Monday, May 20, 2013

vintage 1968 dress

I love vintage clothing, so Vintage May, a series hosted by Jessica from Craftiness is Not Optional and Kristin from Skirt as Top is really just a great excuse to sew my favorite clothes for little girls.

 A few years ago, I bought a huge lot of vintage patterns at a garage sale for a couple of dollars.  I only kept a few of them and this pattern from 1968 was one of my favorites.  The original pattern was a size 3, and Mae is a skinny 18-24 months, so the dress is a little wide, but I like it that way, and hopefully it will fit for a while.

I love the style, but the back of the dress was really boring, so I decided to make some changes to the pattern pieces before I got started.  Once I finished making the changes, not one single piece was the same, so I'd say this pattern was more of an inspiration than anything :)  One of the biggest changes was to shorten the dress into a tunic.  Mae has way more dresses (enough for 3-4 kids I'm sure) than she needs between my sewing and two very indulgent grandmas, so I wanted something a bit more versatile.  This top is practical by itself in the summer and should still look cute with a white long sleeve shirt and jeans in the fall & winter.

I added white piping to the seams because piping is frequently used in vintage clothing for a finished look.  But even after the piping, the top was still missing something.  So I added every kid's favorite detail, a pocket!  Mae just loved it when she figured out her kazoo fit in there, although it didn't stay in for long :)

The pattern called for the back to close with a hidden zipper, but I thought making the back closures part of the design would make it even cuter.  I found this post which has the most adorable way of attaching the buttons.  Not only is it cute, but it took less time than the traditional method.  And since I hate attaching buttons, it's possible that every button I use from now on will be finished just like these!

This next picture was the best I could get of the sides of the top.  Mae will look at me and smile for the camera now, but she still doesn't get it when I tell her to turn around.  She turns in a complete circle and ends up facing me again.  If I turn her around myself, she will stay there for maybe 3 seconds before she turns back :)  And she only seems to know how to face toward me or away from me.  There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. I have learned to take very quick pictures and just accept (and edit!) whatever I end up with.  I'm pretty sure I took this picture in the middle of a spin while she was holding her hand out for balance :)

Fabric - Red chambray from Joann's
Buttons - Joann's
Piping - Micro piping purchased many years ago (any packaged piping would work as well)


  1. I love this! Great job on the piping! The lines are great, too!

  2. Thanks Heidi! Vintage patterns always seem to have the best details!

  3. I love this. The color, the shape, everything - it reminds me of the awesome stuff I got to wear growing up, back when not everything "girl" had to be pink and have princesses on it. Excellent.