Monday, 28 May 2012

Home-made Dressing


With a bit of time to spare at the moment, I thought that I would try and teach myself how to work a vintage dress pattern.  I have only ever made one dress before and that was from a modern pattern.

So, when I came across one on Etsy, in a larger size and for a decent price, I thought I would give it a bash. I made a mock up from a thrifted duvet, and then I set to work on proper material.


I am pleased I had a bash before using decent material - which actually only cost me £1 from a carboot sale -  because it made me a lot more confident of when making something I could wear in the street.

But, before I could begin, I had to clear the work surface. Of this...


The Moof sure do like to be in and on everything I am trying to work on. I shooed him and his fluffy pants away and got to work.


I learnt my lessons from my previous make, and used the table as opposed to the floor and my knees.


And once all the bits were cut out, I set to hemming. I find something very therapeutic in making neat lines with pins.


I am a bit of a scatterbrain when it comes to making sure things are okay. So. I kept checking that I did, in fact, have my right sides together before sewing into place.


Close up of thumb! *Gaaaaaah!*


I plan on making a copy of this pattern in something a little more durable. If anyone has any tips -  I would love to hear. I made sure it was all folded up neatly and protected from the Moof. Who would of quite liked to of made a bed on it's rustleness.


Once I had made the top and bottom, it was time to join them together. Which is something I have fluffed on the other occasions I have made a frock. The instructions were not clear, and it took a lot for my brain to work out. Sigh.


But, I finally got there, despite them not matching up exactly. I panicked about that for a while, until I realised that this mistake enabled me to custom size it with the aid of some hand-stitching.


It was then time for some embellishments. I am no where near proficient enough to tackle button holes, so I just stitched them on. Cheeky cheat.


But I did sew on some grosgrain ribbon in a luscious chocolate brown.


And then I thought about a brooch to wear with it. I picked this 1940's beauty up at a local car-boot for 20p. Yes. Twenty pence. 

There are still bargains to be had out there folks.


And my cheeky stitched on buttons, which remind me of the moon from... errr.. Button Moon


And so - this is the result.... of my Home-Made Dressing..


I am not usually a trumpet tooter -  but -  I have to say -  I am rather bloody proud of myself.


I teamed it with a knitted bolero, my trusty brown heels and a scrummy dark green hat that I picked up from the high-street (M&S I think). I had not actually worn it out of the house since buying it back in the winter months.


And here is me, leaning up against a wooden wall. Natch.

Roll on more warm weather, as I think this could look rather nice with sandals, sunnies and a big straw hat.

Have a good week folks!



43 comments:

  1. You look just lovely and that fabric is beautiful - well done you x

    ps - I now have the Button Moon theme song in my head.

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  2. Congrats on your lovely dress- I think you are fully entitled to toot your own trumpet!

    You look rather gorge in that outfit...the hat is delightful!

    xxx

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  3. This is so cool Charly! You have really inspired me to a)get a sewing machine b) buy some patterns. Would you be able to recommend a sewing machine?

    Lena
    x
    PS: That picture of the Moof on the table - priceless!

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    1. Do you mind if I chip in here? A Husqvarna, a Bernina if you can afford one. Try looking for good second hand ones, too, they are better made anyway, and if in good condition can be serviced, which you should always do now and then anyway.

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    2. Ola! Sewing machine wise - mine is incredibly basic and was bought for my for my 21st. If you are learing, I would get a cheapish one - have a look on ebay and also Gum Tree. My knowledge very limited :)

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  4. Aw, Mr Moof is such a cutie. Well done clever clogs, I am so impressed with you xx

    Penny Dreadful Vintage

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  5. That's a brilliant dress, very pretty. Button holes are a pain in the behind, I would have stitchced them on too :o)

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  6. You look amazing. The dress is very pretty. Well done you.
    Love the brooch, fabby bargain.
    Lisa x

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  7. Well done you! The dress looks great.

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  8. Top job Charly Charles, very impressive! With regards to making durable patterns I have vague recollections of my mum using brown paper to make hers. Think that'd work but can't swear to it as her awesome sewing genes got lost in translation somewhere on their way to me...x

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  9. Well done you! I've been pondering trying to make a dress lately and have decided that like you I'd have to have a practise run with some cheap material first. The brooch is lovely and that hat is gorgeous!

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  10. Beautiful job, m'lovely. Gorgeous fabric, it suits you a treat.
    I always use brown paper because it's strong and I'm too tight to buy dot and cross pattern paper.
    xxxx

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  11. The dress looks lovely! I have just bought some patterns and going to attempt making my own. Not sure how it will go though! well done love xxx

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  12. Good God! Root and toot away, missus. It's brilliant. You've inspired me to dig out an abandoned top I was struggling with and give it another go. xx

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  13. Very clever! Well done. I currently have a stash of fabric and some patterns- but no time waaaaah! :/ I doubt my efforts would look anywhere near as neat as that frock you've made, though.

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  15. Oh what a fabulous dress, you've done a super job! I love the fabric you've chosen its soo pretty and looks perfect with the brown ribbon trim! and that hat is amazing I can't believe its modern it as looks just right with your outfit!

    I also use brown paper to copy my patterns, it is a bit more of a faff than with the fancy tracing paper stuff but is a whole lot cheaper and just as durable:)

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  16. love making my own clothes and don't ever quite have the to make as many as I'd like to. Not quite been brave enough to use a vintage pattern as yet although I have a number in my collection.

    Oh and I use greaseproof or baking paper to copy any patterns I don't want to wreck ... and as its see though it’s dead easy to transfer the pattern markings.

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  17. It's just lovely, I have just finished my Mad Men inspired dress too! I have been tracing my patterns on to brown wrapping paper (the sort you buy on a roll) and using that to keep the tissue from getting torn. When the paper gets ratty I will just re-trace them!I keep them with the original pattern & envelope in those poly wallets with a bullet point list of things to remember/tips for next time. But then I am a little ocd! X

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  18. Good on you, girl. Looks amazing and I know it's flippin' hard!
    Hen x

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  19. Wow! You did fantastically, I love it! x

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  20. Hurrah, you look lovely! Keep sewing! It makes life the happiest!

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  21. Fantabulous job, lovely choice of fabric too :)

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  22. Very nice dress!

    I actually copy my patterns onto sew-in interfacing. It's very durable and doesn't tear when you pin it to fabric. Sometimes you have to sew two pieces together to make it wider.

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  23. Love it! Making your own clothes is fab isn't it?! My sewing tutor says that there are no mistakes - only "design features"!

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  24. And so you should be proud of yourself! That dress shade suits you so ridiculously well! I'd be proud to have even half the talent it took to make that dress! I can only just about sew a rip! xxx

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  25. Sorry.. shape not shade, although the shade does too! :p

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  26. It's bloody great. That is all.


    Oh, and that you look quite the fox. That too.
    x

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  27. Thanks for all the lovely comments & also tips about brown paper for the pattern. I am on it! :)

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  28. That's great, well done! I love the fabric, too, what a bargain. I've always felt that buttons and buttonholes are better done by hand anyway. I left you book tips on your post on the network forum. I keep meaning to buy them myself, they were recommended to me by a dressmaker I used to know and they are really very good.
    It's ridiculous, I have been sewing for donkey's years and I can do all the fiddly bits that make others cross their eyes but I haven't done anything about making a dress. It's not the sewing or using the pattern it's the fact that I would need to re draft the pattern completely, I'm so short and hourglass so nothing ever fits where it should, no matter how much I read I still become lost with the whole notion of fitting. Sleeves, shoulders, waist depth etc are all out on me. And the ease thing terrifies me, ha ha! I'd give anything to be able to go to a proper class. Being numerically dyslexic doesn't help either because I become confused over the simplest things regarding numbers and measurements.

    Gorgeous cat, mine are the same, always in the middle of everything. The Siamese sleeps beside the sewing machine quite happily when I'm using it, no point moving him, he just comes back so I have to move along the table a bit. I don't think I've ever seen a sewing blog etc that doesn't have a cat in the depths of it somewhere. My friend was horrified to find that the curtains she was making were being used as a bed by her two Jack R's and three cats when she came back from the shop, they had all piled onto the table!

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  29. Gorgeous pattern, fabric and result!

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  30. Good work Charlie. I so need a Moof to accessorise my sewing with

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  31. That is absolutely stunning! Very well done :)

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  32. Well done!! That dress fits you perfectly and looks brilliant! Very jealous of you managing to do it so neatly, I always loose my temper or patience, or both, and end up rushing and taking 'shortcuts' which lead to much unpicking and throwing into the corner in a big huff!

    Hat et accessories matching perfectly as alwways ;) love it! What you thinking of making the next one in? Don't know if anyone else has suggested it, but maybe neext time, when the bottom does match the top, you use the extra fabric on the bottom half to make 2 pleats at the front and 2 on the back? I've done thsi before (I'll post it up shortly) and came out quite nicely in the end :)

    By the way, I've given you the 'One Lovely Blog Award' over on mine as a huge big thank you! I know I went a bit quiet for a while on the comments side, stupid hands, and I know I will be making up for it now. I've loved reading all your posts, you're a very inspiring woman and should be mighty proud of yourself! You're creative, smart, have a huuuge knowledge on history (fellow history geek, I love those posts of yours!), beautiful and always look amazingly turned out. So a massive well done and THANK YOU!


    Emma
    xxx

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    1. I forgot about the cat. I am also mightly jealous, he is super handsome!

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    2. Wow. Seriously. WOW. Thank you for such an amazing comment. I feel incredibly humbled and a little teary at such nice things being said about me. *blush.. weep..*

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  33. You talented lass, you, I'd have never guessed you didn't have reams of dressmaking experience under your belt if you didn't say anything. Love the finished product - awesome work!


    ♥ Jessica

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  34. Oh my goodness Amor you clever ass biatch!
    I love it and you should very well out done yourself!
    I am loving your fabuloso brooch and hat well everything.
    Besotes

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  35. Love, love, love! Go YOU! It looks fabulous on, and I love the touch of brown and the buttons. So perfectly fetching with your shrug and accessories (and love that hat). Congrats!!

    And as to your question on what you could trace the pattern off to... I'm by far no expert, but I love this stuff called Swedish Tracing Paper. I'm not sure if it would be referred to as the same name in the UK though (although if it's really Swedish, you're clearly closer :P). It's like a thin fabric, feels kind of like a thick paper, really hard to describe. It comes on a roll and you can trace off patter pieces onto it, and then they're much more durable!

    Ok did a quick search, found this thread on trying to find it in Europe, maybe look for something called pattern paper? http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=45093

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  36. You look fab! Well done love. I struggle to remember to sew the right sides togther when I'm making a cushion so I too am very proud of you! xXx

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  37. So much sewing going on in blogland at the moment and you have done a stupendous job lady! Just stunning, well done!

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  38. I just adore your dress and the fabric you chose, well done, it looks fabulous on you. Makes my fingers itch to drag out my sewing machine and follow suit :)

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