Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Birthday Party Dress


Finished! Woop woop! The pattern is McCalls 6120, but I don't know what date it's from as I can't find it on the Vintage Sewing Pattern Wiki - any ideas? 1960 maybe? I'm calling it The Birthday Party Dress - it's not my birthday and I'm not having a party, but for some reason wearing it makes me feel like a precocious girl itching to get to the party and do the mashed potato.


Man, it feels so great to have another vintage sewing project under my belt. And a red bow belt at that! Made from leftover fabric from my Ceylon dress.


The project came together pretty easily, up until the point when I came to insert the zip in the back and noticed a freak 2 inch discrepancy on each side between the centre back of the bodice and the centre back of the skirt - see above. I couldn't understand this as I'd folded the pleats quite accurately. Maybe it's a feature of inserting a lapped zip? But it didn't make any sense to me, so I had to perform some jiggery pokery on the pleats to pull the skirt edge in to meet the bodice. And after that I couldn't face the pressure and confusion of the lapped zip instructions with all its references to laps, flaps and semi-flaps, so I stuck to what I knew and went with a centred zip. I know, I know, living on the edge!


I learnt how to make pleats! The toil involved in these babies made me feel extremely guilty about the fact that, when I was at secondary school, my mum used to tack - yes, tack - the pleats of my school uniform skirt up every Sunday night before ironing them. Sheesh! She really shouldn't have bothered, particularly because as a teenager experimenting with ways to attract boys I'd roll my skirt half way up my thighs anyway, thus ruining the pleats and my mum's hard work. Oops.


I particularly like the bow belt and am planning on making another one in the yellow floral fabric leftover from my first dress to give it another look.

[Soundtrack: 'Party Lights' by Claudine Clark]

56 comments:

  1. LOVE it! What a fabulous dress! It looks great! You'll have to do a belt tutorial as I would love to make a belt like that!

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  2. Awesomeness! Love it. Awesome work and I like the fact that it has it's own accessories collection coming on! xxx

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  3. Oh, how do you do it? Those lovely pleats, and such a clean, feminine style -- so appropriate for your elfin, Audrey-esque beauty. This outfit will turn heads! Well done!

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  4. That is soooo gorgeous. I love the simplicity of the colour scheme, it's striking. The bow belt is cute and it really accentuates your tiny waist. A definite success! I hope you feel pretty all day wearing it.

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  5. ((((((((((mom)))))))))) for the tacking of your pleats as a youngster. OMG!!! that is above and beyond the call of mother duty!!

    Love the dress. You look gorgeous in it!! The belt is the perfect accent that makes it just spectacular!

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  6. what a lovely dress - I love the belt too! It's such a classic style, it will look great for picnics or shopping...anywhere : )

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  7. What a pretty dress, I love how the red pops against the blue!

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  8. That is SUCH a darling dress! Great work!

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  9. Fabulous! I love your red lips with the red belt. You look like a birthday present with that bow. :)

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  10. It fits so beautifully across your shoulders - which ought to be a "given" but it's not! Lovely! I had forgotten about tacked pleats... yes my mum did that too!

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  11. It's gorgeous! I love the added touch of the red belt.
    Trudy
    www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

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  12. No.......... Is the best vintage dress I have ever seen. I'm in love with it.. Tooooo!!! <3<3<3<3

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  13. I've just gone through several of your older posts. Love your blog and decided to add you to my blog roll and follow you so that I can keep up with you.

    Trudy
    www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

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  14. The dress turned out beautifully!! I had the same freak 2 inch problem on a dress I made up earlier in the year. How does it happen? Your solution was probably better than mine: I just folded back the fabric!

    Great job.

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  15. Gorgeous! The bow belt is like the one I had on my wedding dress!

    I'm tempted to book up for a class at Oh Sew in Brixton, would you reccomend it?

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  16. That's adorable, Tilly! The red bow is the perfect touch.

    And I know you said it wasn't your birthday, but as much as the dress makes you itch to go to a party it makes me itch to wish you a happy one anyway. :)

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  17. What an adorable dress! I love the combination of navy and red, the pleats are darling... total win^^!

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  18. Super super cute! That came out great! I love it. I think the red bow is perfect, but I love the idea of making several other bows in different colors to switch it up a bit.

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  19. Love it!! The red bow belt is the perfect finishing touch. What a gorgeous dress!

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  20. The red bow is just darling! Love your MOJO :)

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  21. What a well-made dress from a beautiful pattern! How do you get your stuff to fit so well?

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  22. Lovely dress, I like the simple style and it fits you very well... can I say I also love your shoes?

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  23. That's a gorgeous dress! And it is beautiful on you.

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  24. It's such a beauty! I'm impressed (it's not that long ago you showed us your first self-made dress!?) and also envious of it, because I want to own this dress myself... The pleats look so great, and the belt... what a belt! Excellent!

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  25. Adorable! I love the belt so much. It's very classy, and the red/navy colour combo is spot on! Nice job :)

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  26. Such a great dress, outfit, photos, and everything. Getting a wee bit jealous. here;-) No, seriously - great job!

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  27. Stunning! I love the mix of blue and red. The dress looks amazing on you. I want a bow belt now too! What a great way to use up leftover material.

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  28. I love this dress! I must have one. A lapped zipper is actually built into the 5/8 seam allowance (I have a tutorial about it on burdastyle) but I've noticed this happens a lot in vintage patterns with fuller bottoms. It might have been in case things didn't quite fit so you just let out something in the bottom?

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  29. Gorgeous! So flattering: the neckline, the sleeves, the pleats, the color. Great job, Tilly!

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  30. It's stunning! I'd buy a dress like this any day :) It's the perfect shape and sooo pretty. I smiled when I read that your mum tacked your pleats when you were a child, hehe.

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  31. Tilly you look so pretty! I love the bow belt - I'd love a tutorial, pretty please!

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  32. You have a great fit on that dress - Cute as... pass the birthday cake!

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  33. Very cute, fits you perfectly.

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  34. Oh my gosh. so cute and suits you so well. the colours are perfect!

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  35. Love the classic color palette. Great job!

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  36. This is so stunning! Great work :D

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  37. Oh it's so lovely and you look like such a happy sweetheart in it, the belt really brings it to life too

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  38. Gorgeous!!! I love, love, love it! And your red lipstick too :)

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  39. This is SO lovely. I'm rather jealous - I want it for my closet! Do you think you'll make the long-sleeved version?

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  40. Gracious! How beautiful - I'm completely smitten with that style, and the color looks great on you. I wish I could wear blue.

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  41. Gorgeous dress! The color and style is stunning on you!

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  42. Tilly, that dress is SPECTACULAR! I feel it would look especially gorgeous with one of those Joan Holloway pen necklaces (which I have desperately wanted for years but do not seem to exist except for Joan) :(

    That bow belt makes it look particularly cute :)

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  43. oh i LOVE that dress, it's brilliant! could you please, pretty pretty please post how you made the bow belt??

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  44. i. love. it.
    like, a lot.
    Allison Elizabeth♥

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  45. Hello. Love your birthday dress. Where could I get the sewing pattern for it.
    Many thanks.
    Ramune

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  46. Love it!!! Would you be willing to put up the line drawing on the back of the envelope? It's hard to tell where the pleats are and how many there are.

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  47. I love the combination of the two colors of your dress !

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  48. Most women have a problem selecting the ideal outfit for an occasion. This is because different occasions call for different dressing styles. Keep up the good work. All the best.

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  49. K this is freaking adorable. YOU are adorable. I absolutely love your blog.

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  50. So cute! The dress suits you perfectly!

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  51. I had a look for the pattern.. I love it but it's no longer in print. Do you know of any similar patterns .. I love the dress!

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  52. Love this dress! And the colours go so well together! Good job! x

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  53. The dress looks amazing on you, Tilly. Looking at the styling I would say about 1960 - I am sure if you contact McCalls they have an archive and could tell you. :-)

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  54. I love this dress! This (and your awesome tutorials) are the reason I bought my sewing machine and learned to sew! :)

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