Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Vintage sewing pattern pledge 1: The nightmare dress....finished! & how I made it wearable



 I DID IT. ITS FINISHED. DONE. WEARABLE. 

If you've been following me you probably know that I have been battling with this monstrosity! Oh my gosh! Do you ever have a pattern that you have to change SO many times that you start to wonder if its really worth it? Can it be done? This was one of those patterns, I mean HOW was I going to make the flowery flour sack of a dress look even remotely not sack like? But I think in the end my perseverance worked out, sure the insides are as ugly as Lord Voldemort's soul but thats not the point. 










I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, there are a lot of things that are wrong with it but it doesn't look bad. Considering it was chopped up, re-sewn and yelled at many times it didn't turn out that bad. So i'm guessing you might want to know what adjustments I made, after all my pain is your gain. You can learn from my mistakes and make an awesome dress without all the agony of making it up as you go along. 

So.....
  1. I changed the distance between the above bust and below bust area.....anyone who has larger boobies will probably need to do this.
  2. However if you adjust this area you may also need to make 'armholes' otherwise the elastic will be annoyingly high ender your armpits. I just used the seam allowance, nothing fancy, it might be easier to cut an armhole in when cutting the fabric.
  3. Instead of shirring elastic I used contrast bias binding and elastic to make an elastic casing. I think this looks much better and defines the waist area more which is quite flattering. 
  4. I gathered the bust, turned it over and added elastic which I then tacked to make it lay flat. I was originally going to add the straps shown in the pattern straight onto the gathered bust but decided afterwards that it felt too 'poofy', so I then added the elastic and different straps.
  5. Instead of the tie straps I made two small rectangles which I sewed to the dress 
I hope this helps anyone thinking of trying this dress, its not an awfully hard dress to make once you know what to do.

Happy sewing! 

Alecia xx

* Photos were taken by my lovely boyfriend*


19 comments:

  1. I think you've nicely summarised why I've never attempted to sew anything more complicated than a hem... and why I managed to do even that horrendously badly! It did pay off in the end though, it's a very beautiful and unique dress and looks gorgeous on you! CC x

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    1. Hahaha! sometimes I really wonder why I sew, sometimes it just doesn't work out and sometimes you have to work really hard to get even an okay outcome. Perseverance does pay off though and I am glad I worked on it until it was wearable.....although I think it will be going to the back of my wardrobe until next summer.....I need a break from the sight of it! :P

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  2. It looks awesome on you Alecia! Well done for persevering with it! ^___^

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    1. Thank you! :) I'm SO glad it's finished, my gosh!

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  3. I've book marked AND pinned this post for later ~ thank you so much for sharing the alterations you figured out! I really loved the thought of making this dress, but was hesitant after reading how much hassle it was giving you.

    Now, I reckon I could probably tackle it. In time for winter, but hey! At least it shouldn't take that long to put together, right?? Plus, I love what you did with the straps. I think it looks better than the original strap design. :D


    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. Oh wow! Thank you! Thats such a lovely compliment, I'm glad that someone will use what I've learned, it makes the process of it all so much more worthwhile :)

      I think that with all the changes you could do it in less than 3 & 1/2 hours! If I were to make one again I think it would be so much easier and so much quicker. It's amazing how easy things seem when you know exactly what NOT to do :)

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  4. Good on you for persevering and finishing the dress, despite all the problems. It looks lovely.

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

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  5. This is gorgeous! I'm so glad that you didn't let it beat you, and I love that the insides are as ugly as Voldemort's soul! I have indeed had a pattern that was like that. It was the Colette Patterns Hawthorn dress. I ended up drafting my own version - much easier than all the alterations!

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    1. I've always wanted to try that pattern! I'm just scared of buttonholes, my first ever attempt at them was a complete disaster so I've been avoiding them :P It's such a shame when you have to make so many alterations!

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  6. I could have never made this dress but it's incredible and you're so talented! Beautiful <3

    Rebecca Coco

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  7. Those "simple" patterns are such liars. Well done, though, it looks even better than the illustration!

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    1. They are! 'make this in 30 minutes'....'make today, wear tonight'....HA

      Thank you! Thats such a lovely compliment, I tried SO HARD to make it look nice.

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  9. um... that dress is amazing!! I'm always so jealous of people that can sew. I really need to sit down and force myself to learn. The pattern is so flattering and I love the fabric you went with! Cute bloggy... I'm your newest follower!
    xoxo
    Taylor
    http://www.nothingbutapigeon.com/

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    1. Thank you! :) I was very much the same when I started sewing, it takes a lot of trial and error, but its a great hobby to have. You should give it a go :)

      Thank you again! :)

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  10. All that work certainly paid off, the end result is stunning! Great to meet a fellow Perth blogger!

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  11. It looks beautiful!! I love it.

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