1950s · Sewing · Vintage

Break, Shatter, Make, Matter

I love making my own clothes. There is nothing like seeing a vintage dress, falling completely in love with it, and knowing you can make it yourself. Going home, raising the fabric stash,making toiles to ensure the fit. Pressing the creases out of the fabric, laying it on the cutting table, pinning the tissue and making that first cut. Ironing interfacing, pining seams, fitting as I go – it really is one of the many joys of my life. And then when the dress – or skirt or shirt is finished – well there is no bliss like that of a finished garment, one that I have made myself, that I have imagined into life. Nothing.

And so it was when I saw this beauty.

Deerfield Vintage dress

For sale at Deerfield Vintage. I knew as soon as I laid eyes on it, that I wanted my version of it. Look at that waist, that fake peplum, that lace and Peter Pan collar.  What frock loving girl wouldn’t want one of these in her wardrobe? And so I set about planning the making of it.  The glorious Fabric Store in Sydney came to the rescue a couple of weeks ago with a 40% off sale, where I bought 4m black silk organza, and tulle for an under-petticoat.  I already had the black lace and cotton underlining at home – all I needed was a couple of weekends to get it made.  I’d decided to make the dress as a skirt and blouse.  And because I no longer have a wasp waist, I decided to cut out a full circle skirt.  Which I did. Twice – because I hated the first version of it. I recut the skirt, taking a little fullness out, made it up again (sewing the circle skirt tulle petticoat, and circle skirt cotton underlining to the organza) and I hate it.  HATE IT.  It’s taken two full weekends to make a circle skirt – which take a day to cut and sew – that I can hardly stand the site of.  I’d resigned myself to spending a third weekend unpicking, recutting and restitching the damned thing.  But then I thought no.  Two weekends on a circle skirt is more than enough. There comes a time in a girl’s life when she has to put down the quick unpick, and step away from the silk organza. So I did this instead.

A Sunday spent cutting

I cut out two dresses that I’ve made versions of, that don’t make me feel like I should be standing atop a cake, that are a joy to sew, and even more delightful to sashay about in.

And as for the organza and lace?  Well, I want to wear it on the 23rd, so I’ll probably come back to it.  Unless I decide to make something else.  I mean, a girl can never have too many vintage style frocks in her wardrobe, can she??


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