Monday, August 9, 2010

I Have Conquered

The world of dressmaking. And bound buttonholes. Yes, last week I made, for the first time, a dress. I've made skirts and pants and vests, but never a dress. Oh, and I've made bound pockets before except I didn't understand the directions so they ended up looking nothing like a bound pocket, but more like a mess of thread surrounding what should be a pocket. Poor Garrick still thinks the world of his pants.

But back to the dress. I was inspired to make a dress when I found this etsy seller. I love love love vintage clothes, so when I found vintage patterns at prices below what I would pay for a contemporary pattern, I got excited. I bought 3. I wanted to buy 5, but thought maybe I should have a little self control. Just a little.

So my dress for today was made using this 1966 pattern:
Thus I made my first attempt at dressmaking and princess seams (don't you love their hair? I'm getting my hair cut on Wednesday and I'm tempted to cut it like the girl on the right). I made the one in the middle, with one modification. Rather than the bow underneath, I changed it and moved it up (more explanation on that later), and made a detached matching belt, just to break up the bright blue. Here is the finished product:

It certainly isn't perfect, but I quite like the way it turned out. It's comfortable and form-fitting and, I think, flattering.

The bow is also removable. That way you can tie it different ways, use different colors, or have something else there.

I got the idea for the bow from a dress in the movie Down With Love. If you've ever seen that movie, it's the yellow dress Catcher Block's secretary is wearing in the very beginning. I tried to find a picture, but it's not an important scene, so no picture. Anyway, I've always liked it. So, since I had a 1960s pattern I figured it would be a good time to try and make my own version of it.

I made the slits for the bow like I was doing a bound pocket or button (correctly this time). Then I just sewed up a strip of fabric, tied it, and slipped it in. The belt is just a sewn strip of fabric with two 1/2 in strips of elastic at the back so it can slip on and off easily. It's not perfect, but it'll do.

I'm excited to make my next 2 dresses. I already have the fabric cut out for them, but I'm getting into crunch time with school. Freshmen start on Friday, and I feel totally unprepared. Like I said before, I'm going to try and keep up with blogging as much as possible, but I just don't know what the demands of my job will be.


  1. Adorable! You should be so proud of yourself. :) Cannot wait to see the next dress.