Sunday, 11 April 2010

Vintage Patterns and Wishful Thinking

I have been wanting to sew myself a dress for a long time. However, ever since I had my daughter three years ago my shape and size have been in a constant flux so I didn't want to make a lovely made to measure dress that I then maybe couldn't wear in a few years' time. After all, I don't believe in disposable fashion. Even if I might shop in a store that sells exactly that, I always extend the lifeline of my purchases by either turning them into something completely different when they're no longer usable in their original purpose, or simply by recycling them. Now, however, I have settled myself with the fact that this is most likely what my shape and size will be for foreseeable future. Maybe one day, if and when my painful joints allow me to, I will again up the exercise program but until that day, easy does it. Learning to love your shape though, that's an entirely different deal. And experience has taught  me that it is so no matter what your shape, or size, is. The worst thing, however, anyone can do is dress yourself in a sack and spread some ashes (symbolical, even) on yourself. How I hate those fashion-fix shows on TV that are supposed to teach you how to 'dress to flatter' when in fact most of them just teach you how to think of yourself as parts to be hidden or revealed according to whether they're seen as 'fit' or 'fat'. I believe that you 'dress to flatter' when you feel happy in your clothes, and you are 'fit' when you feel happy in your body. Regardless of your size.

So, today I ordered this Vogue Vintage dress pattern for myself. And I am going to make a dress from it, for myself. And no, I do not have a waist like those women on the pattern sleeve. And no, I don't intend to wear a corset. And yes, I know I will love the dress. :)

You can find other Vintage Vogue patterns as well for example here at Sew Direct. Now the only problem really is to find the perfect fabric for it. I think that I will forgo patterned ones for now and look for a nice linen mixture for this one. With maybe a little bit of stretch added in as well since the cut of the pattern is quite figure fitting at the shoulders and I will want to wear my dress while actually doing things. Alway nice that, huh. To be able to wear your clothes while actually doing things. However, I don't think I will be wanting a petticoat with the dress though, net or otherwise. Having tried the petticoat thingy with a previous dress I made for my youngest Sister a couple of years ago, I think it will not be needed this time as I am looking to make a more everyday type of a dress.

 My Sister was to be a Maid of Honor at her friend's wedding at the time and wanted something unique to wear. She had some ideas she shared with me, and I went hunting for pictures and patterns to bring the ideas into life. There was no single pattern the dress was made from, but instead I took a skirt from here and a basic line for the top from another and basically hand sewed it to make it exactly as she, and I, wanted it to be. Did I tell you that I am a perfectionist when it comes to sewing? No? And ever since I received a book called Couture Sewing Techniques by Clare Schaeffer as a gift, it has only gotten worse. But a perfectionist by my own standards, mind you. I am quite sure no piece of clothing made by me would ever pass the 'go Chanel or go home' test. 

But back to the dress. The fabric I used was a mixture of linen and synthetic fiber that gave it a slightly metallic sheen. We didn't want the dress to look 'beachy' after all. The bodice is very fitted, with a wide boat neck front and back, slightly deeper at the back. At the waist is a separate sash that is held together by invisible snaps in the back. The skirt is a full circle shape with two petticoats underneath. The first one is made of net and the second of broderie anglaise cotton. On the left side at the front of the skirt is hand sewn ruching that doesn't really show in the picture but that gave the dress a slightly disheveled look despite the rather prim 1950's styling. At the back is a long invisible zipper. It was and is a really lovely dress and my Sister completely made it her own by adding the black accessories as a perfect contrast to the sweetness of the shape and the broderie anglaise cotton fabric.

And I just had to add this one. Here she is again wearing both of the petticoats with a genuine vintage dress.Very nice. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment