Thursday, 25 April 2013

my first vintage dress!

Is it ok to refer to the 1980s as vintage?

The pattern I used for this dress is Style 3288, which dates back to 1981, making it three years older than me.

You might remember the muslin for this dress, which needed a bit of work getting the fit right as the pattern was a size 16. A few tweaks here and there and before long I felt ready to cut into my fabric.

The fabric is a soft and snuggly brushed cotton from my local fabric shop Masons. I didn't buy it with this dress in mind, just fell in love with the Monet-esque appearance of the floral print and the pops of bright red and blue that run through it, but actually I think the busyness of the print compliments the simplicity of the pattern really well.

I didn't need to refer to the pattern instructions during construction as it was so straightforward. There were just six pieces - front right and left, back right and left, and the two sleeves. I kept the inside neat with French seams, and got rid of those pesky facings and instead used bias tape around the neckline (also jazzed up with a little piping). I had originally intended to do a navy blue cotton band around the hem to match the piping, but as a last-minute decision swapped it for some lace. I can't resist a little lace!

French seams and neckline binding

By far my favourite feature of this dress is the French darts. I might be wrong, but you don't seem to see these much on modern patterns, and I can't understand why. They're so precious, and really help with getting a smooth fit along the body.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with this dress. I'm not sure the shape is the most flattering on me - I generally prefer something that cinches in more at the waist, and is less fitted in the hips and bust, but I've worn it three times in the two weeks since I finished it, so I can't dislike it that much! I also feel like I learned a lot about fitting a dress to my shape, so I'll be less apprehensive about trying another vintage pattern in the future. Perhaps something from the 40s or 50s - much more my style!

So, here are the sums:

Pattern = £2 (thanks, Oxfam!)
Fabric = £12
Notions = £3

Total = £17

Not one of my cheaper makes, but still not bad.

On other projects news, I'm *this* close to finishing my Deer & Doe Pavot coat. I'm sort of ashamed to say this, but in a way it's a pity the weather has turned so nice recently - the coat may turn out to be a bit redundant Still, this is the UK - the cold and wet hasn't gone away forever!

Elena x



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Three years older than me too! I believe vintage is considered to be 20 years and older...which means the 90's...hard to deal with that since I left school in the 90's!

  3. I'd like one of these please! Send me a quote if you have the time, me dear. :)


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