Thursday, 31 March 2016

Vintage Style Party Dress!

Okay So its not just a dress, but that's certainly a big part of it so lets break it down!

Shoes : Schuh AGES ago, one of my favourite pairs and still fabulous! £45 , but we are talking at least 6/7 years old.

Belt : Primark, like £4? Hardly worn or used, I just brought it cos its pwetty!

Underskirt: Handmade! My version of a 1950's style petticoat. I cut three full circle skirts {based on my measurements} from the organza and stitched them all together side by side, then added a waistband and threaded elastic through. Its very comfortable and gives a good amount of volume, Its not a traditional petticoat but its nice and the organza is a lot softer than some of the nettings that are used. And it falls really nicely! The organza is an awesome wine colour and was given to me by a lady from my mums belly dance class, I think there was about 3 maybe 4 metres? Instead of hemming it I finished the edge with a straight stitch and then pinked the edge.

The dress! Handmade! The bodice is from the second GBSB book and I have also used it here, here, here, here, here and here {I have got my moneys worth from that book!}. The bodice is a princess seam bodice so I skipped the pattern matching and the adjustments were easy, not that I did any because they were transferred to the paper copy ages ago!. The skirt is a full circle skirt based on my measurements, by accident the skirt for the dress is shorter than the petticoat which I think looks pretty cool. 

The fabric came from my lovely pen friend, I think she has the same fabric in the blue colour way! Its sort of a floaty type of fabric it presses nicely and it feels silky? I'm crap at this name the fabric game aren't I! I tend to just go by eye its why I don't shop on-line very often!

I just did a central zip and its a lil jacked up, its not so bad that it needs ripping out but its not good in any sense. At the time of doing the zip I'd just tried on the dress and was not a happy bunny. Basically I'd forgotten that the bodice is sat super high like almost an empire waist and that I usually add a waistband. Anyway an empire waist was not the look I wanted whatsoever. So I threw a wobbler and decided to settle for finished rather than perfect. As it goes I'm wearing it with a waspie style belt so it doesn't really matter!

Other than that I think the fit of the bodice is pretty bang on, well at least in my humble opinion.

I top stitched the arm holes and the neck line and I fully lined the bodice. The GBSB book doesn't call for lining so I just used my noggin and cut out some lining fabric [from stash] and used the same method as for the Lilou bodice from Love at First Stitch.

I did quite a lot of hand finishing as well, I made a loop and button closure at the top of the zip and I hemmed the skirt by hand. The hand sewing of the hem took ages, I mean ages! There's a lot of fabric in a circle skirt and those curves are tricky!! I got a nice finish in the end though because I managed to keep my stitches pretty small and a good iron hides a multitude of sins! 

Here's a few things I would have done differently:
- Lengthen the bodice by about two inches so its less of an empire line and more waisted.
- Finish the edge of the petticoat with a rolled hem, I really need to woman up and learn how to do this.
- Attach elastic to petticoat by stitching it on rather than using the channel method.
- Maybe make a belt from the same organza that I used for the petticoat so it matches, I did have one planned but I'm fairly lazy and remembered that I had the butterfly one.
- Lower the neckline by bout half an inch maybe an inch.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with this. Its VERY vintage looking though and I don't usually go for the whole looking completely vintage thing but I think for a party or special occasion it might be nice! I wore it for about and hour after taking these pictures, I'm sure the neighbours think I'm very classy eating soup in a party dress! That or they think I've finally lost it.

Naturally it also works without the petticoat and belt, I think this is where the issues with the waistline show themselves.  

From this angle I actually risk looking a bit preggers, Actually the high waistline might work if you are...ya know...up the spout. [I love all the different terms for pregnancy but that might be my favourite, closely followed by "harbouring a parasite"]

The length is good here though and I guess I can still wear it with the belt if I want, or I can go without if I'm going on public transport and want to guarantee myself a seat.

I still think the print is awesome whichever way the dress is styled, I think its because its a very loud print and with an awesome colour palette. It works nicely in a vintage context and as a little modern dress too. I guess what they say is true what goes around in fashion comes around.

All in all a grand success! Now I just need a fancy occasion the wear it too!

So if someone could throw a party that would be awesome!?

Much Love




  1. It looks amazing, a beautiful dress :) xxx

  2. It is a great dress. Do you have enough fabric to make a deep band for the waist? you know like a tie belt that will always go with that dress. I use them sometimes but I always tie them on the side as that is more flattering for me. I am short waisted so I use tie belts to get the waist on a dress where I need it. Anyways, it is a fab fit on the bodice. Jo x

    1. Im tempted to make a tie belt of some sort but i dint think it will happen because i have the butterfly belt and i am very lazy!!!! x

  3. Great share! Even I have some awesome collection of western party wear dresses online at Majorbrands.


Go On Make Me Smile And Leave Me A Comment!
You can also reach me at!