Saturday, 30 July 2016

Seriously, how are the 80s vintage?

Have you all been enjoying #vpjuly on Instagram? I've loved seeing everyone's makes and vintage inspiration.  Today I have another make towards my vintage pattern pledge, however, it's a bit different from my usual style. As a child of the 80s, looking at childhood photos means exposure to a lot of bad clothes and even worse hair styles.  So 1980s patterns have never appealed to me much.  Nor is the idea of thinking of myself as Vintage!  Although I may just have to get over this.  
A month or two back, I was on a weekend away in Bristol and spotted this pattern in a charity shop.  Despite being from the 80s, it actually appealed to me, reminding me slightly of the True Bias Southport dress which I have been considering trying for a while as I wanted an easy to pull on casual summer dress.  As the loose fitting, elasticated waist dress is not usually a style that I go for, I appreciated giving it a go with a pattern that only cost me 50p.

I went rooting around in my stash for a suitable fabric and found bits of a lovely chambray which I think may have come from my Grandma's stash and some scraps of a red and white striped shirt.  I thought these would work as a perfect, semi nautical combo.  I made some adjustments to the pattern for a number of reasons.  The skirt is slightly narrower than the pattern pieces as I didn't have enough fabric to cut the full width, I still think it's plenty full enough.  The pattern calls for piping round the neck and arm but I just used binding as I thought piping at the neck and arms would be a bit weird. I did make piping for the pockets though, gotta love a bit of piping.  The tiny amounts of the red and white fabric that I was working with meant that many of the bindings and the belt are pieced together.

I kinda ignored the instructions and made it up as I went along so I can't really comment on what they are like.  They did call for a 1/4" elastic at the waist but I used 1" elastic as I wanted the waist to be more emphasised.  Since this isn't a fitted style, I only had to make one fit adjustment, which was to take it in under the arms by a good 6cm.

Hmm I must stand up straighter!

While it was lovely to work with and feels lovely to wear, this fabric creases like crazy.  I ironed this about a million times but its still so creased.  I guess that's part of the style.  I've never worked with chambray before so I have no idea if this is normal or not.

Overall this is a cute, wearable casual summer dress but don't love it, I guess I still need some work to be converted to the 80s, although thinking about it, one of my favourite makes from last year was this 80s top so maybe there is hope for me after all.  Oh well, I've already planned my next vintage make and it's another 70s one so hopefully my favourite vintage pattern decade won't let me down. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Another birthday dress

I'm aware that I'm slightly milking my birthday this year but hey that's what birthdays are for. As we both turn 30 this summer, my cousin and I decided to have a joint party. So obviously I needed a(nother) new dress! 
I had the perfect combo available from my stash too. A couple of years ago my dad brought me some gorgeous turquoise raw silk back from a holiday to India. I had been afraid to use it on something that I didn't think was special enough or on a pattern I hadn't tested (muslins are not my thing). Enter the bhl Anna dress that I have made a couple of times before and so know what adjustments need to be made. 
Like a number of people I had found that the back gaped on my original version so I followed Sonja's tutorial for adjusting the back, it worked like a charm. 
The silk was slightly rough in texture so did not slide around at all when cutting or seeing. It was a dream to sew up and it pressed well however it wrinkles like crazy so I am actually going to have to pull out my iron when I want to wear this dress. I lined the whole thing in a turquoise rayon from my stash. I'd bought it from fabricsforsale to make a top but when it arrived I found the colour a bit too strong to want to wear and also when I prewashed it, the colour leaked badly so into the stash it went for just such a project as this-perfect! 
For some reason I kept putting off making this dress, sometimes I get wierd blocks about stuff so it ended up being a bit of a rush to get it finished. Not ideal when there was much hand sewing to be done! I hand stitched the lining to the zip and hand sewed the entire hem! I cannot tell you how much I hate hand stitching my clothes (which is wierd as I enjoy it on quilts etc). Needless to say the lining was machine hemmed. 
I'm so pleased with the final result and had so many compliments on it at my party!  I felt so comfortable in it and I can see it getting many more wears for the rounds of weddings and birthday parties that my friends are having. Apparently this dress has magical powers too, I can go on looking elegant in it even when very much the worse for wear!