Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Christmas Dresses, Two at a Time

Hello! Hope everyone's had a lovely holiday. I know I've eaten my own weight in chocolate and cheese, so that counts as a resounding success. I don't know about you, but I always like some new stuff to wear for Christmas, whether I need it or not. I had made my mind up to make one final dress for the #vintagepledge, and at the last minute decided to knock out one more, because as you'll see, the first dress, although a joy to wear, is not the most practical when roasting a turkey.

Christmas dress number one is from this 1967 Simplicity pattern:

Simplicity 7088, 1967

I can't remember where I saw this pattern, but when I did I knew I had to have it. I raced around loads of sites looking for it, and eventually bought it from ogy0531 on eBay. It was nearly £20 with p+p, which is more than I would normally spend on a pattern, but I had to have it! And it isn't even the right size - this is a bust 31, I'm more of a 36, so I used this pattern which I know fits me straight out of the packet, to grade it up to my size:

I used reams and reams of tracing paper, and even made a toile, which looked like this:

At this stage, I was concerned that I was going to look like this:

Agnes Moorehead as Endora in 'Bewitched'

- but I carried on despite this. But a part of me always loved Endora's sense of drama, so in tribute to her I decided to go for a gold and black look, courtesy of some cheap lame knit from Walthamstow market.

Enough of my waffling, here's the finished dress:

Of course, the most spectacular part of the dress is the back:

This is certainly the most comfortable 'glamour' dress I've ever worn; it sort of feels like a hospital gown because it's all loose and swingy at the back, and feels like it could fly up at any moment.

And the secret to the shape of the whole thing lies in this sneaky little bra extender, which is hidden inside and keeps the front portion close to the body and lets the rest hang free:

I lined the whole dress in a light weight poly to give it some stability, and the bra extender was hidden under the cape - here's a flash of the inside (excuse my big red bra):

Here's one more swish:

As much as I love that dress, it's more of a night time look, not really suitable for turkey and gravy on Christmas Day. At the very last minute - December 22nd - I decided to make a more wearable dress out of some stash fabric using a pattern I've used before:

Simplicity 9330 from 1971
I used some bargain-tastic viscose and light weight poly lining I picked up, once again, at Walthamstow market. I got it cut out and sewn up in 2 days, which is super quick for me, and it was my first invisible zip in a garment - milestone! Here it is:

It was all pretty straight forward, I knew it would fit so I didn't have to try it on along the way, and the invisible zip saved so much time:

Not bad for a first attempt - why did I wait so long to do this?!!?
The only slightly tricky bit is the collar/bow thing at the neck, which involved a bit of basting and a bit of unpicking to finally get right:

The fabric has a bit of stretch in it, so was ideal for sweating away in the kitchen, then eating all of the roasted goodness, as well as pudding and other sweets.

So all round a sartorially successful Christmas. Hope everyone had a good one and here's to a fabulous New Year!

See you soon!