Mommy and Me

For the longest time I’ve avoided patterns. I’m not sure why. I think it might be because I’m a stickler for pain and patterns make the sewing process less figuring out and more getting it done…? And I really do enjoy the figuring out part…makes me feel…accomplished!

So I don’t often use patterns and try to figure things out myself, often causing myself and those around me a few migraines along the way. I also don’t get into too many complicated or structured garments that way and don’t actually challenge myself enough.

So I finally bit and bought a vintage pattern off Etsy a while ago. Why I chose to use a vintage pattern as my first ever is beyond me, but at least I had the smarts to wait till mommy dearest visited before starting it.

So mum helped me figure out how to place, trace and cut the pattern out.We then re-sized it a bit, lifting it up from the shoulders and dropping the neckline accordingly. Apparently vintage ladies were longer in the torso than moi.

She also drafted a peterpan collar pattern and showed me how to make bias tape out of the contrast fabric and hand sew it on properly.

By now you’ve figured out I don’t have any actual photos of the process, as mum often worked on the dress while I was at work. Plus I really just wanted to let her work her magic rather than stopping to take a million pictures on the way…and other such excuses.

So here it is…a vintage 1960’s shift…

From Sew What
From Sew What
From Sew What

Things I learned along the way – don’t modify aspects of a pattern unless you actually know what the effects will be.

I chose to shorten the zipper initially and realised the dress is just not meant to be pulled on that way. In the 60’s, ladies liked to step into their dresses and so I couldn’t actually put it on over my head. I quite like the idea now – you can get all your hair and make up done and then just slip on the dress, zip up, and off you go!

I chose to go with an exposed zipper to make this classic shift a little up to date, since the fabric choice was fairly granny in the first place. Just before summer hit I finalised all the stitching, added the zipper and took it for a stroll on a hot day with a 40 degree humiex!

I’m super pleased with how it turned out and am trying to make a gajillion more before the weather gives out. It’s sexy, not too revealing and fits in all the right places!

Mum and I make a great team!


12 responses to “Mommy and Me

  1. What a cute shift. The bias tape was a super cool idea. GREAT JOB!

  2. I love it. But no step by step guide to making it. Sigh. Sadness.

    PS: So happy to see you back. πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you ladies!

    Anjali – I used a paper pattern for this one, so just followed the steps on it. Couldn’t get proper pictures as I was figuring stuff out as I went along. I’m going to make another one soon so I’ll take detailed pictures of it! πŸ™‚ Thank you for reading!

  4. Hey…..Loved ur stuff!! I hv jus strted designing so to read ur blog is simply a treat!!! Needed sum advice on the sewing machine, since i m planning to buy one…Do you use Juki?? which model/machine wud u advice for a person who is just starting off???

  5. Hi Jiya,

    My sincerest apologies for not replying sooner. Work and life have taken a toll on both my sewing and my blogging!

    I use a Singer machine. I grew up using my mom’s and grandmom’s hand cranked Singer’s and believe they are the best – durable, reliable, easy to service.
    I have a simple machine with a few different stitch options and it’s called the Singer Prelude. I’m outgrowing it fast now, but it’s a great starter machine.
    Hope this helps and enjoy!

  6. Wow! A great shift. It took me back to one I made as part of home economics class in the seventies. The peter pan collar is classic. Did you use both bust and waist darts? Great job!

    • Thanks so much! I used a vintage pattern. I love it and when time permits, will make a hundred more!
      The pattern actually had those funky darts that start from the sides of the waist and taper up to the bust point, plus bust darts. I used them both and the back had some simple darts as well.

  7. Hey D, Its been sooo long since we heard from you. Need creative inspiration. How about a simple but cool party dress? Please do post. Waiting. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Anjali!

      So sorry! Suddenly have so much work and no free time to do anything but that. Hopefully as the holidays come along I’ll slow down and make a dress for a Christmas party. πŸ™‚
      Thank you for reading and encouraging me!!

  8. Hello,

    I am a New York City based designer and am here in India to produce my Fall/Winter 2012 collection. The brand is a RTW high fashion line, similar to Donna Karan, Lanvin, Doo.Ri, Valentino, etc. I will be launching the label this coming New York Fashion Week during the second week of February. I learned about you while I was browsing design blogs in Bombay. I am currently looking for a freelance assistant who understands the global fashion industry.

    If you are interested to learn more, please give me a call on 7738211426 as soon as possible. My time in India is limited and I am putting a team together in the next couple days. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best Regards,

    • Hi Mukti!

      Thank you so much for getting in touch with me.

      While I’m very interested, I am based out of Toronto, Canada, so I’m not in India currently, though I do visit.

      If things happen this side of the world, I’d definitely be interested.

      Thank you again!


  9. awesome dress

    shikha would like you to read…WARDROBE ESSENTIALS

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