Have you ever come across a vintage garment that you absolutely adore it was falling apart or just not the right size for you ? well one of my clients recently did just that.
she has this wonderful original 1950's Black rayon day dress, that is stunningly hand painted in greens and golds.She absolutely loves it and had worn it with pride ; Only to discover that it didn't survive the wash !! ...It shrunk and the beautiful fabric started to deteriorate especially under the arms. which often happens in a garment of this age.
There were also a few other problems that were due to its age that needed looking at,
so when she put a tweet out and included @hotpatooties the tweet was passed on to me @MrsBeeVintage and the story went from there. after having a chat and seeing some pictures of her wearing the dress I agreed to take a copy and create a pattern of it for her, as she didn't have the funds at that time to commission me to make the dress.
This I did tweaking the measurements to suit her current size.
Not having seen the dress up close before agreeing to this I was very surprised to see how complicated the pattern was and decided it was a dress I absolutely had to recreate. Just for the fun of it.
so after taking a copy of the dress very carefully without taking it apart ( one day I'll show you how) I then checked the paper pattern and corrected and trued all the pieces to make sure they went back together again .
I couldn't have course, found hand painted fabric exactly the same unless I had it made, but I did have some glorious turquoise grosgrain viscose in my stash, not vintage but it had a great vintage feel about it. and its even washable and likes to be ironed although I would recomend dry cleaning a bespoke dress of this type.
so i started out to use it to toile (mock up ) the pattern I had created.
As it was only toile i had decided on pinking shears for the seam finishes, but as the dress came together so beautifully and started to look very special , i then decided i would finish the dress off . so using an original vintage zip and stunning glass buttons, and a rayon hem binding all of which would have been used during the 1950s and as pinked edges were also a technique of that time I was very happy with the final garment . ( sorry about photos :P)
but what to do with it once it was finished ?
well as it was created using my ladies measurements I gave it to her along with the repaired original and the hand crafted pattern so she can recreate it again if she wanted.
I am still hoping to get a picture of her in it but in the mean time I received a wonderful message and a pair of wonderful bumble bee brooches from her saying that she was so happy with it she was thinking of taking up sewing herself ...how amazing would that be?