Monday, August 23, 2010

1930s Dress in Red Polka Dots

This is the first dress that I made from actual vintage pattern . It was also the first unprinted pattern I used, and my introduction to the joy of minimal instructions in vintage patterns.

This dress has pintucks along the front bodice and gathering along the yoke. It also has a pleat on the bodice back and pleats on the front and back skirt. The dress has patch pockets on the front with pin tucks which match the bodice. I sewed this up in cotton that is red with white polka dots. I wanted a dress that would be cool and comfortable.

The dress pattern is a reproduction of a 1930s dress pattern. The repro was created and sold by New Vintage Lady on etsy. Happily, the pattern came in a bust size that already fit, so I didn't have to do any futzing with the sizing.

Over all the dress fit together well. My biggest problem was the collar. The directions basically say "sew collar onto bodice" and I needed a little more direction than that. I ripped out the stitching 3 or 4 times (while cursing madly). I'm not sure that the collar is sewn in correctly, but it at least looks OK which is fine with me.

I was nervous about sewing button holes so I faked it. I figured out where the buttons should be on the front placket. Then I sewed snaps to the underside of the fabric, and buttons to the top. I also sewed a matching button to the top of each skirt pocket. I think I need to shift the buttons slightly to center them between the panels of tucking.

It's a great dress that I've got a lot of compliments on. I need to experiment with the styling. I think adding a belt would really improve the look. Also, I cut the dress too short for the proper 30s style. Letting them hem down at least another inch would add to the retro vibe

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Post!

I plan to use this blog to talk about sewing, vintage fashion and fatness. Race, gender and sexual orientation will likely come up as well.

I think of myself as a relatively new sewist, because while I've been sewing costumes for years, I haven't made a lot of clothing for regular use. However, if I can sew myself elaborate historical dresses, I know I can also sew myself fabulous dresses for daily wear.

I'm fat which can sometimes make sewing frustrating because the variety of patterns one can buy dramatically shrinks when you get to plus sizes. My measurements are about 49-42-49 and I wear a modern 20/22. In vintage sizing I wear about a 24. For some reason, some pattern companies change their numbering for plus sizes. So they'll have a size 20, followed by a 40 (for 40" bust). My main fit issue is the bust. I always do full bust adjustments.

I'll be posting soon about some in progress items and some finished dresses.