New Resolutions and the Liz Dress!

Making 2020 a year of fabric stash busting and sewing through my vintage patterns.

Here I go again! I’ve tweaked my 2019 New Year resolution (which I wrote about what- 3 blog posts ago? I have been terrible about keeping up this blog.) There are so many cute vintage dresses I see on Etsy, on Instagram, etc and would love to buy, but I have a hard time justifying that when I have a very full stash of vintage fabrics and patterns. So this year I am resolved to use some of those items that are collecting dust and challenge myself with some of these harder vintage patterns! I’ll do a post soon with some projects I have in mind, but for now I’ve been meaning to share my Charm Patterns Liz dress and all the work that went into it!

The finished dress in all it’s glory. Look at that super full skirt!

This dress was definitely out of my comfort zone but I was getting tired of doing the same old darted bodice. I knew it would be a challenge, but with it being a Christmas dress I figured if I messed it up I would only wear it once a year anyway! And I wanted to really take my time on a project. In the pattern insert Gertie mentions that it definitely is something you want to take your time on and quotes Liz Taylor: “It’s not the having, it’s the getting!” Going in with the attitude that it would be slow sewing definitely helped. Here’s a bit of the process:

I spent about an hour in the fabric shop picking out my contrasting fabrics- I didn’t want any drastic differences in the fabrics. Settled on these 2 RJR Fabrics, and Moda Grunge fabric for the lining.

Here are all the pieces cut out! Dress, Lining AND underlining! And facing as needed. It doesn’t look like much, but it took a while!! One fabric is for the bust and tie, the poinsettias are the skirt, midriff, and strap.

Of course with a pattern this complicated, you must make a muslin, and I made TWO! I was really expecting that I’d have to make about 4, so I consider myself lucky. The only change from before to after was that I had to go down a cup size. Such a difference!

There was a LOT of this going on- clipping. And notching. And basting. Those cups are curved so much that you have to clip and notch to get the pieces to match up.

This lapped zipper had to be sewn onto a few layers of fabric- considering that, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out! The shoulder strap is all one piece that comes around the front under the bust- a bit challenging, but I just took it one step at a time. Gertie’s instructions are very thorough!
The inside of the bodice- I chose not to line the skirt, although that was an option.
I’m very pleased with the finished dress and feel so glamorous when I wear it! Now I need to make one that’s not Christmas-y so I can wear it more often!

Feels so good to get this blog going again. I’m going to set a goal to post once a week, probably on Sunday mornings (when I’m normally reading the paper, but it would probably help my mental health to do this instead)!

I have an idea for the direction I want to take this blog and I hope some folks will follow along with me on this sewing journey. Happy 2020!