Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Pretty Pattern Madness!

So I went a little crazy today. My 'friend' (who shall remain nameless) sent me a link to the most beautiful midnight blue satin evening dress, 1950s style, which she knows I adore. This dress was a piffling £150 -- a sum which makes me blanch slightly to think of spending at the moment, when hubby and I are teetering so precariously on the edge of solvency after a few months of, frankly, insolvency.

Anyway, I mentioned this to the lovely ladies at the D2E forum, hoping one of them would be able to turn up a lovely pattern or something. Well, they didn't as such, but their suggestions got me Googling and I rediscovered a site I had browsed obsessively a long while back - the marvellous Sewing World (don't visit that link unless you want to have a massive attack of the 'I wants'). They stock all the usual pattern makers, including the divine Vintage Vogue range: a reprinted selection of the original, stunning 1940s and '50s dresses, hats and coats patterns that are so chic and feminine and classic that I basically wanted them all, but managed to talk myself down to four...

That's right. I bought four dress patterns (see one of them below). Now, they weren't hugely costly, but they weren't exactly bargain basement either, this is Vogue we're talking about here. However. I reckon I just have to make one evening dress and I'll have made a saving. Even a really beautiful satin in the right amounts for a 1950s cocktail dress will still come to less than £150, right - unless I get some very rare silk and I don't think that's going to happen on my rusty and long-awaited return to dressmaking. Anyway - one evening dress and I'll have definitely broken even, so any dress I make from the patterns after that will be the cost of fabric only - marvellous! Plus a few cotton day dresses will give me more scraps for patchwork.

As the final cherry on the cake I was discussing toiles (or muslins) with Barb from the D2E forum and she suggested that one make up the toile from a cheap, pretty printed cotton, then if it goes wrong you still won;t be very out of pocket and can probably fix it fairly easily, but if it (hopefully) goes right then you have a lovely day dress to wear and can make your evening dress in the happy knowledge that you test drove the pattern already.

Even more cleverly Barb suggested making the toile out of a lightweight lining satin, so the dress is fully lined. Tack that in with a few judicious slip stitches and it'll mean that (unless God forbid you get something down the front of the dress) you only need remove and wash the lining, rather than having to worry about the whole frock being washed.

I'm so excited about those patterns and I can't wait for them to arrive! I just hope they don;t go AWOL in the postal strike we're being threatened with.

Now I know what's next on my wish list... A beautiful, multi-tiered net petticoat... (unless there's a pattern for that, too!)

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