Long time no see…

It’s time for another post.. I have been away from blogosphere for some time, as I was busy completing two big (for me) projects: a sewing one and a knitting one (apart from doing all other things that we call life)..

Where to start? I needed a dress for a rather formal event.. After a lot of pondering and wasting time researching on pinterest and such, I thought I rather fancied this vintage Vogue Couturier Belinda Bellville dress:


The problem was I couldn’t find it (by that I mean couldn’t buy it for a reasonable price, the cheapest I found was £50+, and it’s not what I’m prepared to pay for a pattern.. )

To recreate this vintage pattern, I found another pattern from the same era, very similar Simplicity 8498:


As you can see the front looks absolutely identical. The view 1 even has a self fabric belt  buttoned in back that is very similar to a band with a bow in Vogue Couturier 2112. And it’s  much cheaper!

I was very excited to try a vintage pattern for the first time… but I’m afraid it was the case that on PatternReview website described as “pattern ok, but didn’t work for me”.  Well, it was a nightmare!

Now, according to my bust measurements, I’m between size 14 and 16. I bought size 16 to be on safer side.. but when I made a muslin for the bodice, there was no room in it for my bust! I couldn’t believe how small it was! (I mean the bodice, not the bust..)

I’m very glad that I made a muslin! I spent 3 days fiddling with it, and in the end there was no line or curve of the pattern that had been left unchanged!

Bodice changes I made:

– distance between darts 1cm wider;
– darts 2 cm lower;
– darts size 0.5 cm wider;
– neckline a few cm lower
– I also changed armholes and shoulder seams, but I forgot what exactly I did..
After that the bodice kind of fitted me ok, but there was an ugly gaping armhole.. Despite all my attempts, it was still there, so i gave up and made an armhole dart to take up the excess fabric..

Other changes:

I made a belt piece from view 1 wider and instead of  stitching it in side seams as the pattern suggested, I made it an extension of the bodice.
I also cut the skirt pieces and the back of the bodice on bias, which allowed me to omit the darts and back zipper. (I already sewed it in but then realised that I can fit into the dress without unzipping, so I ripped it out).
And I made the bow of course :) (Probably the most interesting detail..)


The back was a challenge.. Center back opening from Vogue 2112 just didn’t look good.. I ended up making a V-cut instead..


The fabric is lovely Duchess satin that I bought on Goldhawk road in London. When I was buying it I spotted discounted muslin, and I bought about 3 metres of muslin for making, well, muslin :)

It was the first time I made a proper muslin, and, as I said, it was the right decision. I couldn’t believe it, but it really speeds up the process! After all alterations were made on the muslin, it was so nice and easy to sew with actual intended fabric!

My thoughts on the pattern.

As I said, it didn’t work for me.. Maybe my shape is wrong for this particular pattern, or because it’s vintage. I don’t know.. Besides, I’m not sure about those french darts.  Next photo shows: the pointy problem with french darts; the second dart on the bodice that was not intended by the pattern; and that I could’ve done better ironing..


The new things I learned.

Cutting on bias. It requires more fabric, but I love the result! Less darts, more freedom and no zipper!

Using bias tape as facings. After making so many alterations, I couldn’t use the facings pattern pieces as they wouldn’t match. And, honestly, I was so fed up with the whole thing, I just couldn’t bother making facings patterns. I just used bias tape.. Probably, not the best thing to use with this type of fabric.. Oh, well..

While I was trying to copy the pose from the Vogue pattern as I remembered it…

Jessie came into the picture:


No, you can’t take part in the photo session!


Please, mummy!


All right then!

And finally, pictures of a very bad quality from the actual event..



Thanks for looking and have a nice day!

P.S.  I am currently having a blog anniversary giveaway. Have a look!


14 thoughts on “Long time no see…

  1. Gorgeous dress! Looks amazing- I especially love that bow! Sorry to hear the pattern gave you so much grief, but from the end result you would have no idea :)

  2. Pingback: My first vintage pattern…

  3. Hi there, you did a wonderful job. Would you believe I have your inspiration pattern and I believe I have 2 !!! One I had in my own vintage stash and my Mother in law gave me her extensive stash and there was one in hers too!! Have not had the occasion to make them up yet as I have to grade up .. Again , you look lovely and your version looks great.

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