I feel quite confident in describing this as a vintage dress. I may have sewn it in 2016 on a modern sewing machine, but the pattern, fabric, and zipper are all vintage, so I think it is pretty authentic. I suppose that’s not that important, but I do think it makes it unique.
This dress is made from a pair of curtains (50s/60s, at a guess) that I bought for a whopping £3.50 at a charity shop. I forgot to measure them, but each panel consisted of two pieces sewn together; one panel made the bodice, and the other became the skirt. Each panel was quite short, so I used the original hem & cut off the top instead for the skirt.
I absolutely adore this fabric, so I was determined to make this a great piece. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite meet that goal. As you can see, it’s wearable, but very far from perfect. My pleating isn’t great, I didn’t pattern match around the waist (and I have a travelling waist, i.e. it’s at different points on my body throughout the circumference), the darts are pretty rubbish, and I think I stretched the neckline.
But I guess there are some okay things about it. While overall the dress is a little big, it did allow for a good bit of movement. The armholes weren’t quite right, but overall I was reasonably happy with how the sleeves turned out. And best of all, I think this is probably the best finish I’ve had on a garment so far. I love how the satin bias binding looks. So much so, in fact, that I might go buy more and finish the other seams the same way (because let’s be honest, overall it still looks pretty rough!).
I wore the dress to a colleague’s wedding and did get a few compliments, though they were all from colleagues who know I sew & had probably guessed I needed an ego boost! It still felt nice to debut, though, and I hope I have occasion to wear it again soon.