Saturday, May 30, 2015

༺ Stitching Stories: A 'Round the House Wrap Dress ༻

Simplicity 2275, dated 1948 | Lavender & Twill

Stitching challenge 2015 for a vintage wardrobe | Lavender & Twill
Vintage - around the house - mama style | Lavender & Twill

Hunter green vintage 1940s reproduction heels | Lavender & Twill
Easy 1940s style | Lavender & Twill
Pin curls, vintage, and 1940s frocks | Lavender & Twill

Am I ever so glad that this dress is done! I have never had so much trouble putting together a sewing project before ~ not because it didn’t come together easily enough, that wasn’t the problem ~ it was because I just couldn’t get the dang thing to sit right!  (┛◉Д◉)┛*rage*

I suppose this is where experienced seamstresses look pointedly at their muslins and toiles {“twahl” for those of you that don’t “sew speak”, so to speak.  ; P}, then at me, then back at the neat little muslin sitting on the dress form…..

Yah.  Ain’t nobody got time for that! Least ways, I don’t.

I found out that the bodice of my 90% completed dress was not fitting correctly because of my nursing bust size, even though I’d measured the pattern and thought that it would fit. The design of the back of the neck was not working for me either. It wouldn’t sit right no matter how I adjusted it ~ up or down!

Getting the dress to fit required a lot of what my coding Mister calls “hacking”. In my sewing world however, hacking involves taking a sharp pair of scissors to already sewn seams and hacking the bajeebies out of the fabric along strategically drawn chalk lines.

I cut roughly two inches out from the back of the neck, and lopped off three to seven inches from the sleeves, then hemmed the skirt up by five inches. It was a risk that the whole thing would fall apart if I snipped too much, or in the wrong place, but it paid off as the dress sits much better around the neckline now. 

It isn’t all weird and bunchy like it was before. I don’t quite know what was happening, but the back of the dress sat really high up on the back of my neck, and it was making the darts sit in the wrong place, which was making the bodice puff up really strangely above the bust.

Of course, getting it to work took a lot of extra fiddling, which took a lot of extra time, and I ended up taking way too long on this project. Plus, I’ve been sick as a dog for the last week, which means May is officially up and I didn’t manage to get my other project ~ a winter blouse ~ done this month.  (TT ^ TT)

So, only one more project ticked off the great Sewing All the Things challenge of 2015, but at least it actually happened because I was worried there for a moment that I would end up having to toss the whole dress.

                                              ~ The source of much trouble! ~

Next question ~ does anyone want to purchase this pattern?  It will come with all the original pieces of the pattern, the original instructions {taped, because they are falling apart}, the original envelope, and also a copy of the bodice, sleeve, facings, waist inserts, tie, and pocket pattern pieces all traced onto Polytrace {similar to Swedish Tracing Paper ~ it’s a soft, woven fabric-like paper}. Basically, I traced off everything but the skirt, so you can work straight from the pattern copy.

If you would like to buy the pattern, along with the the Polytrace copies for $20.00 AUD, please email me with your Paypal address and mailing address, and I can send off an invoice which will also include whatever the P+P will cost. 

~ Project Details ~

  • Year: 1948
  • Pattern: Simplicity 2275
  • Fabric: 2 1/2 metres of red and green sprig floral of poly-cotton{?}. I have no idea about the fibre content of this fabric as my Grandmother gave it to me.
  • Notions: None, is a wrap dress.
  • Time to complete: Three weeks
  • Make again? Nope. I really don’t want to make this dress again. It was just such a hassle to get it working properly that I really don’t want to go through all of that again. I like the dress, but not that much.
  • Wear again? I will, but I think it’ll probably be in my “around the house, running errands, going to playgroup, etc” wardrobe. Which is okay with me because I need more vintage around the house clothes anyway.
  • Total Cost:  $0.00 ~ yay for stash busting! 

    Have any of you had sewing dramas with almost-but-not-quite-failure projects before?  Would you seam rip to make it work, or try ‘hacking’ it up? Plus, how great are my new shoes ~ right?  (ノ ゜ω゜)ノ



    ༺ ♡ ༻

    Vintage Bow Hair Tie | Me Made, May 2015 {tutorial here}
    ’Round the House 1940’s Wrap Dress  | Me Made, May 2015
    Hunter Green Swinging Heels  | eBay

    ༺ ♡ ༻

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    1. The shape is so perfectly 40's! The resulting dress is really cute, even if it was a hassle to get there. Some sewing projects just don't want to behave, I have been there! Good job sticking it out and hacking your way through :)

    2. A job *very* well done! The finished result is charming and flattering- and wow! I so, so admire you for pushing through even though it looked so hopeless!! I really hate it when that happens, especially since it seems to affect the mood when the dress is worn afterwards... I hope that the dress gives you much and increasing enjoyment with wear and that all the frustrations are forgotten with time. ;-)

      PS Yes indeed- those shoes are cute!!

    3. It looks lovely on you so even if you had to hack it I don't think anyone could notice. It must have been pretty frustrating though!

    4. Well the end result looks lovely, and worth all the hassle! I occasionally have the same problems with patterns too, and often with vintage patterns, I find the sleeve looks short in the illustration, but when I make it, it comes out elbow length on me! So I often have to hack off 3 or more inches as well

    5. You look so gorgeous here - I love this little dress and headscarf set! I'm really impressed that you're able to alter something that went wrong in the way you described. I'm so envious of your skills! CC x

    6. Thanks Bianca! You are right about the hassle; I don't know why some projects just don't want to work, but it does happen sometimes! :)

    7. Oh, I so know what you mean Lily! I was looking at the dress even after I was finished thinking "Ugh, it really doesn't look good, I don't like it, etc..." and that just kind of ruins the fun that you finished your sewing project.

      I also the hope the frustrations will be forgotten, but not enough that I risk tackling this pattern again ~ I'm so done with it! :P

    8. They could if they looked inside! My neck facing is now centimeters deep instead of the original inches... :P But no one is exactly going to come along and whip it off me to inspect the inside seams, so I think I'll cope. (>_<)!

    9. Yes, that's exactly what happened to me too Dixie! I wanted to have longer sleeves, but they ended at that awkward right in the middle of the elbow length and just looked so silly. At least sleeves are easy to chop up and alter. :D

    10. Ah, thank you Cici for your very sweet comment! I do enjoy sewing, even when it does go a bit wonky.

    11. Ahh the disaster projects. Sometimes it feels like they are all disasters for at least one period in the making process.

      I am starting to come around on the muslin idea though. After so many fit fails and wasted fabrics, the appeal is becoming clear to me!

      Anyway your dress has worked out beautifully in the end! It really suits you too, and will make such a lovely around the house dress.

    12. Great job! I think this dress looks fabulous, it reminds me so much for the Swirl dresses from the 50s. I'm glad that your "hacking" (and I love how literal that term is being used here) paid off.
      Jessica, Zella Maybe

    13. Yeah, like when you are looking at the muddle of fabric in your lap and wondering how on earth it's ever going to turn out to be some thing wearable! (> O <)

      The appeal is definitely there for me too, but the problem is that because I *mostly* get away with the fit straight from the pattern {after doing a standard FBA} or by adding a little dart here and there after the fact if I need it, I tend to think that I don't have time for them if I'm actually going to get a project done! Particularly with this sewing challenge.

      But maybe that should be my challenge for next year, sew some muslins! And I guess the other thing is: most of my fashion fabric isn't expensive. If I was sewing with silk, or wool or lace, I'd definitely be doing a muslin. But when I'm sewing with cotton, I don't mind as much if I have to hack it to make it work. :P

    14. Haha! Yeah, it made me laugh when I thought of the comparison. It really does feel a bit crazy slashing away at an almost finished dress!

    15. Your shoes are sensational - much like this flat out marvelous dress itself. I'm sorry that you ran into issues with it during the construction process, I'm sure that was more than a little bit frustrating. The struggle was worth it though, I do believe, as the finished product is head-turningly awesome and you look flat out gorgeous in it, my dear.

      ♥ Jessica

    16. Esther @ Dolly CreatesJune 2, 2015 at 11:09 PM

      Despite the problems you had sewing the dress, it looks absolutely gorgeous on you!! I absolutely love wrap dresses like this!! So beautiful!
      I love your description of "hacking." I can completely relate!! ;)
      I love your matching hair tie, by the way! I need to make one of those!!

    17. I used to be able to get away with no adjustments, and I don't yet know my "regular" adjustments, so it seems like a good idea now! Also, it fits in with my "learn to do things properly" goal for 2015!

      And I tend to be a sucker for expensive fabric so...that does contribute! I have ruined some lovely things in the past :P

    18. Thank you dear Jessica. While the dress was frustrating me during the construction, I am glad it worked out in the end. :)

    19. I love wrap dresses myself Esther, they are so comfortable and easy to wear! It's also good to know that I'm not the only one who has to hack up projects to get them to work. ;)

    20. Yes, learning the adjustments that you will always have to make definitely makes the process faster. When I know I always have to do a FBA, that just means I can do it and get on with sewing. And like I said before, most other fit issues that pop up for me {depending on the pattern} can be solved with a dart or two!

      Oooooh, ouch! I haven't quite ruined anything just yet ~ but I came awfully close with this dress. And actually I almost trashed the next dress I cut out as well! But that'll be a story for when I finish it... If I get too! (◉ Д ◉)

    21. Well the dress came out perfectly even though it too a bit to get it right it looks amazing! You styled it beautifully with your matching headband and cute shoes!


    22. Thank you Rebecca, I think it was worth persevering with it in the end, but I wasn't sure for a while there in the middle! XD

    23. wardrobe experienceJune 24, 2015 at 4:53 AM

      wonderful dress and dreamy pictures!

    24. Thank you! I was using the neighbor's driveway, hoping that no one needed to use it at the time! :P

    25. Such a beautiful dress!! You are a dream, so gorgeous! x

    26. Thank you Kayla! That's very sweet of you. :)

    27. Gorgeous look - these photos are so pretty, and it's a very lovely dress. What a shame it was so tricky!! You are really very clever though to have whipped it up, I made a simple skirt once and that took me at least a month! x

    28. Oh, it once took me over six months to make a dress, I feel you! XD



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