July 27, 2015

Where it's #vintagepledge in polka dots

Hello there.
New week new energies to spend. This is hopefully going to be a good one. I've always been one to love Mondays: new prospects, new hopes, new planning...
Today is a special Monday for me, because it's D-2 to meet my Chéri again, after one and a half months apart. We'll meet in Rome and then spend a little less than one month travelling around Italy. We'll be at home but it's going to feel like holidays. Anyway, this dress is going directly into the suitcase:

It's my first make for #vintagepledge of 2015, and I completed it a couple of months ago. Since then, I've been wearing it regularly. The pattern is Modes et Travaux n.1176, and as usual I am having a hard time to understand which decade it is. From the styling I guess something around late 1980s or 1990s, but I can totally be wrong. Correct me if you have more informations or more pattern-dating skills.

I can easily say that is one of my favourite dresses ever. I liked the design since the beginning and then I've come to love it even more after all the details I hid into it: a lot of topstitching and a lot of satin bias binding, all handsewn. The inside is definitely more interesting than the outside.

The only thing I didn't make is a matching belt. I have the fabric to make it, and I have an idea in mind, but I started wearing the dress with a belt I already had and lost the motivation to make a dedicated one. Maybe one day. I think it is cute even without belt, but it is designed to have one and kind of looks incomplete without it.

Left: no belt. Right: with belt

The main feature of the design is the collar, with its sailor vibe. It is the collar which inspired the colour combination of this version. Maybe one day I will make this pattern again in a drapey silk and it will be very different, but the present version is perfect for summer and for my wardrobe.

I like a lot how the bodice is gathered under the collar both at the front and at the back. For this simple gathering it was quite easy to fit, since it has a forgiving shape with a lot of ease. I like that it looks fitted at the waist but remains quite puffy at the back and at the hips.
The construction was quite interesting: the front has separated pieces for bodice and skirt and the back is all one piece. You sew everything apart from the collar, which is eventually assembled to the rest with the visible topstitching. 

The fabric was a present from Chéri: last October he went to visit some friends of him in Bristol and dragged them into the fabric store to choose this very fabric. Imagine four non-sewing guys looking for fabric. Isn't he the sweetest?
Anyway, the fabric is a nice light cotton, printed in the tiniest polka dots, white on blue. Difficult to capture in pictures, but nice. I decided to emphasize the sailor look with red topstitching and big red vintage buttons I bought at the flea market here in Toulouse.

It is a wrap dress but I actually always leave it closed since I can wear it as it is, and I don't like to mess with my fragile buttonholes.
The pattern modifications I made concerned the collar and the waist, and shortening the hem. At the waist I added several cm. to comfortably host my characteristic belly; given the forgiving design with a lot of ease I could have maybe forego this step, but I wanted to be on the safe side.
For the collar, I had to widen the internal curve of 2-3 cm. to host my neck, and maybe I could have done a little more: as you can see from the picture it still lays a bit too much on my neck. Next time.

When I started working on this dress I muslined also sleeves, but then decided to go for the sleeveless version, and finished armholes with facing. I enjoyed sewing this dress, because I took my time and splurged on hidden details. Now I am enjoying wearing it because it is the perfect everyday dress with enough coverage but cute finishing, and I always get a lot of compliments for it. It makes me feel like a total vintage babe! French people often say that it looks perfect for my chic Italian style. Let's see what Italian people will think of it in a few days.


  1. This is so cute! Love it! I'm enjoying reading your summer makes 😊

    1. Thank you Margaret! I'm just back from holidays, and I'll resume publishing my makes soon enough :)