Sunday, January 24, 2010

vintage inspired: lace dress

Continuing the story of my sewing journey, we skip ahead a year. My first year of sewing has been grand, learning new techniques, trying out commercial patterns...and I get a little bit bolder when I see a dress I just have to have for spring.

It's a lace dress, a 1930s reproduction, but I can't find a pattern that quite matches (mind you, this was before I even knew what eBay was!) Instead, I chose a sleeve from here, a neckline & bodice from there, a skirt from another...and added some of my newly acquired French sewing skills to add the lacy detailing. Here is my 1930s Lace Dress:


The dress itself is an all-over embroidered rayon netting. I believe I got it in the bridal section of my local Hancocks. I probably had to save up for it! The lace is cotton lace, also from Hancocks. I remember being so excited that I found real cotton lace there. It was OLD. And I bought a bunch of it at a 50% off sale! I still have a bit left, too. I tea-dyed the entire lot (netting & lace) in a tea & vinegar bath to "age" it some more.

The bodice was empire, but I added a strip of puffing all around, edged with more lace:


Here's a closeup of my puffing. I was so proud of it, although no one in my near circle of family & friends had the slightest idea of what puffing was:

In the back, the puffing gets tighter at the center back, where the bodice also gathers:


The hem has a netting ruffle, also edged with lace:


Here's the dress without the underslip. It's so dainty and sweet.


For underneath I made a cream slipdress, using a New Look pattern long thrown out.


I knew nothing about FBAs or fitting, the only sewing book I possessed was a 1970s edition of the Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing that my mom & dad picked up for me at an auction for $2. (I still have & use this too! It's my favorite how-to book for the basics!)


Consequently, the slipdress fit through the bustline, but was too big through the neck & shoulder area. Not having anymore fabric to cut another (and no $$ to buy more) I cut away the binding from the neckline and made little darts in front, and a box pleat in back, fiddling with it until it fit. I actually liked it better after my "fix".


I wore this dress to church a few times, but I wished that I had some grand tea or summer wedding to wear it to! I'm not in my 20s anymore, and the dress is too snug now. Sniff. I wish I could still wear it. I would! Everywhere!

Maybe with my cream silk vintage hat.


I'll be posting a lacy baby dress next. It went hand and hand with this one, a reproduction of a vintage 1920s baby dress.

14 comments:

  1. I love the delicacy of it! It's just lovely.

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  2. Angie, my mom had that EXACT SAME Reader's Digest book while I was growing up. She sewed a lot and I remember looking through that book as a little girl, imagining sewing all kinds of fun things.

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  3. Wow, Angie! I love these "memory lane" posts. It's a beautiful dress, thanks so much for sharing!

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  4. Lovely dress. I have that same book and use it very often. It's such a great resource!

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  5. Incredible early sewing project. You really had no fear! Your dress is beautiful.

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  6. That dress is so pretty. I have that book too - bought from the annual big 2nd hand book sale for 50 cents. Obviously a sewer wasn't doing the pricing.

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  7. That looks like a dress that fashionable ladies would have gone to "tea" wearing. Lovely. I'm impressed that you figured out how to make the slip fit, early on.

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  8. Gorgeous! It looks so delicate and pretty.

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  9. That's beautiful! I love how dainty and precious it is, a wonderful and meaningful garment. I have that book too- from my mom :) Almost got rid of it before I picked up on the sewing bug!

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  10. So pretty, and the tea dying makes it just perfect!

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  11. Hey, I have that book, Complete Guide to Sewing! Beautiful dress. All those times we watched Pretty in Pink over and over rubbed off. :-)

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  12. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Hey Angie , did you see the new issue of rolling stone?
    Poor John Mayer can't find any body to love. Great pics of him though.
    Marie

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