Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An Old Dress, A New Dress

One of the best things a self taught seamstress could do is try to replicate a work of art. It's a great learning experience & you gain an extreme respect for pattern & dress makers. For those who don't know me, I'm in awe with all things from the 50's, retro, & vintage. Not only were they simpler times, the style was amazing. Women wore beautiful dresses that were made with such quality and care.  It was all about the details. The layering, the form, pleats, tucks, & pins..... I love it all! So...as if I didn't have anything else to do....I thought I'd give one a try. I have a couple beautiful vintage finds in my closet, but only two that I feel are true treasures, (and that's were my inspiration came from). One, I got when I was just a youngin' & the other about a year ago on Ebay. (It's one of my super finds.) Why did I want to replicate this, you ask?  Well for starters, the beautiful peachy dress is wayyyyyy too small. Second, I'm always up for a little challenge. Third, I just wanted to & felt it was time.  So.... off I went to my stash o' oldies & found the perfect pattern to help along with this project.

Sewing is not the difficult part. It's paying attention to all the tedious details vintage patterns require. I start off by ironing out all the pattern pieces, counting, & making sure everything is there that I need. (Vintage patterns are notorious for missing pieces.) After, I know you should probably make a muslin, but I didn't.  I figured the skirt is wide and the top could be fitted prior to sewing. I picked a gorgeous vintage, lightweight suiting fabric that was an all over gray with light pink stripes. The lining was a simple blackish navy that added coverage and weight for the dress. Lining is great. It makes your item practically flawless & clean. The actual pattern was not lined throughout. It only consisted of a two inch border that lined the inside of the neck, & arm areas. But instead, I just made a second dress and fitted it on the inside. I should let you know something. I never follow a pattern all the way through. I have a horrible habit of 'eliminating' a "do this" and "do that." I read the patterns & often find myself saying, 'well that's just dumb....I'm gonna do it this way.' Sometimes, I'm wrong, but with this dress, I think I made out pretty good. So here it is. Take a look!

Gotta admit....that smile screams "I'm proud" :)

And take a look at the back:)

I added ribbon & a button.....These were needed!

I just love the cut, the fit, & everything.

So overall... What did I learn? I learned that my fabric choice was not sooo 'lightweight'. This dress has a pretty descent, 'heavy' weight. I learned DO NOT eliminate  a 'do this' or a 'do that'. (You really do need these steps as my 'elimination' caused ribbon ties for straps. I also learned that gathering is a real pain depending on fabric choice. And last... I learned that I can make an amazing dress! No matter what things I should've done, one things for sure. I ended up with a beautiful addition to my closet... And I'm wearing it at the next tea party my girls invite me to! I still have to adjust the length, but thought I'd post it as soon as I got done. Happy Trails to sewing & doing the unthinkable:)

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