Category Archives: vintage dress making

Goals for July

Going into July the house is still in a bit of a mess, the new flooring is going in next week, hopefully after that the posting schedule will be back to normal. I do have a couple of goals for this month, I’m going to a Wedding 1st August so I want to make a new dress, I have the pattern and fabric, I know that there will be some fitting issues so that will have to be sorted first. view b.


I am looking at the bra class again and am determined to sort the fit out on this, I don’t actually  wear full cup bras but until I sort out the pattern for this I can’t go ahead to complete the other two classes I bought which take you through foam cups and altering the bra pattern for different designs.


The third goal or goals three and four are to take patterns from these two pairs of trousers. I love these trousers but I wish they had a boot cut hem, they are prepared and I am just waiting for the organza to take a ‘rub off’. I do have some organza already but with everything boxed up I’m not sure where it is.


The other trousers are these cut-offs from fatface, they are so comfortable but they are just a little bit too long so I have to wear them with the bottoms turned up. I have an off cut of denim that should be just the right length.


More soon….

Summer Dress

Hi, well we are back from Florida so I thought I would show you the Summer Dress I made to take with us, I only managed to get it finished just before we left, I suppose you could say it is a self drafted frankenpattern.

I had a idea of what I wanted, and although the dress didn’t end up quite as expected it sort of evolved over the couple of weeks I worked on it.

I wanted a floaty boho type of dress, I also had just the fabric in mind.


As soon as the fabric arrived the end of last summer I realised that it would need at least the skirt lining so luckily I had already bought some white lawn to go under it.

Originally I was just going to cut the strips for the skirt straight of grain each one twice as long as the previous, then I checked out the pattern peices in this pattern


and discovered that they were curved. I’m not sure if it would have made much difference to the final dress, but I used the pattern peices I had, carefully shortening them, so now I had the skirt how was I going to sort the top, I tried draping and sort of got the look I wanted but, then couldn’t work out how to reproduce the effect.


I did actually get as far as this


before deciding I didn’t have time to mess around with the pattern. So I went back to this, which is a trial for the top of a different dress, I knew that the fit was fine it was just that the ‘band’ wasn’t long enough, I did cheat a bit, I cut it in half and cut across the centre of the top where I thought it should come.

I also wanted wider shoulders and a different neckline, I had a dress I had quickly made up from a Lutterloh pattern, which was totally the wrong size, but I liked the neckline so I superimposed the Lutterloh pattern on to the other pattern and cut out the top half of the bodice freehand.


this is not something that I would recommend, especially if you decide the line the dress after putting it


I had the neckline and the length but not much else.


I did have an issue with he arm holes but a lot of pinning and patience got them looking smooth.


the dress does look fantastic, but the downside is I won’t be able to duplicate it perfectly.

The last Florida post is coming up soon.

Challenge for March

The four challenges for March are:-

Number 1 A dress out of this fabric


I think it is going to be the same as this one


Number 2 make some fitting adjustment on this pattern


Number 3 is another dress  basic bodice and a box pleat circle skirt, similar to this one out of either img_4606

or this one


I’m not sure if the pink it too light for this but we will see.

I’m also in the middle of making a Plantain for Liz, but that isn’t part of my challenge for this month.


This post didn’t get published when it should have so here is the update

Numbers 1 and 2 got done but not finished in March due to the building work and training course, number 3 didn’t even get looked at. 😦 I did however finish Liz’s Plaintain T-shirt which she is very happy with.

March – where did you go?

March sort of ran away from me and now it is April 😦

unfortunately a combination of training course (getting up 2 hours earlier) and having work done on the house has removed most of my stitching time for March and looks to be taking over April as well.

I have a couple of part way projects I can show you but nothing finished.

The first project is view 2


I think this is the first time I have ever done all views of a pattern, this is going to have a better fit, fingers crossed than the other two versions, these I took extra fabric from the side seams this time I have shrunk the pattern and done a small bust adjustment.


The top half of the pattern is one size too big but the waist and hips are perfect, so I turned to my trusty printer and scanned the front and back bodice pieces then I printed them out at 95%, you can just see on the bottom of the two photos how much I lost, it was about 1/4 inch all round. Then for the SBA there were a few things I needed to do


the first thing I had to do was reinstate the 5/8 seam allowance, then decide where I was going to move the bust dart to on the side.


I closed up the underbust dart and moved it to the side


added a piece of paper to the now side dart.


I then cut up from where the original dart had been to bust point then across to the arm hole, and swung that piece over 1/2 inch, taping the top part down


you can see from the above photo that the centre seam part which hasn’t been changed is now longer than the side seem which has been changed, so you slice across from the middle and shift the centre piece up until it matches the side piece, because the chest is smaller than expected for the pattern there is too much fabric going over the bust and this removes it.


The last step is to move the side dart back to the under bust, slice up the middle of the added paper and the area where the underbust dart was and close up the side dart creating a new smaller dart, add a piece of paper under this to fill in the new dart.


as you can see by the drawn in seam allowance (pencil) this dart is far smaller than the original, all that left to do is to make up a bodice and check the fit.


for a full length bodice it is better to add a skirt to check this, but as all I needed to do was to check the fit around the bust I left it at this.

more hopefully soon


February round up

I have been stitching up a storm this month, I have managed to get all my goals finished and a couple of bonuses, after finally finishing off the the white plantain, I got the urge to make another two, still with short sleeves and no elbow patches.

I did make a couple of errors on these because all the t-shirt related items I make this month were all on the overlocker and with a 3/8 seam allowance, I didn’t bother checking  the instructions, if I had I would have realised it had a 5/8 seam so they are slightly too big.

They have wider neck bands than the previous one as I used the instructions from the raglan t-shirt but I’m quite pleased with them.

so february I managed

Two Monetas


Two Plantains and a Plantain finish


I finished a skirt


the 70s halter neck and shorts

Hey June Lane Raglan


and last of all the vintage shirt dress


Hey June – Lane Raglan

To tell you the truth there isn’t much to say about this, it has a couple of options

Elbow length, 3/4 length, long, or long banded sleeves
Curved or banded hem
A hood
Thumbhole wristbands
Chest pocket
A separate front pattern piece with a built-in full bust adjustment (sizing guidelines are outlined in the pattern)

Needless to say I didn’t need the Full Bust Adjustment 🙂 I used the curved hem and 3/4 length sleeves, this was put together on the overlocker except for the twin needle stitching on the cuffs and hem.



The white fabric was bought from ebay the blue was a t-shirt from Primark.

Raglan sleeves are a doddle to put in, to be fair most t-shirt patterns appear to put their sleeves in flat any way but because the raglan sleeve actually incorporate the shoulders as well they are even easier to put in. Then you do the neck treatment, side seams and hemming took me about 2 hours start to finish.

The one thing I did worry about was the curved hem, but I overlocked it first which brought it in slightly and I ironed it in first. I’m very pleased with it and can see a couple more in my future.


February Projects

We have another bonus project coming up, I changed the fabric I decided on for the sewoverit shirt dress, after cutting it out I had enough left over to cut view 3 shorts and a halter neck top.

I did make a test version on the shorts which fitted perfectly. The shorts though straightforward has no waistband, it has grosgrain ribbon instead, this was as fiddly as putting the elastic in the moneta dress.

Those little folds at the seams were very hard to keep in place as you stitched them down then you fold them over and stitch in place, you then tack them to the seam allowance I’m assuming it is to give a better fit as it will expand over the hips.

I used bias binding on the hems as instructed by the pattern which does give a nice clean finish as you can in the photo above I used my overlocker on the seams.

I removed 1/2 inch from the side seams and shifted the strap over slightly, once the top had been put together I had to remove a further 1/2 inch if I make this again I will have to reduce across the top pattern.

Here is a picture of the outfit with buttons

More soon

Moneta Dress


I’m in two minds about Moneta it is very comfortable and it looks great but it is a pig to put the clear elastic on the skirt and until I put the collar on I wasted a lot of time trying to work out the front from the back.

I bought the fabric from Olympia last year, for some reason I keep thinking it is heavier than it actually is, it is almost t-shirt weight.

I cut a straight size 10, It is what my measurements fell in to but if I make it again, I think I’ll go down a size, it is a bit loose across the chest. The two changes I did make was to lengthen the 3/4 sleeves by another 2 1/2 inches, I measured a dress that I already had to decide on the length and to shorten the bodice by 3/4 inch

Most of the dress was put together on my overlocker, the other problem I had was keeping the seams aligned as they went through the overlocker, so I had a couple of holes that I need to go back and redo.

To be honest one of the problems with the elastic might have been caused by the fact instead of 6mm elastic it was 9mm elastic, I now have the proper elastic so hopefully next time will be easier.


Originally I was just going to have a simple neckline, but with the issue i discovered not being able to tell front from back I decided on a collar, I downloaded the extra collar pack from Colette and picked the tie version, I had now trouble attaching the collar, I wasn’t sure about actually timing it so I made a loop to put both end through.


here are some photos of me wearing it


I can’t decide whether I should wear a belt with it or not.

Sew over it Shirt dress is coming up next, I have changed my mind on the fabric



Project 3 January part 2

Hi, just a quick post to show you the finished version of project no. 3


The model on the packet has buttons down the front of her dress but I’m not sure if this needs it, the other thing it could have is the lowered belt, still not 100% convinced about that either, I don’t think that the fabric needs any other decoration.

Four items finished on time, hopefully this is how the rest of the year will carry on.

Project 4 – January

This is probably the item that is going to cause me the most problems, but to be fair it is going to be my own fault.

For Project 4 I’m going to take this dress


And turn it into  this dress


The original dress fitted fine as long as I didn’t want to move my arms or anything practical like that.

I had two attempts at making the top half of the dress, which gave me enough to do the main bit of the front bodice, I needed to do some pattern matching for the straps, I am very please with the result.


I needed to do a bit of patching on the front skirt pieces, luckily it was where it folded under to make the button tab that was short otherwise i would have had to found another plan for the fabric.


I probably should have sized down the top as I needed to take and extra 1/2 inch off the side seems and bring the front seam in an extra 1/4 inch,  I’m thinking I might make the shorter version with the shorts and the halter neck so watch this space.

The dress came together very easily and if I had started with a length of fabric, it would only have taken a couple of hour to put together.

I wasn’t sure about its double buttons but I think they look alright you do need the hook and eye at the seam otherwise it gapes.



more later