Monday, April 19, 2010
First early 60s Sheath Dress
Recently I rediscovered the vintage patterns I had been collecting since I was 17. It used to be an impressive collection but after many moves the pieces dwindled to 10 or so patterns. I had never really attempted to complete any of the projects until I pulled out my vintage 401A sewing machine.
I hadn't realized that my machine was so old. My mother had given it to me so I assumed it was from the 70s. I finally researched the machine and found that they were mostly manufactured in the late 1950s! It was my grandmother's machine. I have never met her as she passed away when my mother was in her early 20s.
I love this machine! It is 22 lbs but so sturdy, although I admit I need to take it in to get some of the dials unstuck, other than that it is perfect.
I set to work on my first vintage dress. I decided to do a wiggle dress from the early 60s. I set to work by creating my first muslin mock up. What a brilliant revelation! It makes so much sense to do this rather than ruin such lovely fabric.
I created this dress with burlesque in mind so I added a longer zipper that unzips from the bottom and has snaps on the shoulder for easy removal. I also created a matching tilt hat which I learned how to make in a millinery class from Vienna La Rouge, a burlesque performer in San Francisco.
Here is a close up of my tilt hat with added fabric roses, veiling, and feathers. It was a lot of fun to make and at this moment is one of my favorite hats.
To make the dress I used a patterned satin fabric that is sheer beige with velvet roses. I lined the dress with a lovely shade of red and added red bias tape to the edges of the sleeves and neckline. I also added decorative tassel so that it is easier to zip off during my act.
These pictures were take by POC Photo and are the finished product!