Monday, 19 August 2013

Something old, something blue .....

Well the dress for the wedding is finally finished and I am delighted!  The idea of wearing vintage for Dan's wedding came from this dress in a Miss Marple episode with the idea I would have the dress made by someone else.  Despite lots of looking I couldn't find a similar pattern, but I finally settled on Vogue 4260  which I bought from America (getting stung for an extra £18 of taxes which I didn't expect). 

1950s Evening Dress Vintage Sewing Pattern Vogue S 4260 Full Skirt Cocktail Dress Shaped Neckline Bust 34 Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern

The fabric is satin backed crepe which was  £5.99 per metre, so even with the 5 metres needed it was very reasonable.  It was easier to sew with than just satin but still pretty slippy.  

The pattern was unused which made me very nervous about using it.  Look at the condition for a sixty year old pattern!  I traced the bodice pieces but cut directly from the skirt pieces.

I made a muslin of just the top.  I have learnt that muslins aren't accurate unless they are out of the same fabric!  The muslin fabric was obviously much looser but at least it helped me to decide that I just needed to add an extra allowance to the 34" size bodice.  I only made a muslin of the bodice as I think you can usually make the skirt fit!  As you can also see I only really make a quick muslin (I've seen some fabulous blogs where the muslin is beautifully made .... I'm just impatient).

The pattern proved to be a real challenge for me on lots of levels (and I certainly wouldn't have been able to manage without the help of Jo at Unique Fabric in Ulvertson where I have been attending workshops for the last month).  The placket was especially challenging, you might well ask what is a placket, I did.  Its the bit behind the pleats on the skirt.

The bodice and skirt have gathered darts (challenging at the narrow parts) and this is a lovely effect. 

The sleeve had an unusual dart.

There isn't a lining and I used an interlocker for the first time to neaten all the seams. 

The interlocker turned out to be my best friend and worse enemy!  When it's going well you whizz along getting rid of all the fraying fabric ... great! .... and then you loose concentration and make a 2 1/2" cut in your skirt which means you have to take that much fabric out of each side of your skirt (Good job it was a very full skirt).  Other distasters were having just been told by Jo to be very careful of ripping the edge on your buttonhole ... guess what I did immediately... yes ripped past the end and that had to be repaired.  It hardly shows though.

I bought a full petticoat so that the skirt works properly.  It's a bit full at the moment so I will be taking it into the bathroom when its steamy.  So here  is the final dress on my dummy .....

Thought I would wait to show you it on at Dan's wedding .... Can't believe it's only 2 weeks away.  (Update in case you are visiting from we sew retro .... here is a photo of the dress at the wedding, visit the post on 2.9.13 for more photos and a celebratory give-away


I visited an Art Deco Fair at Morecambe yesterday.  It was held in the most suitable place, the fabulous Midland Hotel (you may recognise it from Poirot)

It was rather a small fair and expensive, with the most coverted item being this complete 30s picnic basket (only £160)

... I didn't buy much but a rather strange collection of .... a 30s buckle, a 40s "Beauty on holiday" and late 50s midwinter domino plates ...

Morecambe is a strange place to visit.  Its rather run down now, but as a child a visit to Morecambe was often what we did for our holidays (holidays were often "days out" rather than staying away) and Morecambe was a favourite.  Visiting the fair (now closed), the puppet shop in the arcade (both now closed), Happy Mount Park (particularly the crazy golf - still there!) and best of all Brucianni's  where we would have an ice cream. 

I pestered mum for ages for a Knickerbocker glory but wasn't allowed one because they were too big .... then finally I must have been about 9 she gave in and .... yes "I told you so" I ate it all and felt really sick!  Ah, great memories!

Finally, if you like fantastic photos of dancers go to this link Random photos of dancers - there are some amazing images!

I'm back to work now but still knitting a cardi and sewing a skirt.  What are you making?  Next week I'll get round to a Giveaway.


  1. Well now that is one dandy dress - the material accentuates the shape beautifully - well done! Jane x

    1. Thanks jane I do love the shape ... Can't put any wait on though! x

  2. It's beautiful and you are going to look stunning! xoxo

    1. Thanks debbie that's so kind of you! Xx

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