I’ve been playing along with Stitching Odyssey‘s #VPjuly, a two-week photo challenge dedicated to vintage sewing. It came at a good time for me because my vintage pattern stack had been growing, but without any project to show for it. So, I took the #Vpjuly as an opportunity to make and follow through on a “vintage pledge“.
The vintage pledge is as simple as it sounds–you say you’d like to sew or knit some vintage patterns and you do! Still, sometimes it can be tough to get into a vintage pattern. They often come in one size, which means you may have to do some grading. Then, depending on the period, the fitting adjustments can be a learning curve. Normally, these are steps I am increasingly comfortable undertaking, but I don’t have too much time to dedicate to complicated sewing tasks right now. I just kept putting off the different vintage patterns I wanted to try, until I found this McCalls 6177 knit cowl neck dress from 1978.
I knew I could jump right into this dress and do some fun vintage sewing. The pattern, a second-hand find, was already to my size. I paired the pattern with a bouncy black and white speckled knit from my stash. When I am in need of a simple relaxing sewing project, I often reach for some knit fabric. I got creative with the pattern placement in order to get the length I wanted, as there was barely enough fabric to complete the dress. The back skirt piece, for example, is cut in two pieces instead of on the fold.
For the most part, I sewed the dress as is, only using green ribbon, instead making drawstrings, for a pop of color, and using a 1in elastic for the waist. The pattern called for 1/2in. The dress has a nice spring to it, and with this fabric, it doesn’t necessarily jump out as “vintage,” but I do think the 70s feel is still there.
I’ve recently discovered a fondness for 70s and 80s styles, ones that recreate 40s styles in particular. I hope this dress will be something of a sewing gateway drug, leading me in the direction of vintage patterns. I feel more confident trying out other patterns in my stash, which means making this dress worked how I hoped it would. In addition to now having this lovely dress (obviously!) I no longer feel intimidated by vintage patterns. In hindsight, it is funny I would be because, really, they are like any other pattern–just sometimes with more interesting looks! I certainly plan on using this pattern again. There is a sleeve option I am intent to turn into a bodysuit for the fall.
Since it’s now mid-summer in Montreal, I am not sure what my immediate sewing plans are. I oscillate between a few different options because I continue wanting to sew summer dresses. At the same time I wonder if I should get a jump on fall sewing. I’ve been enjoying wearing all of the summer projects I’ve done so far, and I plan to do a blog recap soon. For now, I have an orange striped seer-sucker calling my naming, and begging for a proper project!