Monday, October 24, 2011

I was thinking of keeping this project top secret...

... but I'm not very good at keeping secrets!

For those that don't know I entered a competition called Miss Pinup Australia, and I am a NSW finalist for Miss Classic Pinup. This competition has required me to buy a lot of vintage clothes and things for each of the categories I have to participate in - Day wear, Swim wear, Lingerie, and Evening wear as well as a talent. Luckily I already had this ballgown

This gorgeous confection was made by Emma Domb and it dates back to the 1950s and it was in pristine condition when I got it. It had a bit of an odd smell, but no rips or tears in the skirt that I could find. It now has a couple though after the outing it had to a ball where the above photo was taken. Going up and down stairs in this thing is a nightmare let me tell you!


I realised that for Miss Pinup Australia I really wanted to have a reveal moment for this beautiful, special gown and because its a difficult colour to match (much more orange than shown above) I figured I had no chance of finding a vintage one the right colour. So I thought I would put my sewing skills to good use and make one!

My mum had an early 1960's pattern for a long coat with a decent size sweep at the bottom which I thought would do if I changed the button arrangement, and shortened the sleeves to bracelet length. Here it is, almost complete

See how much more orange the dress looks in natural light!

I found some lovely pale gold curtain fabric, and some lovely slightly darker gold heavy satin to line it with. This will work well with the other accessories I have (pale gold shoes, and pale gold elbow length vintage gloves). Althought it doesn't look awesome together in this photo its not so bad in person.

I also had to put more fullness in the 'skirt' of the coat. It looked like it had plenty of sweep on the pattern envelope, but I had to add about 1.5 metres to make it big enough to fit the dress. It now has a bottom hem of over 3 metres (120 inches).

I haven't put the buttons on yet. I'm going to do self covered buttons, one on each side up near the neck with a loop closure. The dress will show a little bit when I walk, but you won't see the whole thing until I take the coat off, which I have to work out how to do elegantly. Did I mention how heavy the coat is!

All in all I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. At times its been a difficult journey and if I hadn't needed it for the competition in three weeks I would not have finished it. Lets hope it does the job on the night!

Thanks for reading.

Beccie xx

Monday, October 17, 2011

And the Sheet Dress makes its debut...

... at a Vintage Fair no less!

And it got a very good response I must say! I overheard several people talk about my outfit as I shopped, and I even had a lovely couple of ladies stop me to ask about my outfit. The conversation when something like this:

Ladies : Wow, thats a lovely outfit, where did you buy that from?
Me : Oh, thank you, I made it actually.... from a sheet
Ladies : From a what? Really?? Wow, you did a great job, you must be a really good seamstress!
Me : Well, no, I've only been sewing for about 6 months...
Ladies : hahaha are you serious, the fit is impeccable, you've done a great job! Can we take your photo?
Me : Sure! (poses in a pinupy way)
Ladies : Well, you might not have been sewing long, but you are obviously very creative. What do you do for a living?
Me : I'm an accountant...
Ladies : No! - thats hilarious! hahahahaha
Me : I know, I'm very left brain, right brain conflicted.
Ladies : You are! I can't believe you made that from a sheet! I will never look at the sheets at St Vinnies in the same way again!

A few more pleasantries were exchanged, but that was about it, very funny I thought, but it left me feeling really good about myself, my outfit, and my sewing ability - thanks random ladies!!!

Now, I was sewing another dress at the same time as this one, and I have yet to finish the pink and green dress... its almost there but I have to put it aside to finish a VERY IMPORTANT and VERY URGENT job... but I promise I will finish it, because its very pretty.

Thanks for reading!