Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Remnant challenge wiggle dress


I've really enjoyed participating in the Historical Sew Fortnightly this year, but I hate that it limits my time for retro sewing.  I'm trying to sneak in a few quick and easy retro projects every once in a while to give myself a break and a dash of something different.  It might mean that a HSF challenge doesn't get finished on time (like my Pretty Pretty Princess dress, which I'm horribly behind on), but giving myself some time away from the HSF stuff is helping me keep my sanity, and that's a good thing too.  :)

So when one of my favorite local fabric stores, Fabrique, recently announced that they were going to do another remnant challenge, I snatched up a small piece of midnight blue linen and decided to make myself a 50's wiggle dress.  The whole dress was made with less that 1 and 1/8 yard of fabric, which I am really proud of.  Laying out the pieces to make the best use of the fabric was almost like doing a big jigsaw puzzle, and it was SO satisfying when I finally figured out that I could make it work.

The pattern is cloned from a vintage dress that I bought a few years ago for a few bucks.  The sewing thread was completely rotted on the dress, so it literally fell apart on my body when I tried it on.  I took the whole thing apart and thought I would re-sew it, but when I noticed that there were a lot of moth-holes and stains on it too,  I decided to just use the pieces to create a copy of the original.  And as a fun bonus, I was able to wear this dress as a visual aide for a class that I taught this past weekend about cloning historical garments.

The original dress has some really cool seam-lines, including a shelf bust and an odd little panel over the belly that connects to the skirt.  I wanted to bring these elements out as a more obvious design feature, so I added a lighter blue wool piping to all the seams.  I think it ended up looking really modern and almost futuristic because of the unusual construction.  I mean seriously - horizontal pleats across the ribcage?  Where the heck did that come from?  But even though this dress is a bit strange, I think it's a fun combination of retro without looking old-fashioned.








11 comments:

Quinn said...

The dress look great! And so does your hair! Really, I think your hair might take the cake. :)

Best,
Quinn

April Gill Gunter said...

You look so cute!

sewphisticate said...

That is fabulous! And what a great shape on you! Hubba-hubba!

Emily said...

Oh, I love this dress, it is gorgeous - as well as the way you styled your hair. Great!

motorharp said...

Wow, neat dress! And less than 1.125 yds is astounding!

Caitlin said...

I love the addition of the piping. Highlighting the lines makes it look atomic!

Emileigh Mimi said...

That looks so cute! The fit is just great; awesome job!

harmanhay said...

Wow! That is a really interesting cut indeed, and you look amazing! Well done!

Gina said...

What an adorable dress! You look so very lovely!

Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying your blog -- your projects are inspiring, and I really enjoy your creativity -- even though I am not much of a sewing person myself.
Amy in Tampa

The Dreamstress said...

How adorable! What a great dress!

I have to admit, though I am the cause of my own distress, that I miss having time for all the littler projects. Between the sewing I have to do for teaching and the HSF, I feel like I don't have to time to even replenish the basics in my wardrobe, much less make anything more elaborate.

And yet, I'm still glad I embarked on this!

Post a Comment