Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Vintage Pattern Illustrations and Novelty Prints

I haven't been all that interested in the recent Vogue Pattern offerings, which is probably a good thing.  I have plenty of other patterns on hand to try, and they are taking over my sewing space.  And I definitely need a better storage solution, because the one pattern I want to lay my hands on is never anywhere to be found.  But I find it so very hard to part with any of them because I can see myself needing something similar in the future.  What I need is a pattern hoarding intervention.  

And I was doing so well on my pattern purchasing ban.  But then I caved and made an exception for Vogue 1696.

On a positive note, I actually managed to make up the pattern almost as soon as I got my hands on it.  And I am so very glad that I did.  I can say with certainty that I felt the most "me" I have in a long time getting dressed in a petticoat and putting a ribbon in my hair for the day.  It might seem trivial, but it's the little things that are getting me through this very bizarre experience we are all living through.  I have also taken to wearing lipstick each day, even if it might stain the inside of my face mask; because it makes a difference to me in feeling ready to face the day.  And I don't think I am the only one!

While sewing this, I was very curious to see how ribbon straps fed through the bodice neckline channels would actually work on a body.

There really is no way to know how this garment is going to feel until the ribbon is in place, which happens at the very end of construction.  I suppose you could mock up the bodice, but without the weight of the very full skirt, I don't think it would give an accurate read.

When I first tried it on, I was a little concerned that the straps were not going to stay put.  One thing I did was add a waist stay to make sure that portion of the dress was secure on the body.  It also helps to pull the ribbon a bit tighter than you think you want and re-adjust the neckline of bodice front and back once the ribbon is tied.

Having worn this dress for an entire day, I can say that I did not have any issues with having to pull at the straps.  

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you don't want to sit on or pull the ribbon ends - if that bow comes un-tied, the whole bodice is going to fall down to the waist.  You could certainly cut a shorter length of ribbon, but I rather like the drama of the ties falling almost to the hemline.

I previously noted that the pattern illustration must have influenced my color choices with this dress.  There is even a vintage photograph of what appears to be the same dress design, also with a turquoise hued ribbon.  I am sure that I have come across that photograph in the past, and perhaps it subconsciously suggested this combination of fabric and ribbon choice to me.

What I am certain of is the fact that I need more turquoise colored clothing in my life; and some turquoise shoes would also be lovely; and perhaps some turquoise jewelry.  It is absolutely one of my favorite colors! 

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 1696
Petticoat:  Made by me
Shoes:  Colin Stuart


  1. Gorgeous dress! You don't untie the ribbon to get out of the dress do you? If not, can you simply tack the tied ribbon so coming undone isn't an issue? Either way it's beautiful and dramatic!

    1. It zips up the back, so I never even thought about securing the bow. I think I could get in and out of the dress that way, but I do love being able to step into my dresses, so I'm not sure I would do that. But it's a great option if the ribbon starts to give me trouble.

  2. Do you experience "crinoline smoosh", after being seated, or toward day's end?

    1. This particular crinoline is made from a whole lot of nylon netting, so it doesn't really smoosh. And if I have to compress it in order to fit into my car, for instance, it bounces right back!

  3. Beautiful dress. And I also love your "Barbie" shoes!

  4. Gorgeous dress and I'm also wearing lipstick and mascara every day now as it makes me feel better. Karen

  5. Lovely dress - the pattern caught my eye so it's good to see how lovely it is once made. Question: Do you need to re-tie that ribbon every time you wear the dress?
    And as for the patterns - I bought a surplused four drawer filing cabinet to accommodate that ever-growing stash. It works so well, I kept buying - and had to rearrange the drawers because some were getting to full. Oops.

    1. For the moment, yes, I tie the bow each time I get in and out of the dress. The pattern calls for a center back zip, and if I untie the ribbon I can step in and out of the dress, not having to pull it over my head.

      Peter brought it to my attention that I could probably tack the bow in place (something that never even occurred to me!) but unless I have issues with the bow coming undone while being worn, I think I will stick with tying it each time.

      As far as pattern storage, I have dreams of finding one of those antique wooden pattern versions. Not that I have the room for another piece of furniture! But I would make it fit for one of those!!

  6. Magnificent! I truly love all your attention to detail right down to the seam binding. Prior to seeing the completed dress I wondered about putting small rope piping in the waist ribbon but when I saw the finished product I liked how the ribbon laid flat against the bodice. Absolutely beautiful!