Thursday, 9 June 2011

My 1975 Ditsy Floral Dress -Work in progress 2

Hooray I had a day off today and actually got some more done on this dress.  I was hoping to have finished it but best laid plans and all that.  This morning I went to see an exhibition at the local college which my friend had photography work in.  They also had some dressmaking bits including a really pretty 1950's poodle skirt.  It was interesting to see what people had made from this course as I decided against it last year as it was one evening a week and by the end of the year you had only made one outfit.  I know I can make a dress in a few days so I wasn't that impressed though I did think maybe it would be a really good quality outfit and maybe there would be things I could pick up that I wouldn't  have learnt through teaching myself.  Then I looked at the inside seams of the garments.  Completely unfinished and left raw and the hem was all done on machine.  Hmm.  Glad I didn't take it now as I am not sure I would have learnt anything new.

Anyways, on to the current project, my 1975 flowery dress.  I decided to make the dress with the neck facing from the instructions as the original suggested rather then lining it as the fabric is not see-through and I don't want it to be a bulky summer dress.
Inside neck facing before pressing
I also finish all my seams with my overlocker.  It's quick and easy and I am not really that worried about retaining the vintage feel by using French seams as I use vintage patterns because I like the designs not because I want to be historically accurate. 
Pressed facing from inside dress
The pattern suggested stitching along the top of the facing but I thought top stitching might keep if folded down better so I top stitched around the neckline through the facing.
Inside of sleeves
Next I sewed up the little puff sleeves, these were quite straight forward as they were the same method as a Burda shirt I made a few years ago.  It leaves the cuffs looking all neat and pretty inside.  I had to reduce the seam allowance by half a cm on each underarm seam as they were feeling a little tight on my arms when I tried them on.  (I hope other people do this, walk around with disembodied sleeves on their arms!)  I top stitched the cuffs to match the neckline too. 
Puffy sleeves!
The pattern calls for the zip to be put in before the facing and sleeves but as I plan on adding some trim (which you can see around Ann's neck) and thought it would look better if I can hide the raw edges when putting the zip in rather than have them showing.  I don't really see why you have to put the zip in first. 


  1. What a pretty summer dress you'll have once it's finished.

    Without looking at the pattern instructions I can't tell for sure, but likely the reason why they have you put the zipper in first, is so that the top ends of the zipper are enclosed within the facing after the facing has been sewn on.

  2. Sorry I didn't explain, they recommended inserting the zipper before the facing is sewn on, I did it afterwards in order to enclose the facing edges as you suggest.