Last year, I had wanted to make an Easter dress, but I was overly ambitious and skipped some important steps, causing me to fail. I had picked New Look 6020, but I was new to sewing at the time, and failed in the sizing department, ending up with a dress several sizes too big. Having started the dress the day before Easter, I had very few options. I ended up wearing something else.
This year, I decided to be a bit more proactive. A fabric store near my mom’s house was having a closing sale when I was visiting my parents, so we went to see what kind of deals we could find.
I found Vogue 8728, a beautiful dress circa 1946, and some lovely dark green border print fabric with vibrant flowers on one end. I have been wanting to sew vintage patterns this year, and though I have several vintage patterns waiting to be sewn (and the fabric to go with them), I decided to make this vintage dress as my first for Vintage Pledge 2016. I gave myself plenty of time (a couple of weeks) and it worked out perfectly.
Since I haven’t mentioned Vintage Pledge yet here, I’ll take a moment to do that now. Vintage Pledge is a project started by Marie over at A Stitching Odyssey in efforts to encourage others to make and share vintage patterns over the years. This is the third year it has been happening, but the first I am participating. My pledge is below:
Because the pledge has no rules beyond using a vintage pattern (reproduction or original), I didn’t really follow the directions. From what I can tell, they use period-accurate techniques, but I was more comfortable using the techniques I am familiar with.
I cut a size 12, but because my waist can fluctuate from 26″ to 29″ in a single day, I was worried about the finished garment measurement at the waist being 28″. I decreased the side seam allowances to ~3/8″ in efforts to ensure that I could fit into the dress. This was unnecessary, either because I’ve lost weight or because the dress is a bit larger than I was expecting.
Other changes I made included:
- Omission of the shoulder pads — I’m just not really into shoulder pads
- Omission of the belt
- Lining of the front waist section — to ensure it didn’t grow on me
- Adding of elastic to the neckline (very last second) so I could bend over to help kids with crafts at church without fear of exposing myself
I’m also really good at putting zippers in the wrong place. I almost always put them on the right side of the dress by accident, and sometimes that’s just the beginning of the errors I make… Whoops. I’ve also discovered now to try to be better about matching the zipper colors, because I messed up a bit here. Oh well, you live and learn, right?
I’m pretty happy with how my very first vintage dress turned out. I would love to make it in a woven cotton for a summer dress that could be less dressy, but we’ll see if I get back around to this one this year.