Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Great 2010 Sewing Agenda.

I am setting some sewing resolutions this year. They are focused around vintage dresses. Just over two years ago I began my foray into sewing, always with the goal of sewing beautiful vintage dresses. Well, after two years, countless sewing classes, and a few successful garments under my belt, I am finally ready to take the plunge and conquer dresses. And of course there are a few non-dress projects on the agenda two.

Below are my top six projects in priority order. I already have the fabric and notions for three of them. And the good news is that two are currently underway. The patterns have been tissue fit and adjusted, the muslin fabric has been cut, and the machine is threaded. I am optimistic and enthusiastic to learn new skills and expand my sewing repertoire. Most importantly, I am excited to wear the finished garments.

2010 may be the year of the Tiger according to the Chinese zodiac, but for me, 2010 will be the year of the Vintage Dress.

The Great 2010 Sewing Agenda:

The Shirtdress:
The classic shirtdress is the style that started my love of vintage patterns, and it has been my greatest aspiration since learning to sew. This year is the year of the shirtdress for me. There are so many gorgeous versions of the style, but this is my favorite to date. This is a riff on the classic button-front dress with a collar, but with a more interesting skirt and neckline. For my first version, I am making the dress as pictured. But the pattern does come with a collar too, and eventually I may graduate to that version as well. But all things in due time. For now, this is on the top of my to do list.

The 1950's Collar Confection Blouse:
From my favorite modern pattern designer - Decades of Style - this blouse promises something that can mimic the finest Anthropologie ready to wear. It's the little details that make it so special, the little cap sleeves, the waist tucks, the buttons up the front, and of course that drooping, floppy collar. If this blouse works out once, it is bound to become a staple in my sewing repertoire.

Sheath/Wiggle Dress:
I cannot lie, my entire inspiration for making this frock comes from the movie An Education, where the star wears a pretty neck-bow sheath number like this. The pattern looked so similar, and I found an utterly amazing cotton silk watercolor effect fabric to create a similar look. Some people find the bows too sweet, but I find them very feminine. It is not fair to call this a wiggle dress, as I am certain I will need to widen the hem to balance my top heavy proportions, but I have high hopes. In fact, I have some weddings to attend this summer, and this might be just the right dress, with sexy high heels.

The Portrait Blouse:
I was inspired to create a portrait blouse thanks to blog by Gertie, who is focusing on patterns from Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing. The first featured project is a portrait blouse, like this. It is so pretty and simple. My pattern is not identical, but I think the bodice has the necessary elements - a side dart and bust dart for good fit at the waist, the wide neckline in the front and back, and the one piece cap sleeves. I may need to modify slightly for release darts, or darts that will fit the material at the hits and allow material to blouse around the bust, a la Gertie's pink version. Plus, I love how the book describes the blouse, "Under the sun or under the stars, the portrait-neckline blouse has a way of making you look your prettiest and most feminine."-- Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing

The Summer Sundress:
I can't lie, I see this one done up in a variety of summer prints, most notably in a flirty print with tiny pink and red strawberries dotting the fabric, like this or this. I expect the shoulder pleats to be immensely flattering to my bust. I hope the six-gore skirt will have a floaty effect that welcomes a cooling summer breeze. Shoot, I can already see myself at the farmer's market, wicker basked full of fresh veggies in hand (and I don't even own a wicker basket....yet). And who knows, maybe I will even send away for a self fabric belt to complete the look?

The Contrast Yoke Dress:
This was one of the first vintage patterns I ever purchased, but it ends up low on my list because of the complications of altering for a full bust with that neck yoke. However, I just think it has such potential. Imagine a bright pop of color lining the yoke to pop out from the little neck detail.


Susan said...

Great patterns! The shirtdress looks perfect in every way. Would love to see it when it's made up.

Beth from Upstate NY said...

I have a small stash of vintage cover-your-own-belt-and-buckle kits. Let me know if I can send you one.