Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Vintage Blue Dress for The Dressmaker's Do!

By the splendid power of the sewing machine, I command ye Jorth to turn this:

Blue Dress

into this:

Dressmaker's Do Blue Vintage #1

Mission accomplished, and just in time for The Dressmaker's Do!

What a fabulous night it was - one I'll remember forever. Sewists from all over came to join Nichola from Handmaker's Factory and I for a fun night of drinking, dining, and lots and lots of oohing and ahhing over each other's beautiful frocks - and trust me, there were gorgeous dresses and outfits aplenty on display that night. I am constantly in awe of the talent that fills our amazing sewing community!

It was so lovely to hang out with sewing folk I knew, plus meet some brilliant new ones. I think the best part of night, however, was taking total control of the microphone so I could hand out prizes from our kind and generous sponsors: The Cloth Shop, You Sew Girl, Woolarium, The Fabric Store, Ink & Spindle and Handmaker's Factory.

And now for the dress - I had changed my mind over which vintage number I would make for the evening (no pressure, being the host and all) but finally decided on the blue one. And I'm glad I did, for it was the perfect marriage of comfort and glamour.

The pattern is a mail order one from 1950s that you could send away for and then receive from The Workbasket Magazine which was based in New York. I had never heard of the magazine, and just happened to stumble upon this gem one day when perusing Etsy for vintage patterns (which I do far too often!) There's a brief history of the magazine on this website - it's always sad to read about great magazines that disappear, but alas, that appears to have been The Workbasket's fate.

Dressmaker's Do Blue Vintage #3

The pattern itself was very well written, well drafted and super easy to follow - however, I did end up wondering if the grading itself was accurate as I am definitely a 32 bust, but needed to bring the bodice in by 2 inches! However it wasn't a big drama, and I ended up with a fit I was happy with.

The back is cute, with a pleat at the back to stop the skirt from being the full wriggle. I'm so glad I decided to go with this vintage beauty, and can see myself getting a lot of wear out of her in the future, and maybe even making another few versions!

Once again, I'd like to thank all the fabulous ladies who came along - it was such a fun night, and Nic and I are already thinking about planning another!

Project Details
Pattern - 9199 Mail Order pattern from The Workbasket Magazine
Fabric - Stretch cotton sateen from The Fabric Store
Notions - 35cm zipper, interfacing

Dressmaker's Do Blue Vintage #4


  1. This vibrant blue fabric makes the dress extra pretty! You really picked a good fabric for the pattern! And shame indeed about the magazine...

  2. WOW! I love that style dress always but yours looks so amazing! I think this is super flattering. That fabric looks like it is vinyl - in a good way. It does not look like sateen.

  3. How on earth did your husband resist getting the rear view photograph?!!
    You look stunning. Dress, hair, face, the works.
    Fabulous night out and I'd be up for another (given time to recover first ;) )

  4. Gorgeous dress! That blue...I love it! (half of my stash has that colour ;) Yes great night indeed, thank you so much for organising.

  5. Gorgeous dress and great night, thank you!

  6. Your dress is beautiful. The fabric choice was excellent. You are very talented.

  7. Yep. Pretty gutted I couldn't be there thanks to a certain tiny terrorist (not really). Absolutely love your dress (and the photos I stalked on instagram from the night!) - in fact I just went across to the Vogue pattern website only to have a 'new' version of this pattern being sold as a Nicola Finetti dress! It's gorgeous, as are you in it :)

  8. Oh my GOODNESS that dress is just gorgeous and you look outrageously fabulous! Sort of vintage but definitely modern...really do like this a lot!

  9. Before the Workbasket disappeared (my grandmother subscribed to it, and I did too up to the very end) it turned into a weird, birds-and-handcrafts magazine that mostly featured blurry photographs of the editor's many cats. Sad, sad, sad.

    In the 60s, 70s, and 80s, our local newspaper featured one of those patterns every weekend. Then it was boughten by a national conglomerate and we got the same nothingness that the rest of their subscribers got. I have not subscribed to it for over 30 years now.

  10. Totally unique stuff is here really amazing!

    Life Coaching Philadelphia


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