Sunday, 22 December 2019

28 (and a half) years later

It's done! I have finally made a dress from the fabric I bought in May 1991!


When it last featured on this blog, all was not well with the anemone dress. Quite simply, I didn't like it. Somehow it had a distinct 1980s/1990s bridesmaid feeling to it, which was really not the vibe I was originally going for. It has languished on the UFO pile since then, but I decided that I really wanted to get it completed before the end of the year.

When I tried it on, it still had that just-stepped-out-of-an-early-Richard-Curtis-romcom look, plus the neckline gaped oddly at the front (possibly an unintended consequence of my alterations to stop it from gaping at the back). Happily my attempts to un-bridesmaid it with accessories worked, namely wearing both of my net underskirts beneath it, and adding a belt and 1950s jewellery from Splendette. The neckline I fixed purely by accident -  I pinched the fabric together at the front, and discovered that this did the trick. I have sewn tiny pleats at the bust, something which is a feature on some of my vintage patterns, but I think I may change it to gathers to tie in with the ruching on the sleeves.

Bodice pleat detail

Then all I needed to do was sew in the shoulder pads (pinned in place since July) and hem the skirt. Admittedly this was quite an undertaking, as with the godets it is in effect a full circle skirt.

Demonstrating the full skirt

It does make for a very pleasantly swishy effect with the net underskirts.

Attempting to demonstrate the swishiness of the skirt

The end result is very much a 'vintage-y' dress, not of a specific era, but I'm OK with that. It's eminently wearable, and I'm just happy to have finally, successfully, used the fabric.

Mostly 1950s, with some 1940s details

I'm not really one for resolutions, but looking at these pictures I've decided that I do want to learn how to do my hair properly in 2020. My current method of putting it in randomly directional pin curls and hoping for the best leaves a lot to be desired. The wild mess you see here is actually the brushed out and vaguely styled version. On the plus side though, if I ever want to do 18th century 'hedgehog' hair, I'm sorted!

In theory, this completed dress should put the stashometer even further into credit. In theory.

However . . .

Alas, no. Fabric Was Bought during my London trip. But that's a story for another post.

Instead I'll finish with something you can just see in some of the photos above, my 'sewist' Christmas tree. When I was in London I found these cute felt tree decorations of buttons, cotton reels, scissors and a measuring tape in the V&A shop, and I just had to get some. In fact, I may make some more myself next year. Plus there was also this really sweet sewing bear with his own scissors and cotton, and a tape measure scarf, who makes a perfect 'fairy' for the top of the tree.

Merry Christmas from Black Tulip


  1. All the best to you. I adore your blog and look forward to your postings! I love your makes and really enjoy how you are getting on with them. A very happy Christmas to you and all the best for the New Year!