Another work dress! This is a lovely pattern I've made before - Vogue 8811. Seriously loving it. This is my third version. And yes, this dress is a result of my annual leave sewing week.
It's the standard size 12 made with no pattern adjustments. The neckline facing was neatly top stitched, the sleeves and hem done by machine as well. The only scrap of hand stitching was the side zip. There is more stability and control when hand stitching side zips, especially when trying to match an unbalanced plaid! Oh, there is also an adorable thread loop and button at the back neck. Gorgeous vintage detail. My large button stash rewarded me with a perfect little lonely black button. I hope it enjoys its new life.
The fabric is a mid-range polyester thing from Spotlight. It's really pretty and it was lovely to sew. It has a rich navy base with dark greys, bright blues and deep reds through the plaid.
I tried to do some serious pattern matching - the centre front and back stripe, the top of the kimono sleeves, the bodice and skirt side seams... everything! What a slow process cutting out becomes when more attention is needed. To keep the centre stripe lined up on the bodice and into the skirt, the skirt had to be cut with a different grainline. That meant the skirt side seams were right through the bias. I would have finished this weeks ago through the annual leave week, but I had to let the bias settle. It ended up dropping 5cms through the sides over the course of 2 weeks! Glad I left it for as long as I did.
The shape of Vogue 8811 is so flattering and classic. It's perfect for work and pretty easy care. No difficult sleeves to press, no awkward darts to manage. Easy care is the focus of my handmade work wardrobe. The poly fabric means I can easily fold/roll/squeeze it into a suitcase and travel without an iron requirement.
By the way, I never put shoulder pads into my dresses - I have enough shoulders naturally!
Dress: Vogue 8811
Gold knot earrings: Lovisa
Shoes: Django & Juliette
Behold! My most recently completed sew. It's the Simplicity 1692 blouse reproduction from the 40s.
Usually I steer clear of Simplicity patterns, but this blouse goes alright. I cut and made the size 12 with no alterations. (I still have a partially embroidered toile of this pattern on my dress form right now to be finished soon.) I don't know if you can see but there are little pearl buttons on the shoulder and the stupid loops. Those loops took me 4 hours to turn through. Yeah, 4 hours. I was watching telly. After some internet stalking I found one version of this blouse where they used ric rac trim as the shoulder loops. Brilliant idea.
The blouse neckline is really pretty with the low narrow scoop at the front. The waist tucks means it sits nicely under skirts and pants. I even did a pretty great invisible zip in the left side! Kimono sleeves are the best kind of sleeves. I might make this blouse again. If I did it would probably be in a textured black something - like a seersucker? Or maybe even a draped velvet? That would be decadent.
The skirt is Simplicity 3766 from the 50s, a true vintage pattern. It's a perfect go to skirt with a grey-blue colour which is great for this navy based Japanese cotton lawn print. You may recognise the cotton lawn fabric from an early post about this 1940s Vogue dress. This little blouse was made from the leftover fabric. The pearl buttons were also in my stash. And I stole the invisible zip from mum. So... the blouse was free!
Blouse: Simplicity 1692
Skirt: Simplicity 3766
Brooch: Sarah Coventry from the Rock N Roll Markets
This dress was made in one day!
Well, it was cut out on a Friday night, and then sewn from beginning to end on the Saturday, worn on the Sunday. It has neckline facings, French darts on the front bodice, standard darts on the back bodice, a hand picked side zipper, a 'hug snug' bound waist seam and a thread loop at the back neck also done by hand.
All that aside.... LOOK AT HOW PRETTY IT IS.
The fabric is a navy blue based Japanese cotton lawn from Spotlight (available here). It is a delight to wear, especially in the Australian summer. Or more specifically, the Sydney summer. We've had on and off heat waves of over 40ºC over the past few weeks. This dress is a dream in those temperatures.
The high neckline is flattering and great for sun protection, same as the kimono sleeves. The tea length skirt keeps behind-the-knee sunburn at bay.
Have a look at the beautiful back detail. The handmade thread loop is a delicate touch, and I was lucky enough to have a perfect green button hiding in my stash. Vogue 8811 is such a simple and stunning pattern. If it's languishing in your stash neglected and unused, then pull it out and get sewing!
The only modification I made was to omit the kimono sleeve facings like I did last time. It adds extra bulk that isn't necessary. In fact, I did a narrow hem by folding up 1cm and pressing it, then folding the raw edge inside again so I have a 5mm narrow hem. It was fiddly but it's so light and delicate.
I also did a small horizontal line of stitching just below the peek-a-boo keyhole at the back. It's to keep the facing down and sitting flat at the bottom of the keyhole. The neckline facings are kept in place by stitch-in-the-ditch at the shoulder seams.
One more picture because the neckline is so pretty!
Dress: Vogue 8811, size 12
Earrings: Equip from years ago
Hair flower: Kmart
I made a hat. Well, I chopped a hat apart and then re-made it! It is the hat of my vintage dreams.
Emileigh Rogers has a great blog with this tutorial to create a gorgeous vintage style hat. It was really easy to do and took perhaps 15-20 minutes to complete.
First, I had to remove the black ribbon band so I could use it later on. Then I hacked the top from the brim, and then the very top part off as well. I went for about an inch of height at the crown of the hat.
The top was a bit smaller than the hole at the brim so I hot glued the inside hat ribbon to the top. It's a bit terrible, but got the job done!
The photo below show the new shorter height of the hat. I have to pin it to my head. I might experiment with combs, or even a cute ribbon to tie under my chin... something removable maybe. The flowers were lying around and I jammed them into the ribbon.
Having the flowers underneath are a winner! They are only in my hair, not attached to the hat at all. So cute. Bring on summer!
Flowers: Kmart years ago
Hat: from Big W here
This is almost a straight repeat of the previous outfit blog post. Hahaha. Grandma Chic at its best. Alas, no me-made items here. But I do have a few in the works which will hopefully be completed and blogged soon.
The skirt is from my local Vinnies. It's so similar to the green one I made and blogged about. This blue one has more pleats, but equally as lovely and easy to wear. A classic pleated skirt crosses several vintage eras. They can take you from the 20s a loose top/kimono and a belt through to secretarial 60s/70s. Then straight into the 80s/90s - when this skirt was born!
These blouses from Uniqlo Australia are getting such exposure recently. It's so easy to throw them on and go out the door. They dry fast, are easy to iron and fit my shoulders. That's three wins!
Blouse: Uniqlo Australia
Wedges: Target 2016
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.