Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vintage inspiration

The other day I was browsing eBay for vintage sundresses and came upon this one:

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It was Buy it Now for $25, and I was ready to click that so dang fast when I thought I should probably check the measurements first. Of course, 24" waist. When I first started sewing, it was because I loved vintage dresses but could never find ones I liked in my size. They're all so tiny. Were people really that much smaller back in the day, or is it because the common sizes are picked over? I'm a solid 8/Medium with a 36" bust and 28" waist and I find maybe, once a year, the perfect vintage dress that fits like it was made for me.

So, I did the next best thing: bought three yards of pink and white striped seersucker on eBay. For $8, it was an even bigger steal than the dress. I also needed some trims, and my friend Marylee helpfully told me they are called "venice lace", so I got those on eBay too. I used Butterick Retro 5748 for the bodice, and omitted the back center seam, and instead did a front center seam.  The bodice pieces are going to overlap and have a row of buttons.  There's still a side zipper, so the buttons will probably not be functional and be just for decoration. I used Colette Chantilly for the skirt. I know I could have just done a dirndl skirt, but I don't care about making an exact copy, and I like how full and swishy the Chantilly skirt is.

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I've done about as much as I can until my trims arrive. The skirt is put together and hemmed. The bodice is completely done. The pattern had you line it, but I didn't feel like doing a lining (I hate doing darts) so I did something I've never done before, which is to use bias binding. I like how it turned out! It was really easy. It will be sewn in place too with the venice lace trim, so I don't even have to worry about tacking it down.

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This pattern has a perfect scoopy back. I will definitely make it again. Probably never with the Butterick 5748 skirt, though, as I had one disaster this year with a circle skirt and that is enough for me.
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As far as the trims, this is the closest I could find. Hopefully they look good in person. Marylee is a trimmings expert and she told me to stay away from polyester or nylon so I did, and these are cotton rayon. The original:

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My eBay finds:

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So that's about what I was up to this week! Today is my orchestra concert, so I'll get to wear my new black Chantilly cello dress for the first time. I have about a million things still to do today, so I'll sign off with a selfie of my last project. I don't think it's worth a whole blog post, but it is cute and I do like it. Happy Sunday!

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  1. Those trims look perfect! 24" waist? That would be serious corset time for me!

  2. What a pretty dress! I hear ya on the vintage! I'm a 38" bust so finding vintage is hard. I can't wait to see your version of this dress. It'll be stunning.

  3. I love seeing dresses re-created! This is very cool , and I look forward to seeing the finished dress!