Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fabricista Sewing Challenge #5 - Timeless Classics

So here it is..... project #5 in the Fabric Mart Fabricista Challenge. Here's the challenge:

Challenge: Sewing a garment from a vintage pattern is challenging. The pintucks, pleats, and precise fit can be difficult to master. Choose a vintage pattern and modernize the piece. You can modernize your piece with styling, embellishment, or fabric. 
You will be judged on difficulty, craftsmanship, how fashion forward your look is, and FIT!
Take your time, you will have two weeks to make it perfect!

We were given two weeks to complete this challenge and I needed it.  I pulled this rayon blend brocade out of my stash and thought it was the perfect (and thankfully softer and drapier) homage to the brocades of the sixties. 

Since time is of the essence in these challenges, I immediately hit the internet for a vintage pattern and found a beautiful one at Retromonkey on Etsy and they shipped it quick (same day.....thank you so much!).  One of my favorite parts of this challenge was opening the pattern.  All of the pieces were there and had been meticulously cut and marked by the previous seamstress.  I know it's nerdy but it made me happy to use a pattern that someone else had taken such care with.  Sewing is an amazing tradition.   

Fit is one of the criteria for judging so I took my time making sure it was just right.  I lowered the neckline, widened the collar and made a slight aline skirt with darts instead of pleats (much more flattering on my body.)  I put in a side seam invisible zipper and shortened the sleeve from the original pattern. 

For detail I added a front placket with peau de soie piping and covered buttons.  I matched the fabric on the fronts and placket so the entire bodice is one continuous design.  Although I made all of these changes I still feel that I stayed true to the "wiggle dress" feeling of the pattern while making the dress wearable for me.  I'm not a sewer to sew something for sewing's sake....I wanna wear it.

 My constant sewing companion, Jack.  He loves retro dresses!

Please take a look at all of the other submissions from some very talented ladies at the Fabric Mart Blog.  Voting starts Tuesday.

I can't thank all of you enough for your kind comments and encouragement.  It's been a great experience!  By the way, editing all of these photos of myself has been quite painful.  It's been difficult to crop out saggy elbow skin (why didn't you tell me?) and frizzy hair.   To my dear friends:  I want to both thank you for not telling me how bad it is and reprimand you for not being real friends and nominating me for a makeover or at least a deep hair conditioning.  

All my best,



  1. Wow, you did a great job. It's beautiful and classy! Good luck :)

  2. What lovely dress in such beautiful fabric! And, please! You don't need a makeover!

  3. Your elbows are perfection, and so is your dress! I love it! The collar and detailing are to die for!

  4. A nice dress and it looks very modern in that brocade!

  5. This dress is absolutely beautiful. Great job!!

  6. Great fit! You will get a lot of wear out of it!

  7. good God! The fabric and the pattern are perfect. What a fabulous dress; congratulations!