Dress · Vintage Look · Vintage Patterns

Something Old, Something New – A Vintage Pledge

Earlier this year I made a pledge: I, Becky from springystitches, pledge to make my first ever vintage garment this year. There, I’ve done it! *Breathes into paper bag* Well, I DID IT and I am so pleased with the results that I am now obsessively looking for more vintage patterns to add to my collection!

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and it goes nicely with my vintage belt and shoes – result!

If you have been hiding in a cupboard and not yet heard of the Vintage Pledge, it was the brainchild of  A Stitching Odyssey and if you haven’t taken a peek at her blog – you don’t know what you are missing!  There are several different pledges that you can make for 2015 and I jumped on this brilliant band wagon along with many other sewing bloggers.

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McCall’s 6838

After scouring the interweb I found the perfect pattern for my challenge on ebay – McCalls’s 6838.  I saw the picture of view B and I was smitten with the collar, the pleats and of course the bow!  I am also a Mad Men fan so this dress ticked all the boxes for me and I popped it into my shopping basket before you could say ‘Don Draper!’   When the pattern arrived I found that it was in a sorry state.  The pattern sleeve was very torn and almost disintegrating with age, but the illustration on the cover was what I fell in love with and I was excited to examine the contents.  It was published in 1963 and it had already been cut and used many times.  I carefully traced all of the pieces onto new paper and made up a toile.  I really enjoyed this process and couldn’t help thinking about how someone would have been doing the very same thing with the same pattern pieces over 50 years ago.

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Belt and pleats

Some alterations needed to be made but nothing major, just lowering the bust darts and letting out the waist and hips by a couple of inches.   I also shortened the length and omitted the split up the back of the skirt as there was more than enough room to walk in it without wiggling like Joan Harris!

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Mind you, there is a little part of me that would love to be Joan…

After getting the fit perfect on the toile, I went ahead and cut my fabric and it sewed up quickly and easily (I think that the toile gave me this new found confidence!)  I did get a little anxious about the collar as I hadn’t included this when I was sewing the toile but I just went for it and it turned out well.

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Collar and bow combo

I was worried that it would look a little 1980’s as the collar looked massive, but I think it’s in proportion with the dress and, although I would make it a little narrower next time, I can live with it.  I then added the pussy bow and hemmed the skirt by hand.

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Back view

I really love this dress and someone has already asked me if I bought it from Cath Kidston which made me smile smugly for the rest of the day! 🙂

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Ooops, another Joan pose!

Now, enough of this flirty photoshoot – back to scouring the internet for more pre-loved patterns …

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35 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New – A Vintage Pledge

  1. Well done for achieving your pledge and proving that there’s an inner Joan in all of us! The colour of the fabric looks terrific on you and the collar is no neat. I’m not surprised it was mistaken for RTW.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautiful dress, and your collar is so perfectly crisp and fresh-looking! I work mostly from vintage patterns–and dang it, I keep meaning to officially join that pledge!–and though they are not always without their challenges, I find working with them so rewarding. Well done on achieving this goal already: that leaves you time to reach it a few more times before the year is out! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The collar looks great and I like the addition of the pussy bow! The dress is vintage but doesn’t looks as if it’s come from a different era if that makes sense! I don’t do vintage style but you look very comfortable with you inner Joan! Haha! Well done for getting that Cath comment 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once again you have mastered another pattern effortlessly. It is absolutely FAB…..U…..LOUS!!!!! I love the fabric and all the little extras you have put into it, for, example, the little bow at the neck. I didn’t notice it at first. I enlarged the picture and saw all the little wonders you had made, and, by the way, the white collar makes it a very elegant addition to your vintage wardrobe. I can’t wait to see your next creation. Happy sewing. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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