Monday, January 10, 2011

Velvet 1940s Dress

I have a confession to make: I'm terrible at finishing anything I start--  especially my sewing projects!  I have my fingers crossed on this one, and I am really counting on you guys (and this sewalong) to keep me accountable.  I think doing this will really help me to stay on top of things.  And my hat goes off to Miss Muslin for starting the sewalong.  It looks like it will be a great success!

I haven't properly introduced myself yet.  My name is Elise and I blog at Dum Spiro Spero (which is Latin for While I Breathe, I Hope).  I never really sewed much at all until I went to college and decided that I wanted to major in fashion design.  I graduated from University of Delaware in 2002 with a B.S. in Fashion Design and promptly put away my sewing machine (I was burnt out!) and moved to NYC and abroad to chase other pursuits.

After a L-O-N-G hiatus, I've dusted off my sewing machine again and jumped into the fray.  I've only sewn one other vintage pattern before (blogged here), but it was from one of the reprinted patterns from Butterick so I'm not sure if that counts.  Fot this challenge, I've decided on a dress dating from 1940 that I purchased on Etsy from She'll Make You Flip.  I think it's lovely!

It's a bit of an unorthodox choice, but I've decided to make it out of velvet-- red velvet for Saint Valentine's Day when I hope to wear this.  I've seen so many dear velvet dresses from the thirties and forties and loved the way velvet really shows off seams and gathers.  I'm also loving velvet's return to front and center for Fall/Winter 2010/11.  I may shoot myself when I start sewing, though, because as I recall from sewing my senior collection in design school (I used a lot of velvet in my collection!), it has an awful tendency to creep.

I'm off to get down to business.  I'll be posting my muslin pictures soon, and then hopefully, I'll be cutting out the fabric by the weekend.  I'm looking forward to watching all of your progress, my fellow sewists!


  1. I would be more than happy to ride you about finishing your dress. :) It sounds too lovely to be a UFO. Get up off the computer, get to work.

  2. Ha ha Steph - I suppose you were at the sewing machine when you typed that!!
    Lovely pattern Elise, and I think all those yokes and gathers will look amazing in velvet - can't wait to see!

  3. I totally was. I'm talented enough to bias bind seam allowances while telepathically blogging.

  4. Beautiful pattern! And velvet----ahhh!

  5. Good luck to you, Elise! I just made a velvet top and HATED every minute of working with velvet. Fabrics for Less on W. 38th has silk velvet for $10/yd.

  6. Oh I was going to suggest silk velvet! Yum!