Sgt. Pepper dress – finished!

Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - finished

Here she is, my finished Sgt. Pepper dress!  Only took me a month or so.  : )  Despite my lack of sewing time lately and the resulting slow pace of progress on this project, I’m actually quite pleased with how it all came together.  The print alignment turned out fairly well, and I’m really digging this late 60s inspired fabric.  Perfectly reminiscent of one of my favorite Beatles albums.  And check out the cat eye and huge mustache on the fabric (3rd row below the waistband) – how funky!  Love it.

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A super funky dress in the works, man

Cuttinig Sgt Pepper dress - fabric

After a really long and stressful week at work, including working on my birthday yesterday (which I hate doing!), I finally had a Saturday afternoon to myself to indulge in some much-needed sewing therapy.  And look at what found its way to my sewing table!  This EPIC FABRIC SCORE from Gather Here – a funky late 60s Alexander Henry print called “In Crowd.”

This fabric is so me – I loved it instantly.  It reminds me of the Beatles, only the later, drugged-out, hippie Beatles.  The soundtrack for this fabric is basically anything from Sgt. Pepper, but especially “Within You Without You,” one of my all-time favorite, super-trippy Beatles songs.  Hence the birth of the Sgt. Pepper dress.  Love it already.  : )

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Color inspiration… for another mod 60s dress?

McCalls 8680 vintage dress pattern - closeup

Now that my bright happy dress is complete, what’s next on my sewing table?  Perhaps this awesome mod 60s dress (McCall’s 8680) that I got in my Etsy vintage pattern splurge?  I love the green version on the right, and I’m thinking of maybe doing it with short sleeves for summer, keeping the stripes on the sleeve cuffs since they make me want to go back to the 1960s like right now.  : )

But… in what color(s)?  Choosing colors is the hardest part of sewing for me, and I tend to spend hours and hours musing over the possibilities… not to mention hours at Gather Here actually picking out fabric.  Below are my color ideas so far.  I’m excited about them!

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Bright happy dress – finished!

Bright happy dress - vintage Vogue 7298 - Boston harbor

The Bright Happy dress is complete, modeled with the scenic Boston waterfront in the background.  After so much saddening news coming out of Boston recently, I was happy to show off such a cheerful new dress on a beautiful spring day in the city.  What better way to bounce back than to frolic in the warmth and sunshine in a new handmade garment?  : )

Project stats:

Pattern: Vogue 7298 (vintage from the 1960s; now out of print) — same as my Mad Men dress

Fabric: Fiesta Firecracker by Alexander Henry; sash and lining are Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman

Modifications: Same as the Mad Men dress, omitted the white stripe, and added a sash at the waist

Level of crafty satisfaction:  Love it!  So bright and happy!! : )

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Mad Men dress – finished!

Mad Men dress - vintage Vogue 7298 - swish pose

I am thrilled to present my finished Mad Men dress (vintage Vogue 7298) – hands down my favorite sewing project of all time!  : )  It’s the perfect shade of purplish-pink!  It has a bold white stripe!  It’s from the 60s!  It fits perfectly!  Can you tell I’m excited???  : )

Project stats:

Pattern: Vogue 7298 (vintage from the 1960s; now out of print; purchased on Etsy)

Fabric: Purple exterior and pink lining: Kona cotton by Robert Kaufman; black and white lining: Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander

Modifications: Added a total of 2″ in length to the bodice (1″ just below the neckline to lengthen the armholes and lower the bust darts, 1″ just above the waist), took off about 3″ in width from the waistline, deepened the neckline and armholes by 1.5″ all around, shortened the hem to slightly above the knee, modified the stripe closure in the back to make it lay flat, added a full lining.

Level of crafty satisfaction: OMG I love it!!!

I had a great time with the photo shoot thanks to the self-timer on my laptop camera – hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did!

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Mad Men dress: more hand sewing

Mad Men dress - hand sewing the liningI’ve been slowly but surely plugging away on my purple Mad Men dress (vintage Vogue 7298).  I didn’t find much sewing time this week, but tonight I managed to finish hand-sewing the lining into the bodice.  I folded under the edges of the lining along the zipper tape and along the top of the skirt and tacked them in place using a simple mattress stitch.  Easy peasy! Continue reading

Mad Men dress: attaching a lining by hand

Mad Men dress - attaching lining at back neckline

How do you add a lining to a dress pattern that doesn’t include a lining?  By hand, of course!  Well, technically you could probably do it by machine via some serious head-scratching and “I’d-better-sew-everything-in-the-right-order” heart palpitations, but I opted to take the slow/easy route and do it by hand.  There are some great instructions in the Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing, which state that adding a lining by hand is a traditional tailoring technique and the “classic” way of doing it, so there you have it.  Who am I to argue with tradition?  : )

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Vintage patterns: Mad Men dress (in progress)

Mad Men dress - in progress - Vogue 7298

I’ve been awful about updating my poor little blog lately, but I’ve certainly been sewing up a storm!  My latest project is a vintage 1960s mod dress, Vogue 7298 (now out of print), which I’ve been affectionately calling the “Mad Men dress.”  Isn’t it fabulous?  I’m in love with that white stripe!  : ) Continue reading