The whole thing actually began way back on my birthday in January, when my friend F gave me a beautiful coat that she'd found in a charity shop.
|I took this picture for a flatlay challenge|
Neither of us could tell if it was true vintage. It certainly has lots of details which I associate with vintage clothing.
|The snap fasteners on the ribbon band|
|The complex construction of the sleeves|
|The lovely pocket design|
But on the other hand, the raw edge of the collar has a more modern feel.
|Not so vintage, but again interesting construction|
There was a brand label in the coat, but no information on size, fabric composition or where it was made. This lack of information swung the pendulum back to 'true vintage' in my mind because I didn’t think this was legal any more.
|Name label only|
Milly of New York, now just called 'Milly' is in fact a modern brand, founded in 2000. Its strong vintage look is so convincing, however, that when I first looked up the name in January, I found at least one reference suggesting that it was a defunct brand from the 1950s/60s which had been resurrected by Michelle Smith. Tucked in a lining side seam I found a label marked "Milly sample", which explained the lack of proper labelling.
Anyway, true vintage or not, I decided that I wanted to make a late 50s/early 1960s dress to go with the coat. This pattern fitted the bill perfectly.
|Vogue 9741, 1959|
The only problem was that I wanted a fabric with some sort of stripe in it, to make the most of the design. I also wanted something with a brown background. Nothing suitable presented itself, so the idea got pushed to the back of the queue.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when Charlotte, who make the most stunning vintage garments and blogs at Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage, posted a series of reviews of various print-on-demand fabric services, including Spoonflower. I have looked at the Spoonflower website a few times, but never actually ordered anything. However, Charlotte mentioned that their EU orders are now printed in Germany, which means no customs duty to pay.
At the time I read the post, the chances of this still being the case after 31 December seemed slim (and at the time of writing, they seem slimmer still), so I decided that if I did want to buy anything from Spoonflower, I should do so sooner rather than later. Then I remembered my abandoned search for a brown-ish, stripey-ish fabric, and this seemed a good starting point.
Success! I found the perfect design, and courtesy of Charlotte's helpful recommendations decided to go for the petal signature cotton. Delivery was super-speedy; my order arrived within a fortnight of being placed.
|Brown - check, stripes - check, period-appropriate design - bonus!|
Because I am so used to fabric being cut from a bolt, it was a bit of a surprise to find that 'printed to order' means exactly that – there was a strip of plain white cotton at the start and end of the length. On the plus side, the order details were printed on one end - always handy if your purchase-to-use gap is as long as mine usually is! If I ever want more of this fabric, I know exactly what to search for.
|The end of the printed section|
I did have a momentary panic when I saw the fabric's alarmingly wide unprinted selvedges. However, Spoonflower's website does state the printed rather than the fabric width for each fabric type, and when I checked the yardage requirements it was obvious that I had factored this in when I ordered (and had promptly forgotten I'd done so - sigh).
|That's a lot of white|
There is no way that this dress will be made before the end of the year, so the fabric will be carried over to 2021, but despite it making a blemish on the stashometer's record, I'm very glad that I got it.
|Still in credit, just not quite so much|