not sure if i can introduce my next guest without gushing all over the place, so i’ll try to restrain myself. it’s rae of made by rae, and she’s pretty rad. i believe i discovered her during the very first “celebrate the boy” series that she co-hosts with dana, and i’ve been an avid (rabid?) fan ever since. she’s funny, she’s opinionated, and she can sew like the dickens! she makes fantastic patterns (i’ve used six of them and loved every single one), and aside from celebrate the boy, she also hosts an annual spring top sewalong and helpful learning events like the kniterviews. just go buy her flashback skinny tee pattern if you haven’t already, seriously. it’s a must for remixing – you’ll never have to create a bodice pattern again!
Hello skirt as top readers! I’m so happy I was asked to make something for the Vintage May series, it was just the excuse I needed to finish this 50’s-era dress for my daughter Clementine!
A couple years ago my mom gave me this vintage pattern in a toddler size 2 that had been passed down to her from my grandmother. I immediately fell for the cute design:
The trim! and the double-collar!! Trim always adds such a smart effect for very little effort.
When I started it last year (yes, yes, it actually got abandoned somewhere around putting in the invisible zipper), I was hoping it would fit Clementine, who was almost a size 2 at the time. Now, well…she’s nearly a size 3. But vintage baby patterns tend to run a bit wide and I used a 1″ hem instead of the 3″ hem (?!) built into the pattern pieces, and what do you know, it’s a perfect fit for this summer!
The dress is made with a lightweight bubblegum pink voile and white eyelet lace that reminds me of the stuff my sisters and I sewed on all of our doll clothes back in the eighties. Not sure how 50’s it is, and the color is pretty bold, so let’s call it a modern remix?
I feel like I’m the only person who feels this way because everyone seems to love the voiles but I find them a bit difficult to work with. For some reason I just can’t get nice crisp, smooth seams. They tend to pucker a bit even after they’ve been pressed. I ended up hand-sewing the hem and the neck and arm facings as a result. So she’d better wear this one is all I’m saying! But the weight is so lovely and light for summer, so don’t worry, I’m still glad I chose it. This dress might also look really incredible with a poplin or similar fabric that would really hold the shape well.
And what’s a vintage dress without a pair of bloomers to go with it? Those took less than a half hour to make and are totally worth it; bloomers are kind of like a pettiskirt, and they add a little lift to the dress which I love.
She seems to enjoy the bloomers on their own.
One final thing: I wanted to give you a quick look inside the pattern package. The diagrams are beautiful, as to be expected:
But one thing I wasn’t expecting was tissue paper pieces that were entirely un-marked, at least in the traditional sense:
These delicate pieces are marked by a series of perforations, which all mean different things: where you must mark the fabric for gathering and such, the edges where the pattern should be placed on the fold, and the direction of the grain. Very mysterious and a bit perplexing at first, but once I figured it out, it wasn’t a big deal.
I did trace each piece onto Swedish tracing paper (as you can see above) so I wouldn’t accidentally cut into or rip the original pieces when I was cutting out my pattern. An additional bonus: the pattern will last much longer.
Thanks so much for having me, Kristin! I hope you’ve all enjoyed the dress and the peek at this vintage pattern!