Tuesday, 2 August 2016
The Disaster Dress! #VintagePledge2016
I was excited when Kerry from Kestrel Makes asked me to take part in this year's #VintagePledge by doing a guest post on her blog about one of the vintage projects that I chose to make.
I knew instantly which pattern I was going to sew as it had been lingering in my collection for a while and always caught my eye. Its a McCall's pattern from 1978 so fitted the vintage brief perfectly. I decided to go for View A as its a maxi dress (natch!), has a v-neck which looks good on me and I was attracted by the bodice detail.
All I needed now was the fabric and I was lucky to find some lightweight polyester in Preston's branch of Abakhan for about £2.00 a metre in their sale. That was a great find as I liked the novelty-style print of prancing horses, cowboys and cacti (the colours are 'me' too) and I needed 4.5 metres of the stuff!
The cutting out stage was tedious especially the skirt sections as they were very long (I know its a maxi - but there''s long and long!). When it came to sewing up the pieces, the seams started to pucker even though I used a fine needle and had the machine's tension settings right.
After lot of swearing, the dress started to come together and my next hurdle was the zip. Now, zips and I aren't the best of buddies. I can happily manage small ones, but I had an unwieldy 55cm zip to fit this time. I basted and machined it, yet to my critical eye it didn't sit well. Cue more swearing...
I decided to hand-sew the hem as I prefer the finish to a machined one and this was probably the best bit as I sat outside in the sun and happily stitched for an hour.
I'd been trying on and adjusting the dress as I went along and was hoping that it would look great once finished. But after trying on the completed dress I decided that it wasn't one of my best sewing projects and felt 'meh' when I looked in the mirror.
The skirt is too full and the gathers at the waist aren't the most flattering, but I do like the neck and sleeves, and the length is just right.
I wrote my piece for Kerry soon after I had finished it and was feeling gloomy post-sewing; I even thought I'd consign it to our local fabric recycling centre, but I've worn it at home and its not as bad as I first thought. I don't think that I'll wear it out, but will float about the garden with it on!
This hasn't put me off sewing as we all have our 'urgh' projects now and then, and I think its good to share this 'disaster dress' with other people who might be in the same sewing error boat as me so to speak.
You can read about it more on Kerry's blog here: Liza's Vintage Pledge Project: The Disaster Dress
P.S. My next sewing project was more successful. Its a modern pattern so doesn't qualify as part of #VintagePledge, but I'll post about it soon.