Last June, an old high school friend got married, and I needed a pretty dress to wear. And since I had done the alterations on her wedding gown, I figured I needed to show up in something I’d made! (Do you understand that logic? Yeah, me neither.)
I had Vogue 2960 in my stash, so after a quick trip to JoAnn’s I had a few yards of a white vintagey print cotton and a super awesome zipper- I knew I didn’t want to do the full button closure front. These boobs aren’t made for buttons. But I picked up some buttons anyway, so I could sew them on as decoration.
The dress went together super easily, even though I decided against facings. I hate facings. Especially facings with interfacings. Come on, if you’re going to go through the effort of sewing a facing, you might as well go all out and make it a full lining. And since the fabric was a white print and not that thick, and I didn’t want to bother with a cami, I sewed a full lining in white muslin.
Instead of the open button front and the seamless back, I cut the front on the fold, cut the back into separate pieces, and just slapped a zipper on that bad boy. Since it’s an exposed zip, I literally just stuck it on. It actually worked! And looked cute! So I was excited.
I also eliminated the waist belt. In vintage clothing or some formal occasion gowns, you can find belts inside the dress- sometimes a twill tape, sometimes an elastic band. You fasten the belt around your waist, then zip up. The belt functions to keep the dress situated firmly at your waist and to support the weight of the fabric, since vintage dresses were chock full of gathers and pleats and the modern wedding dress is often made of ridiculously heavy satin and boning and lining and interfacing and…whew, getting tired just thinking about it. It’s a great way to hold your dress up and more special gowns should have them, but since I was making a lightweight sundress, I skipped it.
Well, anyways, the dress went together without a hitch…until the morning of the wedding, when my machine decided to bird’s nest everywhere. Luckily, it was only the hem, so I threw up my hands, shouted “THIS WILL HAVE TO DO,” did the best I could, and put it on.
That’s when I realized the lining was rolling around everywhere, so I took a few small tacks and that fixed it.
I felt glorious in my dress. It fit beautifully, it sashayed around my hips like a vintage print cloud, and I had made it myself.
Then I realized the shoulders were too big. As in…they stuck up about two inches above my shoulders on their own kind of big.
If I stood up straight and didn’t move my torso, I was okay. The second I slouched or moved…bam.
So I got home, took off the dress, and said “Dress, I will come back to you later.”
Well, fast forward to February.
I work at a local Christian school, and for Spirit Week, everyone is encouraged to dress up. Everywhere! And heaven forbid I turn down an opportunity to dress up!
One of the days was character day, and after much deliberation (seriously, this was my very own Sophie’s Choice going on in here) I decided to be Ellie Frederickson from Up. So I pulled out my pretty Vogue 2960, altered the sleeves, fixed the hem, and there we go. To complete the Ellie look, I added a red cardigan (it’s February, man, it was cold!), the grape soda badge (borrowed from my mother), and red patent leather T-strap heels.
And also a petticoat. Because everything’s better with a petticoat.
(This was at the end of the day, so please forgive my disheveled appearance and teacher keys. This was post tutoring, seventh grade study hall, pep rally, and a dozen hyper first graders.)
And here’s a better look at the dress all on its lonesome!
(Oh, and I never did put buttons on it. Oops.)
Date Made: June 2011
Pattern: Vogue 2960
Fabric: white cotton print from JoAnn’s, white muslin from stash
Time: About three hours
Soundtrack: Mostly the Across the Universe soundtrack.
Things I Loved:
-The adorable fabric print. I’ve been tempted to make other things with this print…but how many vintage drape-print clothing items do I need?
-The simplicity. Most vintage-reprint patterns scare me a little, but this went together easily.
-I CAN WEAR IT WITH A PETTICOAT. POINTS FOR THAT.
Things I Changed:
-No inner belt
-No button front
-An exposed metal zipper on the back
-A full bodice lining instead of facings
-Stick with the bodice lining!
-I might give the button front a try.