In the works

I’ve built up a nice little collection of vintage dress patterns from ebay, mainly 40s dresses but, this summer I got a few late fifties and early to mid sixties dress patterns too. I get obsessed for about a month at a time, looking daily for anything with an interesting front, good cowl, draping, and so on but also try to control myself and not spend a fortune. This recent addition to my pattern collection:

is not what I usually go for but I liked the very fitted waist and the simple shape. I also loved the fact that it has a cummerbund. I’ve always wanted a cummerbund! Such a brilliant word that.

I’ve started making it in a charcoal wool mix – not sure of the fabric content, it’s definitely wool and has some stretch in it. Bought it last summer for a pair of trousers but never got around to making the pattern for them so when I looked at recent ebay purchases, it seemed right to forget the trousers and use the wool for this dress.

Making just the dress, not the cape, shortening the length a little – not mid calf but it will be below the knee. Also making it by hand. If I work v.v. hard I may finish this weekend but perhaps not – it’s quite hard going sewing dark fabrics by hand. Machine would have done it in a day (I started last Sunday). Undecided on what to make the cummerbund in and also thinking of possibly making the detachable collar – beaded or something. That would make a good transition from day to evening and also not make it look too plain. Think I’ll decide on that once I’ve made it up.

‘Works’ finished – 40s top

Last night I finished the 40s top I’d been hand sewing for two weeks in a lovely flower print chiffon. Although it takes ages, I find hand sewing very relaxing and a great evening accompaniment to crap telly. Actually, not all telly watched while making the top was crap – decided to watch all of Twin Peaks again as it’s been a very long time since I’d seen it.

Anyway, here’s the top:

Think I need a taller dummy stand as this pic makes it all look a bit squat – current dummy stand is old tins of paint. Think I need 3 instead of 2.

Love the fabric and the shape, it has a gathered front panel and a high cowl neck. Tiny bit loose in the back – pattern came from a vintage 40s dress pattern that had a sort of belt for the back but I decided against the belt. Lengthened the hem too, otherwise would have been too short.

Another soft side view:

Resisted temptation to pull clothes out of wardrobe and try it on with everything – only because I worked out what I could wear it with while making. Think it could prove quite a useful little number, as long as I don’t make it look to vintage-y.

Started a dress today, thought it best to get on with as much as can make before my next course starts in a few weeks time.

In the works

I suppose I haven’t been that interested in terrace watch this past week because I’ve been working on something else. Finally, after a fairly long ‘contemplation’ period, I’ve found use for this marvellous flower print chiffon.

Apparently, it was an old Paul Smith fabric – at least that’s what the label in the shop said. Bought it last summer, thinking I’d make a top and it’s been neatly folded among growing mountain of fabric ever since. I didn’t really fancy making my own pattern for this so decided to see if one of my vintage 40s dress patterns had a top part I could use instead. Settled on this:

Have had the pattern for a couple of years, from ebay. Lengthened the hem by a couple of inches and decided to make it entirely by hand. It’s looking pretty good so far, have neatly finished all seams although that might not be the case once the sleeve comes in. We shall see. Actually, making it by hand, although time consuming, has been a pretty good idea as chiffon + sewing machine don’t like each other all that much.

Making the short sleeved version and the sleeve has darts! You don’t see many of those anymore. The front is lined too so it’s taken a bit longer to make the whole thing, have been working on it for a week now.

Coming along nicely – just need to finish hemming, then make up and set the sleeve in, add some buttons on the back neck and poppers on the side + press. Side view:

Definitely needs a bit of pressing. Hopefully I’ll get it done by next week and then let’s also hope that the weather doesn’t get too cold to wear it, actually that’s never stopped me before… Rather excited about wearing it soon.