Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Vintage Sewing - McCalls 5885

And it is done!

I'm never very sure whether it is worthwhile to do a review of a vintage pattern. But here are the things I did/did not do/found interesting:

- I took 28 inches of the width of the back piece. See the picture of the back (below), and how gathered it is already? Picture it with 28 more inches. I would have looked like a ripe watermelon.
- The skirt was also ankle length. I ruthlessly chopped off the pattern - I'm afraid, with a bit too much enthusiasm. In a perfect world, this skirt would be 2 inches longer.
- I am not, even in vintage sizing, a size 14 on top. The bodice does not fit perfectly. However, since it was princess-seamed, I had not the slightest idea how to adjust, and instead took an inch of the side seam. The busy pattern hides a multitude of sewing and fitting sins.
- This pattern includes a single facing piece for the neck & arm - can I just rave about how much I love this approach, rather than fiddle around with bias binding to bind the armhole edges? Love. Adore. Big 4 patterns should bring this back.
- It is clearer on the pattern envelope, but the skirt isn't gathered all across the front, rather, there is a pleat, and gathers at the side. I like this touch - my tummy does not need gathers. (Well, neither does any other bit, really, but that's an entirely different story.)

Front, back & side views:

Styled a couple of different ways:

Some people can effortlessly carry off vintage clothing - I'm not one of them. My personal style is closer to Banana Republic or JCrew - simple lines, clean cuts. (Don't judge me by my sewing - what I sew is dictated by what I'm skilled enough to make.) The last vintage dress I made - I really liked for its clean lines and contemporary look. This dress is more obviously vintage/costume-y. It will get some wear and use, but I can't see it being my go-to dress.

Favorite bit - my invisible zipper - as close to impeccable as I've ever done. Least favorite bit - finding my ruffler foot *after* I'd painstakingly gathered and sewn the skirt. I hate gathers, I can't ever get them even.

Other boring details:

Fabric - I bought in WalMart in South Carolina, when visiting my brother. $2? $2.50 a yard. (I only buy the very cheap fabric at WalMart - why pretend that you are there for a reason other than the prices?) I haven't done a burn test, but I'd swear this is 100% cotton. And I'm desperately hoping it doesn't shrink, since I didn't prewash. I never do.
Time - Not hard to make, a couple of evenings? I'm a slow and distracted sewer, I'll be sewing a seam, then I'll get up to check mail - 2 hours later, I'll continue my seam - you get the picture. My time estimates are mostly meaningless.

What do y'all think? Too costume-y? Makes me look short and fat? Talk to me, people!


AllisonC said...

I think it looks great, it's good to experiment with a new shape now and again. I especially like it with the dark jacket/cardi?. You could also try it with a belt?

raven said...

I do really like how you played around with the different styles + I'm sure a nice belt as before mentioned or a beautiful cardigan would look great too. As you said - you picked a great print for this! Any problems of fit or construction you mention (ie. princess seams, they're kinda tough) are invisible + the colors in the print look fabulous with your skin tone. Even though it's sleeve-less, the style is really classy with the high neckline + gives you great shape minimizing the waist with the nice flair-out of the skirt at the bottom. Great for a spring lunch date with the girls, or an easy evening.
Lol, sorry so long, but I think it looks really nice on you. You did a nice job! Not too costume-y at all :)


Denise said...

Very pretty fabric and looks lovely on you.

Kristy said...

I love this dress, such cute fabric for a bargain price. The dark cardigan/jacket makes it look quite modern and not costumey at all

Anonymous said...

I think it's great! It's very cute and looks good on you. I personally like it with the cardi. It's perfect!

Jodi Wade said...

This is a cute dress!