Thursday, 26 February 2015

I didnt see this coming...........

Do you sew?
If you've popped by here before you will know that it is quite a passion of mine. 
This week has sorely tested both my patience and had me questioning my own ability!

It all started quite innocently with this pattern

Vogue 2401, a Retro Vintage dress. I bought it some time ago intending to wear it to a Christmas do I think, but never got round to making it. And then suddenly this year is all about a vintage wedding, Twinwood vintage festival and now Goodwood Revival too. The perfect opportunity to give it a trial run.
What a stinker......... Whoever dreamed this up must have had the design skills of an aeronautical  engineer but failed to appreciate that unlike aircraft  we ladies don't like our undercarriage on show.

It took me ages to fit the bodice ,sleeves and especially the front ties neatly. Accurate marking of all those little dots was a must. The worse part by far though was the front skirt, which is little more than a flap fastened at the back with ties around which the back and side fronts overlap. The trouble is as you walk the side fronts lift and reveal your bare thighs in all their vintage glory. They are not anchored to the front panel in any way, so unless your fabric weighed a ton I really do fail to see how It could work and preserve your modesty.
Thank goodness for once I had decided to make a wearable toile as I had intended to use some rather expensive fabric to make it up for the wedding.
Needless to say I have changed my mind on that score!
I have saved the dress from the bin however by making a complete underskirt. I just had enough of the vintage fabric left to do so though I had to add a panel of a contrast colour to the hem to make it the right length, I also balanced this by making turn back cuffs in the same contrast and at least I like it enough to wear it at one if the vintage events now.

The sad thing is I still love the overall look especially the top and the stand up collar, but will I ever make it again...I very much doubt it and at £14 it was certainly not worth it.

As it is now intended for a festival and not this years main event, I even went as far as to make my own 1950s hat, using images on the Internet for inspiration and a 1940s pamphlet on how to create felt flowers. I am quite pleased with the overall look but cant decide if I should add a veil. What do you think?

I have now found what I think will be my alternative pattern Butterick 5880. and apparently there is a brilliant video tutorial by Professor Pincushion, so I hope my journey will be less traumatic. I am off to the NEC on 22 March so I may even find the right fabric, lets hope!

Have you had any dressmaking disasters lately or even found any vintage patterns (especially the retro ones which have been adjusted to fit our less than sylph like modern figures while retaining the original style) that you would recommend. I would be interested to hear about them.

Have a great week, I'm off to make a Peter Pan outfit now. Cant say I don't get variety in my sewing!

Jenny xx


  1. The outcome is excellent as just as I was thinking about an underskirt to save your modesty.... voila! you made one. As for the veil, I say definitely but go for quite a short one. It would add that certain "Je ne sais quois" !! lovely job!
    Jo x

    1. Thanks Jo. I think you may be right about the veil and I think I have some navy netting from a previous project. I will have a play. Jenny x

  2. I love the red hat and I think it would benefit from a little veil...just because! x

    1. I think that may be the answer Jan. thank you x

  3. I'm pleased you managed to save it - it does look lovely now. Did you see the vintage wrap around dress that the competitors made on the Sewing Bee? I rather liked that style. The hat is looking great, a little veil would just add a weddingy feel.

  4. Thank you. Yes I did see the wrap dress and am very tempted. At least the skirt front has enough fabric to wrap around properly. The veil does seem to be the way to go with the hat so I will have to hunt out that netting and get playing. Jenny x

  5. The underskirt sounds the perfect solution to the modesty issue. The finished dress is lovely and the hat with a little veil would look perfect. My sister goes to the Goodwood Rivival and really goes to town, no charity shop is left untouched for her outfit sourcing...


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