Last week I finished my new favourite dress for spring and summer: A light cotton dress, inspired by the style of the fifties. I found the perfect pattern for that beautiful fabric and had the chance to try out the automatic button-function of my sewing machine.
I just love vintage dresses. As a pattern I used the dress „Evelyn“ from the new magazine „Simply Nähen“. I don’t think that this magazine is available in other languages, so pattern and tutorial are only in german language. This dress is on the cover of the magazine and I fell in love with it already when I saw it in the store.
Last year in august i bought this beautifiul groovy fabric with the little music notes at a local store in Mannheim. I fell for that fabric instantly. The shop assistant asked me, if I played in a band. I told her that I have no talent at all for singing or playing and instrument, but I love listening to music – Mostly rock and heavy metal. So I bought that fabric – And I had no idea what to sew. I wanted something vintage, fifties, maybe a skirt or a blouson, but I couldn’t find a good pattern. Until I ran into that magazine with the perfect vintage dress for a light, soft cotton fabric.
This is my first pattern from the „Simply Nähen“-magazine. Mostly I sew Burda Style patterns, so I was curious how the pattern and the tutorial would be different from them. Before cutting the fabric, I read through the tutorial. What I liked mostly about it where the detailed explanations for each step. There are little hints, why certain steps have to be performed in a special way, that helped me a lot to understand, how the dress should be fitting in the end.
Unlike most blouses and jackets the collar on this dress should not be reinforced with vlieseline. That was new to me and I was not sure, if it would look good without any reinforcement. After discussing that problem in my favourite facebook sewing group I decided to add a very thin layer of vlieseline to the lower part of the collar. That gives the collar a little support, so it would grump but it kept it still light and flexible.
I wasn’t very content with the first result of the collar. It didn’t fit very well on the dresses neckline, altough it had exactly the size of the pattern, it was way too wide. On the picture in the magazine, the collar was not longer than the shoulder seams, but in reality the length looked quite different. So I removed the collar, cutted it a little and sewed it again. Suddenly everything about that collar fitted perfectly.
I use the Paff Expression 3.5. for most of my sewing projects. When I bought that machine, it came with the sensomatic buttonhole foot, a little part that makes buttonholes even easier than before. With that foot you just need to measure the length of the button, pin the foot in and the sewing machine will do the rest. Since I own that machine I was curious about that function, but never found the courage to try it, since I found it complicated to install. Sadly there a not many tutorials for this function on the internet for the Expression 3.5., so I had to find out how it worked by myself with the help of the machine’s manual. It was much easier to set up than I thought and I am very content with the results. The buttonholes are perfect, also easy and quick to make.
In this picture you can still see the little line I drawed with chalk on the fabric to mark my button line. I mark buttons normally with a little piece of thread, but I removed the thread before making the buttonholes, to avoid sewing it in there.
After finishing the bodice, I found the remaining steps of the dress quite easy. The sleeves are gathered a little bit to fit in the armholes. Sewing a heavier fabric, I would not have liked that, because it makes the hem of the sleeves stand away from the arm a little bit. But due to my light fabric, the sleeve just falls smooth on the arms and it looks good that way.
The skirt is also gathered together at the waistline and a rubber band is sewn into the inside. According to the tutorial from the magazine, the band should be sewn to the skirt afterwars. I skipped that step, because the plaids of the skirt look much better, when the are not fixed, it makes the skirt a little more swinging. So I just pinned the waistband on the side seams with a few stitches and left it that way.
I’m so happy about this dress and I’d love to wear it right now. Sadly, I actually don’t fit into it, because I’m still pregnant. So I will be posting some photos of me in that dress later, possibly in may or june. I also didn’t stitch up the seam of the dress, because I prefer measuring the seam length while wearing the dress.
In the spring time, I will wear a little black cardigan with the dress and some pumps or loafers. In the summer I will wear it with sandals. This dress looks best with a waistline belt, like the one in the picture. It looks like the dress is gathered together by the belt, but it is the elastic waistband on the inside of the dress indeed. This makes the belt always stay in the right position. Thinking about that, I will possibly add some invisible belt loops on the side hems, to prevent the belt from slipping up or down while moving.
When I finished the dress, there wasn’t much fabric leftovers. It was barely enough for this little dress and a bow for the matching headband. The pattern for the dress is the „Peasant dress“ from Sew much Ado, it’s a free pattern. There wasn’t enough fabric to make the bodice of the dress in one piece, so I seperated it in two and added some ruffles at the seamline. When I was finished I decided to use the very last piece of fabric for an accessoire and made a little headband with a bow. For sewing that bow I looked at this great tutorial for fabric bows on Youtube, it is really very easy.
I’m so excited on how this will look on my baby girl and I hope it will fit soon.
Do you have any questions about this dress? Or did you already make a similar vintage dress? Feel free to write a comment or visit me on facebook or instagram.