Have you enjoyed following the bloggers’ posts in the Vintage Sewalong that has been running since March? There has been a programme of reveals through the blog world – loved seeing which patterns our sewing friends have chosen & it’s coming to a close….but not before you get to see the dress I took on.
There were quite a few patterns, stretching across quite a few decades and I decided to pick a dress that would be challenging. Vogue 9127.
Why did I do this? Do I never learn? Don’t I ever remember that when I have deadlines to meet I usually sew by the seat of my pants, not making use of the months lead in time, but apparently allowing a dose of pressure to heighten the sew.
This dress is from 1939 and I was drawn to the intricate details- the curved seams & interesting top pockets. Just how would this be achieved? I wanted to find out.
Fabric choice was a cinch – a solid crepe- I chose the much adored Luxury Crepe from Sew Over It– in aubergine. It is truly lush- perfect weight, drape & style (I know that everyone who has the pleasure to sew with it raves about it & I am no exception)
The pattern was interesting for sure. It never occurred to me that the repro vintage pattern would be faithful to the sewing methods that were used in the 30s- but it’s true!
Curved seams are achieved by pressing one of the piece’s seam allowances to the wrong side and then lapping it over the edge of the other piece you are joining it to, then edge stitching close to the pressed edge.
I sewed my first ever prick stitched zipper (there is one in the side seam). Took a while, but pretty pleased with the end result. This hand stitching thing is more widely used in this pattern (obvious really isn’t it) so I tried to honour that & not take any short cuts that might be possible with machine sewing.
There is also embroidered arrow heads to contain some of the inner curved edges- to reinforce and also in my case to mask the odd less than perfect edge…
Fit-wise it is also worth noting that the style is meant to be a bit blousy on the top- saying that though this challenged me. Just how blousy should it be? I did have to take out extra across the side front’s princess seam. Luckily I did make a toile as I really thought I could get into trouble with this pattern!
Making a toile also showed me that I needed to take several inches off the bodice length and the length of the skirt too. By the way, I did not just take a deep hem to shorten the skirt, but used shortening lines to cut the pattern down but keep the shape of the skirt faithful to the original.
Like the details? I chose black buttons from Liberty ( not very expensive at all) & look at the pop of Liberty in the back belt buckle.
Now these breast pockets….I was tempted to omit them but in the end went for it thinking it was quicker to follow the instructions…however they are floppy. Whilst they are intended to curve upwards, mine prefer to form a fold.
The pattern also includes shoulder pads and the pattern and instructions to make your own out of batting. This I am afraid I did not do! I am still recovering from the 80s – I avoid shoulder pads like the plague! You might think the look would be improved with said pads, but sorry, it’s a personal choice. And the faff of washing when using cotton batting? You’d probably have to remove each time & sew back in- or if they miraculously survived the wash, the drying time would take forever ages. But the sleeve cap is pretty – shaped with darts – not gathers.
The point of the Vintage Sewalong is to celebrate the beautiful vintage patterns that have been reproduced for the modern sewer and to raise awareness for the Eve appeal, a charity supporting research into prevention, risk detection and prevention of all five gynaecological cancers and for every sale of the 20 vintage patterns featured, a donation will be made to charity by the Sewalong’s hosts. Thank you McCalls Butterick Vogue for hosting this brilliant sewalong.
Fancy giving this one a try? I have to say that I enjoyed transporting myself back to times when there was far more handsewing- basting, prick stitching a zip and even the embroidery (which I need more practice at!). I also think this dress is going to adapt to my (now much more casual) wardrobe and be brought into use when I need to feel a little more brushed up- I think it’ll look lovely with my winter boots and a chunky cardigan too. And I must have more of this luxury crepe in my life…. a dream to sew and then to wear.
Photo notes- where’s my tan? Sorry for the extreme blanching- I think it was the camera’s flash – oops!! And looking at the pics, will be wearing with a slip out in the open 🙂