Thursday, 24 January 2013

First make of the year

Drum roll please for the first completed sewing project of 2013.... ta dah!

It's certainly very ummm... paisley isn't it! Actually, I'm pretty pleased with this little number for a variety of reasons.

First, the pattern and fabric come from a batch of vintage goodies that a lovely colleague donated to me after clearing out the house of a beloved family member. My love of vintage is partly all about the continuation of something with a bit of history, and that sense of linearity is all the more special when there is a personal connection involved.

Second, the original 70s pattern (Style 3756) was sized for a 32" bust and needed some alteration to fit. I used the cut and spread method to add 1/2" width and height to the yoke and this also involved fiddling about with the sleeve heads (eek!). So, I was both slightly astonished and immensely pleased when it all worked perfectly first time without any extra adjustments needed. Result!

Third, I decided to line the dress to add some body and swing. This decision just happened to coincide with a silk sale at Oxford's favourite haberdashery. So, guess what, my paisley 70s smock is lined with the finest silk for a little bit of extra glamour (okay, so the glamour effect is slightly taken away by the woolly tights and legwarmer combo, but I know it's there!). I've not worked with silk before, and try to avoid light fabric if I can  (I'm a wimp that way), but was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was to work with - top tip though: a lovely sharp shiny new needle in your machine makes a world of difference!

Fourth and lastly, I added the bow as a little bit of contrast to all the swirly whirly stuff going on and made a last minute decision to stitch the bow bit of the bow (must be a proper name for that... loopy parts maybe??  No, that really doesn't work does it!) in place. I think it worked out okay.

So, despite the fact that the reaction from Mr Loulabelle to my 70s smock dress was a rather ungratifying "yes, it's rather smocky isn't it", I am pretty pleased with the number 1 make of the year and shall put myself at the top of the class!

PS: Apologies for the poor photo quality- the light has been pretty shoddy recently. I had to resort to an outdoor shoot and what you can't see out of shot in the first pic, is the piles of snow! Brrr, it was cold and clearly getting a good focus slipped my chilly mind!


  1. Very cute! I actually had that pattern many moons ago! Love the paisley fabric! How wonderful to find that vintage fabric. Not that often to do that. :)

    1. Thanks Anne - this is my first forray into a full on paisley garment, but I think I like it! Can you remember what you used for your version?

  2. What a wonderful result! I've actually recently bought a few vintage sewing patterns and am really looking forward to using them. I am also Oxford based and would like to ask you if you know of good places to buy fabric here, please?
    So glad I found your blog, will definitely come by more often

    1. Hi _cmcm_ it's great to hear from another Oxford stitcher!

      Darn it and Stitch on Blue Boar Street has a nice range of lovely cotton prints, but if you want a wider selection then I'd recommend Masons in Abingdon - it's a crazy jungle of fabric rolls and you might need to climb over the odd box or two, but I love it there!

    2. Thanks! I've heard of Masons. A friend of mine lives in Abingdon and keeps telling me to go there. It's just 20 min away by bus so I might give it a go :)



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