Monday, January 3, 2011

Sewing in Pairs

I noticed that when I get a new pattern, I'll usually make it twice right away.

I started out with a simple sundress, New Look 6805.  I made it once with a blue and pink cotton print from the clearance bin at Hancock, and then again with a mustardy print from the Jo-Ann's clearance bin.  I was so proud of both at the time, but truthfully, neither fit that great.  They're both really loose across the back.  I'll could still wear them in the summer on a lazy, casual day, and it's a nice reminder how much I've improved.

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I also made New Look 6824 twice.  The first version of the dress was made with vintage silk from eBay, and it it fits fine (if not a tiny bit big in the chest) and is generally well-made.  I don't think it's going to become a favorite dress, but I've worn it three times so far.  The second version was the result of thinking that shiny polyester satin from Jo-Ann's would make a dandy dress, despite the fact that I never wear synthetic fabrics.  It was a disaster from start to finish, and it's been worn once and is now in a wrinkled heap somewhere. 

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New Look 6457 got a couple variations, too.  The pattern originally had a full, gathered skirt, but I swapped it out for a more 1940's style bias-cut skirt.  I made the red "Old Maui" number first, and then liked it so much that I made the green and pink print the very next day.  Both were dresses that I immediately wore upon finishing.  I even got up super early on my vacation day so I could hem the green one and wear it Christmas shopping.  Both are definitely going to be regulars in my wardrobe, and I feel like I could wear them in any season with the right accessories.  By far, my favorite dresses I made.

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My next two-fer started out as a dress I gave up on multiple times, finally finished, and am now totally in love with.  It's Butterick Retro '47, a pattern which made me hate my life the first time I made it.  Now that I have the hang of it, I realized it's a really great dress and a flattering shape on me.  I love dresses from the Forties, but it's hard to find one that fits me and looks good on me.  I have five true vintage Forties dresses, but only one is a wardrobe regular.  After I finished the chain-print dress, I immediately started on another version of it in a vintage rayon print.  It's almost done, just needs a hem and a zipper.

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Then there's my One True Love, New Look 6723, which I have made a whopping six times.  It started out with needing an orchestra dress with a full skirt and sleeves, which made me realize how hard it is to find a good dress with sleeves.  So I made it again in a Fall floral print to wear on Thanksgiving.  The black version has only been worn for it's intended use (playing the cello), but I've worn the brown one a few times.  I'm still impressed with my first attempts at sleeves.

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It got a couple sleeveless variations, too.  Of course, there's the one I made out of my wedding tablecloth.  It's cute and it fits perfectly, so I think it'll get a lot of wear this summer.  The second one looks like a pinata, does not fit, and the waist gathers are totally crappy.  It's a shame, because the zipper is amazing, best one I have ever done.  I could rip it apart and make the bodice smaller, but it kills me to rip out that beautiful zipper.  It's not really doing any good if I can't wear it though, right?  I might get around to altering it.

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Then there's the bodice of the Lyndon B. Johnson 1964 dress, which I never did get around to finishing.  The best version, obviously, was my New Year's Eve dress!  It's the sparkliest, prettiest version.  I hope I get a chance to wear it again!

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What's your favorite tried and true pattern?

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of making the same dress more than once. I bought a couple vintage patterns on Etsy, so we'll see how those go. I think I might also get the New Look one you like so much.

    The umbrella dress is SO pretty and unique. I think you've got to make some adjustments so you can wear it!

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