Friday, 22 April 2016

Spiffing Tea Dress

So, last year was a time to discover vintage festivals and events and, as such, there obviously needed to be relevant things to wear to said events.  

The event in question for this blog post was The Chap Olympiad  - a thoroughly silly, err, I mean spiffingly eccentric, British do held in one of London's oldest squares at the height of the English summer.  Everyone attending uses the occasion to show off their best vintage style, from Edwardian ladies to dapper gents with handlebar moustaches and much cream tea and champagne is scoffed and quaffed.

Naturally,  I needed an appropriate outfit, and found it with Burda Style . The design lent itself well to the shape I was looking for, as I was after some kind of 30s style tea dress and, apart from a small sleeve adjustment, which I drafted using the assistance of Metric Pattern Cutting, it was pretty much the pattern as was in the book.

The fabric I used was a floral chiffon I had previously purchased in Athens so it was a stashbust. 

It was easy to alter the straight sleeve - the bottom right pic shows the original sleeve and finished sleeve shapes. I also extended the sleeve to make it longer. I cut the bodice on the straight grain and as I had enough fabric, cut the skirt on the bias to give a more 1930s drape.  

It was a fairly easy make, apart from the  fact that handling chiffon is always a bit of a faff. However with some French seams sorted fraying issues and I soon had the pieces put together and fitting well.

Triming the seam ready for "frenching"

If I have any minor complaint/future amend for this pattern it would be that I would slightly alter the front where the neckline meets the bodice as it gaped slightly, but nothing I couldn't fix with a brooch. 

I was pleased with the finished result though and , thanks to the British weather, it was perfect for the scorching hot day.  

So there's my tea dress dress attempt. Teamed with a vintage feather hat I felt suitably vintage enough.  Now here's a couple of pics of the silliness......

The Olympiad Stadium

Even more silliness.

Drinking champagne and being silly is very tiring.

So there you have it.  A very vintage dress for a very British day..

Why don't you make a vintage dress and book your place at the Chap Olympiad? This year's Chap is on 16 July so there's still time if you get sewing.

Details.  I used about 1.5m of 160 wide chiffon georgette.

Cost: really can't remember but it's bound to have been an Athens bargain.

Happy sewing

Linda xx


Monday, 4 April 2016

Fabric and Vintage Style Ready - Check

Sometimes find a bargain and other times you find a real bargain.  I'm sure you've guessed by now that this is what happened to me and you'd be exactly right. 

Well the vintage style is almost always ready but this time the fabric was ready for a long time before I decided what to do with it.

The fabric in question is a black yellow and white madras check lightweight taffeta purchased from one of my fave fabric bargain shops, somewhere on Kalamiotou, Athens.  It was a last minute purchase and and on at the princely sum of 2 euros per metre - so I took 3 metres.

It sat for many months in the stash until I realised I needed a new dress for The Pinup Picnic in the Park,  a wonderfully English summer occasion organised by the The British Belles last June. 

As I'd been going full steam ahead on my self drafted strapless bodice I decided to use the taffeta in the same style with a full skirt for a vintage halter neck swing dress.  

It's a good job this fabric came in at a bargain, not because I fouled up, but cos it was a mare to sew, with a high  frayage factor. Add to this the tissue weight lightness and it wasn't the easiest of makes.  

Being the sewing soldier that I am, I trundled on and it was a good job I'd had experience with my pattern which meant there were no nasty surprises.

I think the end result looks pretty passable, even if I didn't line up those little checky guys!

So off I went on a flaming hot day in June up to Marble Arch where I met up with a gaggle of vintage goodness including the delightful Miss Amy May of Miss Amy May  pinup fashion and style expert. Lots of me mades there. We had such a wonderful picnic.

I met some fabulously wonderful vintage loving ladies and we were so lucky with the sunshine, I'm it was the hottest day of the year and most of us ended up trying to find some shade.

As you can see, everyone got in the party  mood. 

I'm not sure how many times I'll get to wear this dress, however, at 6 euros, I'm not counting the cost per wear.  It was just nice to do another version of my self draft in a different fabric.  

So, what to take from my post .......

You can take one pattern and make it in many different fabrics and you'll truly get a different garment every time.  So..... Give it a go.... Self draft or ready made pattern, one way or another you'll get some success. 


Fabric:  3 metres of 150cm wide taffeta at 2 euros per metre from Athens. 

1/2 metre lining


Get going.... 

Happy sewing 

Linda xx