Saturday, August 3, 2013

Look Ma, no directions!

This project is a first for me – working without instructions!

When I started garment sewing, I assumed there was only one way to construct a pattern.  I figured that the directions were there for a reason, and ignoring them would cause major problems.  What can I say, I was naïve.

Part of what makes garment construction so much fun for me these days is the infinite number of ways a dress can be put together.

So when I came upon this vintage pattern that did not include the instruction pages, I was disappointed to miss out on learning new techniques, but figured it would also be a great challenge.

The pattern is printed, and I have the cover art which gives me a good idea of what the dress should look like.

Unfortunately, the ebay seller's description failed to mention the missing and damaged pieces – which I find rather irritating.

The bolero front is torn and missing an important chunk.  Thankfully, I was able to piece together what the original looked like using the facing.  And the cuffs and another facing piece are completely missing.  I think I will be able to work around all of this, but I never would have purchased a pattern without directions AND pieces.  Which makes this a bit more challenging than expected . . .

Wish me luck!


  1. With your skills, you'll be able to make this dress work. Love the eyelet fabric you've chosen.

  2. I'm sure you will be able to make it work!
    However, missing and damaged pattern pieces are a problem. It's fortunate you did have that front facing or it would have been very difficult to reconstruct that bolero collar.
    I think it's very bad form for a seller not to list such issues.

  3. That is such a strikingly lovely fabric. I adore the rich, sweet raspberry juice hue and intriguing eyelet design to no end (the oval shape reminds me of classic cameo brooches).

    ♥ Jessica

    1. The first thing I thought of was a cameo! I originally thought I might embroider a few of the motifs, but decided to let the fabric speak for itself.

  4. Based upon your regular postings, it is highly doubtful you will need luck! You are extremely talented and skilled. I have learned from your techniques and thank you for that. I too now have an ongoing love for hug snug!

  5. The fabric is beautiful and looks perfect for the pattern. One of the reasons I like to buy FF, uncut vintage patterns (whenever I can) is to avoid missing pieces, which is so annoying! Looking forward to seeing your finished outfit.

  6. No instructions is one thing, but missing pattern pieces too? Yikes! I have complete faith in your ability to make this, though!

  7. Oh my gosh, I do wish you luck. While I rarely even open the instruction sheet on a modern pattern, I always read them carefully (and repeatedly!) on vintage patterns.
    I absolutely hate finding out there's a missing piece in a pattern, and it always seems to be that one special feature that I wanted. Last time it was a wing collar!
    I sell vintage patterns, and even though I comb through them very carefully, I still sweat bullets every time I send one out, hoping I didn't miss something!