Finished: Liberty at Last Dress for #vintagepledge


Sometimes when I see all the fab garments being made by sewing bloggers using 'hot off the press' patterns from independent pattern companies, I feel a bit left out. I can't keep up with that sewing pace and can't justify buying more patterns either. My sewing output these days is much more focused and considered than it once was - I spend a lot less time sewing and more time thinking about what I want/need to make.
 (Really should have moved that abandoned pushchair, It adds an unintended melancholy edge to the photo...)

All in all I'm happy about that as I've been finally getting around to using some nice fabrics from my stash and breaking out my pattern stash - including the vintage. The great thing about the #vintagepledge challenge is that everyone is united under the banner of sewing vintage together, you have a whole year to do it and you can sew whatever you like. I blogged last year about wanting to sew this dress and so I am delighted that it fits perfectly into the challenge.

This is the first pattern from my pledge:

Simplicity 7578 - "MISSES DRESS OR JUMPER: Top stitch dress or jumper gathered to yoke has collar, armhole bands, tie belt and front snap closing above pleat."

I do love a good vintage pattern. And this 1970s Simplicity number was indeed a good pattern. Let's focus on some of the nice features - the top stitching, short kimono sleeves with band of contrast fabric, the cute rounded collar and the central pleat. I have to admit I hadn't even noticed the pleat and collar shape until I started cutting out the pattern but I was delighted. I love these little features that make the dress stand out.

The name of the dress refers to the fact that I have at long last broken out some precious Liberty fabric which I have had in my stash for a couple of years. I only needed a little bit,and as the bulk of the fabric is intended for another garment, I decided to cut out that project in order first to be sure that cutting a few pieces for this dress wouldn't leave me short.
The navy fabric used I bought during the sewing meet up in Glasgow at the beginning of February. It is a navy cotton with a slight stretch. A nice fabric but it attracts and shows hairs and fluff like you wouldn't believe plus it loves to wrinkle. I wanted to make a classic, basic style dress but was concerned that the navy might look a bit uniform-like. I tackled this by using the Liberty for the sleeve bands and for the reverse of the belt. This way, the belt would show a pop of pattern if worn with the navy side out ir it could be worn pattern side out too.

And of course, there's the top stitching. I threw myself in 100% by using a bright contrasting colour and getting proper top stitching thread. The stitching is so obvious that any little wobbles stand out, and though I do have some, I can live with them. It really sets off the dress.

I didn't make much in terms of changes - added a little to the upper back and then curved in the side seams at the waist by a fair amount is it was previously pretty much sack-like. It would NEVER look like the unbelted illustration on the pattern envelope left as it was, but I was happy with the result of some shaping.

Sans belt

There are no zips on the dress, it's just a 'pull over your head' number and you use snap fasteners on the front placket.

I'm happy with the finished dress and think it will look nice with skin colour tights as well as with black tights. In fact it would probably look good with bright red tights too. I'd definitely make it again, either in a plain colour again or in a fabric with a small pattern, like a polka dot or similar.

And now I've got the first of my 3 #vintagepledge items under my belt too!

K x

Sorry for the quality of photos in this post - I tried on two different days so it's either dull & inside with dress ironed or too bright & outside with dress crumpled

52 comments:

  1. That is such a great pattern, the liberty fabric is a really nice detail :)

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    1. Thank you, it turned out to be a great way to show off just a little bit of fabric

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  2. Lovely dress. Combining the navy and liberty fabric looks great!

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    1. Cheers, I'm very pleased with the combination

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  3. This is gorgeous Kerry! The navy & liberty combination looks very classy & it's great to see this pattern made up. I'm still considering buying it but, like you I have so many patterns already & so little time to sew!

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    1. Thanks Kathryn, I'm really pleased with it. I know what you mean about too many patterns though...

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  4. That looks great on you! It is definitely a "good" vintage pattern - interesting without being stuck in a time warp. And I love your use of the Liberty and red topstitching. Red tights - yes!!!

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    1. Right, I've really got to search out some red tights! I do have red clogs I can wear with it in the meantime which will definitely support the 70s vibe :)

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  5. Love this! There's no point in trying to sew all the hot new patterns. You'd be sewing at breakneck speed constantly panicking about getting your version out there before the next hot pattern is released :-)

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    1. Thanks Amy, I do have my eye on one particular pattern due to be released soon but that's it, I've been very restrained...

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  6. Ooh this is lovely, I do like a nice practical dress! :)

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    1. Thanks Elise, I love a good day dress too

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  7. Beautiful dress! Don't worry about trying to keep up with the crowd! You love what you make, that's the important thing. That's why we sew, right?

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    1. You're right Donna, better to focus on making things you love and that are right for you

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  8. This looks so great! The navy is perfect for this dress. Nice :)

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  9. Looks lovely, especially that pop of liberty!

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    1. Thanks, it's a nice way to use just a wee bit of fabric

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  10. Very nice, and glad you broke that Liberty out :o)

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    1. Me too, it had been waiting patiently in my stash for too long...

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  11. i love this dress. its beautiful.

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  12. Eep! I had that pattern! I am sure I made it too in my early teens, I love it!

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    1. It looks very familiar to me too! Sob, I'm vintage. Anyway it looks lovely on you, kestrel. I think mine was in slate blue and I wore a cream silk blouse under it.

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    2. I love that this pattern is sparking a few memories! Love the sound of slate blue too

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  13. Eeep, love it Kerry! A very classy way to kick off your #vintagepledge indeed! I've added you to my Pinterest board and will be including in my next roundup of course ;o) http://www.pinterest.com/stitchodyssey/vintage-sewing-pattern-pledge/

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  14. Love this dress, the red topstitching looks amazing! I really should make some of my vintage patterns instead of buying new ones...

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    1. Thanks Alison, the top stitching was hard work but worth it. It's hard to resist some of the lovely new patterns isn't it?

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  15. This dress is one of my most favourite things you've made! It looks fabulous on you and the red topstitching and Liberty fabric look amazing!

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  16. Vintage, but timeless at the same time. You did a great job. Especially the top stitching. The style suits you to a "t".

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    1. Thank you, it's the most top stitching I've ever done and it was done very carefully! :)

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  17. Looks great, Kerry! The lines of the dress really complement you :)

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    1. Cheers Jill, I do love the shape of it

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  18. This is so cute on you! What a fun dress!

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  19. I love it!! I used to have a dress almost identical when I was about 8. Mine was chocolate brown with floral accents. I love that your dress has brought all those memories back - gee I loved that dress :)
    I really like all the top stitching you've done, but my favourite part is the double sided belt - super!

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    1. Aw, I love that it reminds you of a favourite dress. I'm pretty chuffed with the belt too :)

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  20. I remember you showing me the pattern and buying the fabric at the meet up. Glad you managed to get round to it, it's fab! I think the little Liberty touches, plus the top stitching really make it! The belt in particular is genius. I like that you can choose which side to wear showing. I'm sure this will be a really useful summer dress! X

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    1. Thanks Helen, I'm looking forward to wearing it in some nice summer weather

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  21. love the liberty and the red top stitching! and there's nothing wrong with being more considered with your makes - do we really need to buy the new indie pattenr or it is similar enough to something we have made before and already spent time fitting? sewing smarter!

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    1. Yes, sewing smarter is indeed very important

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  22. What an adorable dress and cute fit. I especially love the sleeves.

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    1. Thanks Kelli, I'm really pleased with it

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  23. Very cute and I love that red top stitching. You made it look like a modern garment despite using a 40 year old pattern! Nice.

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    1. Thank you, that's the look I was going for, I wanted it to be modern and wearable

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  24. This turned out so well. I especially love the shape of the collar highlighted by the topstitching.

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    1. Thanks Philippa, the collar is a lovely feature :)

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  25. I msut admit I've got a couple of new patterns lately which I've been eager to try out, but I think that I've got quite a stash of patterns together now and some of the tiem I look at other ones and think that they're too similar to one I already own, or they're different, but not really somethign I would wear. Sewing smarter is definitely better, particularly when time is limited. I'm also going to make the effort to use what fabric I have stashed before buying any more.

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    1. It's nice to have a rifle through the stash and be able to put together something new using what you already have

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  26. This is really gorgeous Kerry! Such a practical dress, and so stylish too! You look great in this style! x

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say