Ending the sewing year with some glitter and sparkles

PH Front mid

One last grasp of breath for the Vintage Pledge. I did intend to complete a 1950’s Bishop method skirt dress as part of the Vintage Pledge but other sewing projects always seem to grab my attention – yes, completely squirrel’d that one. Instead 1970 glamor rears its fabulous head and a Grecian floor length flowing wedding dress appears.

Pattern front

Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 6672 (later re-released in 1980 as Simplicity 9750)
Size: Size 14
Alterations: Shorten skirt length and bodice length
Fabric: Silk Lurex and silk satin interlining from The Fabric StorePH Front half

Paired with Silk lurex and silk interlining from The Fabric Store – my regular haunt since work moved to be 250m away from the Fortitude Valley store – for maximum fabulous.


PH Back  PH Front Full1

The pattern popped up in eBay in a pattern parcel and I swooned. I had been eyeing off the fabric for a couple of weeks and I knew the two would be perfect pairing. So I headed back to the store within a hour or so the eBay sale concluding and I purchased what remained on the roll which was just under three metres from memory.

Front half

After considering that the itch of the Lurex threads in the fabric would drive me insane I went back to pick up some silk satin to use as interlining. As getting a match for green/blue/teal of the fabric was going to be difficult, I matched the interlining to the gold lurex. The silk Lurex is only slightly opaque so the interlining didn’t need to match but I thought a little peak of the gold inside would be sweet as the skirt swooshes around.

Back half  Front half2

Fabric constraints without reducing the length meant the fullness of the skirt needed to be reduced unfortunately. Pattern matching had no chance and fortunately print placement was not a complete disaster however looking at the front now I see a slight flower boob on the front – oh well, work with what we have right?  The back though I am quite happy with the placement, not matching but balanced.

Back full   Front ful

Pattern view

While my previous vintage pattern was complete and all patterns pieces were complete – this one was not the case.  A previous owner had cut off the front and back skirt above the shorter View 1 length and the front bodice had the neat wrap around neck collar hacked off.  Yes, hacked – I can’t even pretend the sinking feeling of seeing one of the endearing features of the pattern completely disregarded.  So based on the pattern piece view included in the instructions I redrafted the top of the bodice front and using the side piece (which appeared completely unused) I redrew what I thought would be the original full skirt length.Front pattern adjusted 

Very few adjustments to the pattern were necessary.  I shorten the skirt length on all pattern pieces by two inches by folding up at the shorten length and pinched out almost another inch to rise the neckline.

Inside back full Inside back half

For the inside finishing, I did consider binding the seam allowances but given the time constraints and not wanting to add too much bulk, a simple pinked edge sufficed.  Because I can’t help myself a few couture features were added.  Hem and armholes were finished with bias binding that was catch stitched to the interlining,  strips of silk organza cut on the straight grain were used as stays across the front bodice gathers and shoulder seams, neck facing fell stitched to interlining, and a hand picked lapper zip. Hemming was quite a drama and I was happy to see the end of it.

Inside front full Inside front half          

The end result is very fun to wear.  The skirt is huge and I stagger to consider how much fun the skirt would be if I didn’t have the fabric constraints!  So much twirling! So perfect for the holiday season where a little bit of sparkle cannot go astray.  Let’s hope for more occasions that require a gold glitter dress!

Vintage Pledge – A dress for your inner mod air hostess

Pattern envelope

When Marie from A Stitching Odyssey announced the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge I did not intend to participate – but I did start to notice the vintage patterns that were appearing on Ebay in my area were catching my eye more often.  As a result, I started buying vintage patterns which added to my previous ‘collection’ of two.  Then Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace  joins the Vintage Pledge with a guest plot that served as a reminder about why vintage patterns are really worth it.

So I pull out one of my vintage patterns that had been ignored for far too long (thankfully with a matching bust size to limit the alternations) and off we go:


Pattern:  Simplicity 5891

Size: 16

Alterations: A slight thickening of the waist *cough*

Fabric: Textured Japanese cotton from Tessuti

The pattern dates from 1965 and it for sure has the ‘mod’ feel to it.   Definitely a different style than I am accustomed of wearing and for the first couple of wears I felt like it was a strange ’60’s air hostess costume as it has a touch of corporate uniform to it.  Surprisingly the dress has since become a regular addition for my weekday corporate wear.


The fabric is a Japanese textured cotton from Tessuti which was an impulse purchase for the fabric stash the moment the fabric was available on the Tessuti website. And then imagine my delight when my favourite local designer used the fabric in her Winter collection  – Maiocchi Day Dreamy dress  (that is a sign of great taste right?)

Front tie

The dress features a front tie which is really quite sweet, but the print does not do it justice.  Little tie, are you trying to hide in there?


Alterations were very little.  After double checking the flat pattern for the amount of design ease and I only needed to add extra to the waist. I was a bit generous in adding waist ease as I was hoping the dress would be suitable for work and I didn’t want to risk being uncomfortable while sitting at the desk all day.

The skirt was very long but I was trying to stay true to the ‘vintage pledge’ and I didn’t shorten the skirt patterns before cutting the fabric pieces.  As a result the hem allowance is huge – but I do find something luxurious in large hem allowances, no cutting corners to save fabric here.


The patterns instructions have some neat steps that I really enjoyed including – seam binding over the waistline seam, and on the sleeve and skirt hem lines; hand worked thread bars.   With these additional hand work details it only felt fair to interline the skirt with silk organza and catch stitch the seam allowances down – and there is the added benefit of reducing the wrinkles.

Seam binding instructions


Some details of vintage patterns I love – the little construction notes jotted over the pattern envelope, the rusty pins to shorten skirt lengths, the more detailed/couture construction steps then modern patterns; the marked seam lines and little arrows to tell me the stitching direction.  I certainly did enjoy the wonder of using something that had probably been packed away for the last 40 years.

Next up on the vintage pattern adventures will be a shirtdress using the Bishop Method of Clothing Construction. Wish me luck!