FO: The Mary Dress

5 Mar

Pattern: Vogue 1219, a Christian Dior designer pattern from 1975

Fabric: Red linen-look suiting, Light pink cotton/poly blend batiste for underlining

First of all, thanks so much for the overwhelmingly supportive response to my last post.  You guys are so great – I even got offers to mend my holey sweaters (sadly, I got rid of them right away, but the offers are so generous and wonderful!) My yarn seems safe, but it is locked in the deep freeze for awhile to be certain.  The damage seems limited to one basket of sweaters, but I washed everything I owned to be sure (yeah, a lot of laundry!)  I was sad, but I’m feeling better now .

To cheer myself up I finished this dress!  It is made of 100% polyester (chew on that, stupid beetles!)  I am not a fan of polyester, but I had this fabric, bought on clearance at Joanns, that was too pretty for a muslin I thought.  And honestly, I figured that if anything should be made of polyester, it’s a pattern from the 1970s!  As a funny aside, have you noticed how every pattern from the 70s has to tack on polyester doubleknit as a fabric choice?  This pattern called for crisp fabrics (linen etc) and… doubleknit.  Because they are so similar.  This is a suiting with a linen-link weave.  It holds a crease pretty well, which is more than I can say for some poly suiting I have used for muslins!  However, it was pretty nightmarish to work with.  I serged most of the edges before sewing, because it was unraveling at an alarming rate.  It even tried to unravel through the serging.  And then the stuff wants to wrinkle like mad, even with an underlining.  But that’s ok – it looks nice on the outside!

This was my first time underlining anything, and I won’t lie – it took way more time than I expected.  It was pretty straightforward, just time consuming.  I like how it gives the a-line body.  I did reduce the size of the top half of this pattern a bit – first in a narrow back reduction, and then again after a tragic zipper accident (the zipper caught the fabric and ripped… did I mention how easily this stuff picks and snags?)  That turned out to be ok, since I needed the reduction.

I had a little trouble with the neckline, which was sort of poorly explained.  In the end I made up my own directions, and it seems to have worked.  I set in the sleeves in the round using ease stitches.  I had a really hard time with it again – I get the concept, and I can get it in without puckers, but I still am not happy with the way it looks.  I plan to try other methods of easing in the sleeve.  I shortened the dress by an inch.

I also made my scarf!  The pattern called for pockets, and I bought the zebra for the lining, but I didn’t like the way the pockets looked on the dress – it put the emphasis too much on the lower half, which is already taking over this look!  So I left them off, and turned my pretty fabric into a simple neck scarf.

I’m calling it “The Mary dress” because it reminds me of Mary Tyler Moore.  It’s a classic style that doesn’t necessarily scream 70s, though it certainly is retro – you just don’t see dresses like this anymore.

I’m still not sure an A-line is for me – it fits, but I would prefer a more defined waist.  Even so, this dress is work appropriate, comfortable, and far nicer than I thought it would be – I nearly gave up in a huff about five times while making it!  I’m pleased to have completed my first vintage pattern (though I still have trouble with the 70s as vintage, it is from the year my husband was born.)

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27 Responses to “FO: The Mary Dress”

  1. Amalas March 6, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    I wonder what this would like like with a black belt to help give more of the defined waist you are looking for. Love the color and the scarf!

    • stitchywitch March 6, 2010 at 12:36 am #

      Good point – I did try it with a belt, but didn’t like how the fabric bunched. Maybe I will try a skinnier belt – mine are all very wide.

  2. Andrea March 6, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    I think the shape does suit you although I also always define my waistline. But your pictures convinced me to try the A-line shape – in your case it still shows of your good figure.
    And the colour is gorgeous.

  3. sulovessew March 6, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    simply retro and lovely

  4. didyoumakethat March 6, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    It looks lovely on you and you deserve a medal for your patience with that fabric and the underlining. I agree that you’d struggle to buy a dress like that in the shops. It’s wonderful.

  5. Jacey March 6, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    I’m glad to hear that your yarn situation is being handled. I was also going to suggest a belt. With your trim waist, it would probably look wonderful, and you have already mentioned your attempts to “embrace the belt”!

  6. woolbrain March 6, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    It looks great on you …I would have given up with all the unravelling …no patience ! The shape of the dress is lovely as is the colour But the polyester …not for me. If you took in the side seams a little that would give more shape and I think it would look even better and no need for a belt.

  7. Shannon March 6, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    This dress looks wonderful on you – great colour and lovely style!

  8. Danielle March 6, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    So cute! I’m very jealous!

  9. silencepainter March 6, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    That dress is super cute on you!

  10. Marisa March 6, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Beautiful job! And the color looks great on you.

  11. Andi Pants March 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    The dress turned out beautifully! The shape looks great on you but I understand about wanting a defined waist. You’re right about not seeing this style anymore. That’s the benefit of being able to sew things yourself. =)

  12. bettina walia March 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    really love the mary dress…it looks wonderful on you. You could use your scarf as a belt to give your waist a little definition.

    i really love to read your blog all the time to see what you are making next.

  13. islandjen March 6, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    it turned out beautifuly…and the zebra print is the best!

  14. Sherrill March 6, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Simple and red. Love it. Looks great with the black flats too.

  15. jykowa March 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    That’s beautiful. Hooray for crafts!

  16. Heather March 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I find that the classic styles of patterns outlast the trends of off-the-rack clothes, and your dress is case in point. I love it and would wear it now; and I actually did wear dresses like that in the ’70′s! I remember them being lime green, red like yours, orange, etc. (early 70′s that is!)

  17. jimena March 7, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    This is gorgeous!! Good to see your progress and daring with all those complicated things.
    Have a nice weekend
    Jimena in Beirut

  18. Maureen March 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    I think it’s beautiful just as it is!

  19. Ivy March 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Beautiful! It looks lovely on you.

  20. renae March 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    This is just amazing! It looks fabulous on you!

  21. Phyllis March 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    I think this dress looks lovely on you just as it is. It suits you and the color is wonderful. Well done. I am a little envious.

  22. Ali March 8, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    Ah, I’m so envious. I’ve been eyeing this pattern for months, but didn’t want to to commit because I can’t sew that well (yet). You did a wonderful job with it; it’s such a simple but elegant design. In fact, I was so envious that I actually bought a Vogue Paris Original pattern (but it’s a Molyeux). Ha! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  23. Ash March 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    I love that dress, but girl! You are rockin’ that zebra print scarf!

  24. Angela March 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Great dress!! Love the color!

  25. Debby March 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    It looks great on you! I also think it might be worth finding a skinny black patent belt to try.

    Since you call this the Mary dress, I was hoping for an FO photo with your throwing a (knitted) beret in the air! Maybe next time? :)


  1. The last planning post: Dresses « Green apples - November 6, 2011

    [...] Vintage Vogue 1219:  Suffered from overfitting (a common affliction for me when I started out!)  Twas also a bit stiff from the underlining.  I gave it away, but I want to make this pattern again! [...]

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