crafts · patterns · Sewing · workouts

Weekend finds, dress opinions needed

I put my Vogue 1250 into timeout for a bit after trying it on.  I knew going in that I might not love it – I like to emphasize my waist, not my hips.  So when I tried it on I wasn’t happy – I don’t think it makes me look large, but it does have a bit of a rectangle effect:

After a little distance I feel a bit better – I think if I take in the sides above the waist by a few inches I will be happy.  The reason it looks off is that it’s simply too big up there!  I also plan to shorten it by an inch and hem (it isn’t hemmed above.)  And then maybe wear it with a belt?  But maybe I’m kidding myself… do you think I should finish it, or accept that it isn’t meant for my body shape?

On a more cheerful note, I had a great weekend of bargain hunting!  On Saturday we went to an estate sale.  It was in sort of a not good neighborhood, and there was no one there, just us and two other people.  The ad had specifically mentioned sewing patterns, so I made sure to go!  Here is what I found:

I love the sundress on the left.  The other pattern?  That’s a housecoat – how fancy!

A lovely dress with gathered cap sleeves, and a skirt with inseam decorative pockets.


Two nice jackets from the 1940s.  The seamstress really loved her patterns – when the envelopes fell apart she carefully made new ones!

Vogue patterns.  All of the patterns I got are roughly my size (34 bust, I can go either way in vintage patterns.)

Carded buttons.  The green buttons have little handpainted tulips on them.

A pattern already cut out in a rayon print.  I may or may not make it up, as right now it smells of mothballs.  I’m airing it out, so we will see.

A complete set of Ladies Home Journal from the 1960s.  I plan to resell these.

I bought all of the above for $20 – a great deal!

Then on Sunday, Marc was browsing random Craigslist ads and found a Fluidity Bar for $25, including the dvds!

It’s basically a portable ballet barre – great for the ballet workouts I’ve been loving!  It’s very sturdy, and much nicer to use than a chair.  I saw the infomercial for this, but it was quite expensive, especially after shipping.  I figured that eventually one would turn up on Craigslist!  I plan to store it against the wall behind the sofa table, which isn’t pretty exactly, but it is easier than trying to lug the entire 55 pound thing from under the bed a few times a week!

So, it was a great shopping weekend, abut a less great sewing one.  I’m looking forward to starting my fall sewing soon, if not necessarily to the cold weather!

28 thoughts on “Weekend finds, dress opinions needed

  1. What cool patterns! I think you hit the jackpot. The ballet barre looks neat too. You could always cover it with lovely fabric when not in use. 😉

  2. Sometimes you have to move on when a particular garment doesn’t work out as you’d hoped. I made a Vena Cava dress this past spring, one of Vogue’s spring patterns, and as much as I loved the dress in the photo, it just did not work for me. I’m more of a pear shape and need clothes that don’t emphasize my hips. Alas, the Vena Cava has hung in my closet, unworn, for months. Every once in awhile I pull it out, try it on, imagining wearing belted, imagine my hips receding, imagine it looking good on me. Despite my magical thinking, the dress just doesn’t work. As for yours, is it possible to cut it off and make it into a top to wear with your fabulous black Colette skirt?

  3. What a great haul!! As for the dress, I like it! See how it is with a belt, if you still don’t like it, then I really like Nancy’s suggestion of turning it into a top…

  4. I’ve made the dress an am pretty happy with it, but I have found that quite a few people have tweaked the dress by sewing in side seams. They say that it really does make a difference with this pattern and the fit.

    I am so jealous of you and the score/killing you made this past weekend. Awesome!!!!!

  5. I love the look of the dress on you too. I think there is a bit of room that you can remove on the lower half of the dress to skim your body a bit more, but that’s about it for alterations. The pattern on your fabric is gorgeous in that color.

  6. I’m really envious of your estate sale finds! You’re so lucky. About that vogue dress – I also planned to make it. I have many shirts that are shaped like the top of this dress, and they’re very flattering to my figure. I am pear shaped, with a slim waist and heavy-ish thighs (you’ll probably be able to see photos of me on my blog if you want) – anyway, I was going to recommend to you to check if you like the dress as a shirt, and then you can turn it into a shirt and a plain skirt (or add more fabric and use the skirt as the bottom of a bi-colored dress). Also, I have a store-bought dress that has sort of a similar shape, but with a more dramatic bat-wing top, and it is very flattering and not boxy. As for wearing it with a belt – not sure how that’ll work but you can always try! Hope this helps.

  7. Belts make everything better.

    I lurve those buttons. The flowers are white bluebells (yes, they come in white despite the name). The flower freak in me had to point that out. 🙂

  8. I think the dress looks good on you as is! But I understand how you feel about the rectangle effect. I hope you like it better once you take in the sides.

  9. I think the neckline of the dress is great and what it really needs is a belt – a nice wide one to emphasize your waist. I don’t think you should give up on it yet.

  10. I, too, like the dress on you. Something different, shape-wise. But I understand that feeling that of not looking exactly like the hipless models that we compare ourselves.too. A black cropped jacket, on coolish occasions, but ease your self-consciousness, but overall – I would never think “there goes that hippy girl!” (I looks nice!) & of course, again, I admire your adventurous & enterprising spirit in foraging into past patterns, materials and buttons!

  11. I’ve found two things work for getting rid of that yucky moth ball smell:

    1) Seal in a box with lots of crumpled up newspaper for a week or so and the newspaper will absorb the smell.

    2) Place in a box with a small dish of unground coffee beans.

    Good luck with tweaking the dress.

  12. Super lucky pattern finds! I think your Vogue dress has potential. All of the alterations you mentioned would be what I would do in that situation. I would also definitely wear it with a belt. I love the pattern on the fabric. Good Luck 😀

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