack of a better word — wompy (bumpy and misaligned). The parts that I sewed recently are passable, but the parts that I had sewn poorly two years ago are showing up at noticeable points, like the top of one shoulder.

At this point, I don’t know if I can fix it. I will definitely need the help of a serious dressmaker because the waist will have to be fitted while I am wearing it. For now, I’m setting it aside and vowing never to make another garment in satin again. It’s evil.

The Zombie Vamp Dress!

It’s been a while since I updated this blog because things have been pretty hectic around here. We bought a house and I’ve been busy with the buying process, fixing up the house, packing, moving, and unpacking, and during the downtime I’ve been working on lots of sewing projects. My big project for the past month has been a Halloween costume for my husband: a Jedi robe, tunic, and obi. It’s almost done, and I only need to hem the robe and put a casing around the seam where the hood meets the collar, so it should be ready in time for a Halloween party this weekend. I’ve had to put it on hold, however, because I have another project that has crept up on me!

A couple of years ago, I tried to make a 1940s cocktail dress out of cranberry red satin. My skill levels were just not up to the task — back then, “easing in” sent me into a fit of rage — and my awful Singer tried to mangle the satin. I stuffed the half-finished dress into a plastic bag and threw it into the back of my sewing cabinet in disgust. I decided that if I ever improved my skills, I’d try it again.

Back to the present: I have a special event coming up this week that has an “old Hollywood glamor” theme. After being unable to find a vintage dress for it, I decided to bring the 1940s cocktail dress back from the grave. Spooky, I know. I’ve nicknamed it “the zombie vamp dress.”

So far, it’s going pretty well. My Janome lets the satin glide right through and joining the concave and convex curves while easing in the excess isn’t difficult for me anymore. What’s infuriating is that I can see all the idiot newbie mistakes I made back then: not cutting points for aligning pieces, not sewing all the way to the end of of a seam, and not backstitching with the machine at the beginning and end of every line of stitching!

Bonus challenge: I need to finish it in a day and a half, and it’s about halfway done so far but the really hard part (lining the bodice) is coming up next!