crafts · outfits · Sewing

Me-made-June day 1: wearability reports


Dress: Vogue 2960 (Blogged here)

Shrug: Thrifted

Shoes: Kensie Girl

Pin: Vintage, belonged to my grandma

There are several things that I quite enjoy about the me-made challenges.  First of all, they inspire me to take care in how I put together an outfit (and June was looking to be a pretty dull month otherwise, with half my friends out of town and my performing groups on summer break.)

But I also like the glimpse they give into the actual wearability of patterns that we make.  After all, anything can look great on the day you’ve made it, but how do they hold up?  So this month I’m going to be giving the report on the fates of some of my me-made items.

I had a heck of a time making this dress.  Upon reflection, it was way too hard for my skills at the time, but I did it – I even underlined the whole thing in silk organza.  The organza makes the dress stand out nicely, but it is a bit scratchy around the waist seam.

I don’t wear this dress much, to be honest.  The last time was at a wedding almost a year ago.  Why don’t I wear it?  There are… issues with the shoulders.  This pattern has the usual 1950s issue of an overly large bust (to make room for undergarments of the period.)  I cut a size 6 in the bust and shoulders to make up the difference.  I would never do that now – I know that I can’t stand too narrow shoulders, and I always need at least an 8.   It would fit better in an 8 with a small bust adjustment.The shoulders, oddly, also tend to slide down, which is weird since they feel so tight!  I’ve actually pinned the dress to the cardigan (with the vintage pin) in order to keep them in place today.

This dress, more than any other, provokes “why are you so dressed up?” comments.  I’m always surprised when I get them – I dress up every day, but I guess the flowers take it over the top.

What have I learned since making this dress?

1. I have broad-ish shoulders for my size, and I have to watch out for that.

2. Underlining… I hate it.  It takes so long, and I’d rather wear a slip!

3. Low backs make me self-conscious.

4. The 1950s silhouette is great for me, but the actual vintage patterns of that era require too many adjustments for me to bother with… I prefer to take a modern pattern and make it look vintage.

So that’s the first day of the month – back tomorrow with another wearability report!

16 thoughts on “Me-made-June day 1: wearability reports

  1. This outfit looks beautiful! I’m with you, though…as much as I like seeing garments other people have made from vintage patterns, I’m content just to look for modern patterns that are vintage-ish or can have some vintage details added.

  2. You look very stylish and I love the colours.I do think though that with the 1950’s garments especially you need the right undergarments of the period to make things work sometimes.well done though!!

  3. I like it. Maybe you could tough it up with some boots or clunky sandals and a leather or denim jacket.

  4. How interesting! Maybe you could put on some lingerie straps to help the shoulders stay up. It looks so pretty with the shrug, and you avoid some of the wearability issues too.

  5. I hate it when people ask why I’m dressed up, implying I’m overdressed – so what if I want to wear nice clothes?

    It may be uncomfortable to wear but, if it’s any consolation, you look absolutely gorgeous. You have such a good eye for what colours suit you.

  6. Thanks for mentioning the issues with vintage patterns. I’d never heard that before even though I’m reading a lot about people making dresses from vintage patterns. I was even looking at some today to possibly buy. I’ll stick with the retro sections of current makers, I guess.

    1. Sara, I read time and again on sewing blogs that vintage patterns are so wrong for modern bodies… but I didn’t it. I’ve only sewn/shopped for 1930s and 1940s patterns and they always follow my body measurements perfectly. It wasn’t until recently when I looked at some 1950s patterns that I noticed a sizing issue… huge bust!

      People also complain that vintage patterns have awful instructions, but the 30s and 40s patterns I’ve worked with had wonderful instructions. It may be a period thing and other periods are worse, or it may be that when I learned to sew in school in the 1990s pattern instructions were so abysmal that I think any level of detail is amazing.

  7. LOVE the floral print you’ve used! Your outfit looks as though it popped right off the TV from an episode of Mad Men. I’ve always wanted to try a 50’s style, but always thought it would look silly on me as I have no waist and broader shoulders. But you look so dainty and petite in it that I’m going to give it a go! 🙂

  8. Your dress is lovely…are those fabric-covered buttons? Even if you were “over dressed” (and by what measure?) isn’t it rude to make someone self conscious about that? In my opinion, you look wonderful and make the day more aesthetically pleasing for all.

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