Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vintage Sewing, Dreadful Tasks, and Hairdos


After seeing the horror that was the back of my Burda 10-2011-123 wrap dress (left), I decided to devote some time to rescuing it.  To me, going back to a project that is done is like mending:  soooo much worse than just starting from scratch.  So it took a lot of self-prodding to get back into it.

As drafted, the dress has released darts in front and back.  To improve the back fit, I made the darts wider and closed them up at top and bottom.  I experimented with closing the front darts as well, but it didn't add anything.  Adjusting the side seams wasn't effective either.  I also wore my silk slip to ensure it flowed smoothly over my tights.  The back fit is vastly improved, as you can see above, although it still does not look 100% great with a belt.

I also hand-stitched the two ends of the removed ties together to make a self belt.  The bow looks much better when tied on the same side as the flounce, though I opted for the obi when I wore it yesterday.  Although I was so sad to see it, the return of cool weather did allow me to wear this dress, giving me a more immediate return on my labors than expected.

Have I learned my lesson about sewing dresses without waist seams yet?


Simplicity 6110 (1973)

Simplicity 6110 Envelope Back

It's Vintage Pattern Contest time at Pattern Review!  This one is always fun.

I've had this 1973 blouse on my list for quite a while and was glad to have a reason to finally get started on it.  It's going together more quickly than I thought--at this point all I have left is the buttons/buttonholes and hem.

Check out the goggles on Khaki Girl on the right. She was Steampunk before Steampunk was cool! Of course, she's got nothing on Turban Girl.

How great did pattern envelopes used to be?  Showing the pattern pieces is awesome for seeing at a glance how the pattern is put together and whether it is going to be beyond your skill level.

Who else is sewing vintage??? The contest doesn't end until April 15 so there is still time!  Patterns must be from 1977 or earlier (the contest rules say "before 1978"; I believe there has been an interpretation allowing 1978 patterns--double check if you're considering a 1978 pattern).


Janice asked on my Burda 11-2011-120 ruffle front dress post how I did my hair.  There is a pin on Pinterest that is a better explanation but of course I didn't "like" or repin it so I couldn't find it, but this is a good explanation.  Just make a ponytail and then tuck the ponytail in.  Now, I have (1) short hair and (2) super, super fine hair.  So my teeny ponytail just tucks right in--the only trick is getting it to stay there (by the end of the photo shoot my little ponytail was sticking straight up, which was quite amusing and required a re-shoot of the back).  If you have longer/thicker hair you may have to pull it through twice.


Michelle said...

I am actually doing the vintage pattern contest! I don't know if I will be doing a dress for me or for my daughter, though. I am also doing the RTW contest next month! It's my first time doing any PR contest, so i am pretty excited/nervous :P

Skaapie said...

I'm sewing vintage! But I don't qualify for the contest because my pattern is drafted for short sleeves and I want long ones. :-(

I agree with the pattern pieces printed on the back envelope. Vintage patterns are so much fun.

Karin said...

No vintage sewing for me this time- we are going on holiday, woohoo!
I do like the blouse you've chosen. Good luck!

Mrs. Micawber said...

Oh my gosh, I remember that pattern! I think my older sister had it - I didn't start sewing until a few years later. When I think of all the vintage patterns I've given to Goodwill over the years.... sigh. And yes, the older pattern envelopes were much nicer, especially for those of us who like to pre-visualize (real word?) the construction. I like the huge wide-cuffed white pants myself, with the pre-Dorothy Hamill bowl cut. Turban Girl was probably having a bad hair day. Wouldn't it be nice to be eight feet tall, like the models, with disproportionately long legs?

A huge improvement in the dress back. I really like that obi belt too.

McVal said...

I hate to go back to a garment that I've done and redo things too. I'd so much rather just start from scratch and do it again!
Good luck with your vintage sewing! I want to do some of that sometime.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

Each year I intend to do the vintage contest - hopefully this will be it. I have a super cute early 60's pattern and the perfect fabric, a thrift store find. Fingers crossed I will find the time :) And yes the pattern envelopes were both more helpful and more groovy in the past. 70's were the best !

silvia said...

That back view is sooo much better! I'm glad you persevered and did the alteration. Well worth the effort.

Adelaide B said...

That blouse is going to be awesome. I can't wait tos ee it.

ana5059 said...

Now the blue dress is much better!!!! You're so thin and young and you should wear fitted dresses and a little bit shorter (over the knee).
Good job. I follow you and you're a fantastic seamstress.

daniKate designs said...

I love this dress, it's adorable. I'm so glad you decided to fix the back, as this is one of my favorite projects I've seen you make. I have a preference for the self-fabric bow, but that's only because not everyone can pull off an obi like you :)

Clio said...

I hear you - going back is no fun! But it was well worth it - the dress really looks great now!

Victoria said...

Lovely dress! Love the color and style. Nice fix on the back.

kathy said...

rockin' the silver Obi belt.

velosewer said...

Great work fixing the back of the dress. It sits much better. Fixing is a drag but I hate the idea of sewing for nothing.
I managed to make a halter dress that my sister made in the 70's. That was my first vintage and luckily I'm managing the contest so my sewing doesn't count so the pressures off. However, I can feel your excitement and I'm really looking forward to see your outfit. Well, everyone's entries. I even bought a few more vintage patterns because I'm learning from everyone's experience.
I hope you enjoy the experience too.

Amber Elayne said...

Nice fix on the back and it's so gorgeous on you! I really like your use of Obi's in your dresses! I'm a weird shape and belts and I are enemies..... Jealous.... :)

Summer said...

The altered dress looks great. It's fun with the obi. When a project drags on I get to that same point of having to prod myself into action. sigh

Oh no! Per Pattern Review rules, I'm vintage!

Nethwen said...

I hear you on going back and fixing a finished project!

The obi belt outfit is smashing.

Audrey said...

I feel the same way about going back and fixing a finshed project. No fun, but the dress was so pretty from the front and now it look so much better from the back. Well worth it! Way to make me feel old. I have that blouse pattern and made it when it was brand new in 1973(I was 16). It was one of my favorite blouses for a long time!

Dana said...

Great save on the dress - it looks fabulous from all angles!

I'm thinking about the vintage contest. I've got a very cool blouse that needs to be graded up so this might motivate me to get it done.

(P.S. I really appreciate the comments on my blog!)

Joy said...

It takes sooo much effort to go back and fix a garment, I know!

I'm in for the vintage contest if I can scrape out the time for it. There are so many vintage patterns I want to try anyway, a contest is a good boost!

The Material Lady said...

I feel shocked that the pattern you have chosen as your 'vintage' contest entry was the pattern I used for my first work wardrobe in 1976. It looked great then - I'm sure you will look great now.
Good luck with the contest.