sewing saturday.. beginning a valentine's day velvet dress


Sewing Saturday! Earlier in the week, I received a few sewing patterns I ordered from Vintage Core Patterns, a lovely Etsy shop (they're having a fantastic 50% off sewing notions sale - check them out!). I was so happy to open up my package and find out that Maggie from Vintage Core had sent along some free dress patterns - which made my decision on which dress to sew for the holidays way more difficult (aren't they all perfect?).


In the end, I chose the pattern I had originally ordered (Simplicity 8158) and opted to put the rest in my stash to use at a later time. The other patterns - 1970s wide legged trousers, a bow blouse, and 1950s high waisted tap shorts and peter pan collar blouse - are all pieces I can't wait to make in the future. I already bought a couple of yards of lightweight mauve broadcloth fabric for the 50s blouse.

The lace, eyelet, and crocheted trim is all from Grandma's Quilt Shop in Lebanon. While I know most of the tiny lace will be used to trim detachable collars, I'm contemplating adding some cream trim to my holiday dress.. that, or the little pink roses in the photo below. Or a peter pan collar. What do you think?

And I'd love to make the crocheted lace into a collar.. but I have absolutely no idea where to begin.

Back to the project at hand. The dress I'm making is a 1970s drop waist mini with a sleeveless fitted bodice and gathered short skirt. It's a pretty simple project with darts at the front and back and a zipper at the back neck. If you've never gathered skirts before, I'll definitely be sharing some strategies.


What you'll need for this dress - the standards (including pins, iron, pattern, marking pen, a good pair of scissors, measuring tape, etc.), as well as two yards of fabric, an 18 inch zipper, matching thread, and optional trim. My friend Lauren just introduced me to a new method of gathering skirts, which is way more efficient than what I normally do - this method calls for a piece of crocheting thread.. but I'll tell you more about it next week.


This weekend, I finished up the basics.. lots of ironing, cutting, and pinning.

First, I cut out the pattern pieces and ironed them flat. Then, I laid out the fabric, right sides together, and ironed the fabric.


Then, I pinned the pattern pieces to the fabric according to the instructions (matching straight edges and specific pieces on the fold - in this case, both the skirt front and bodice front were pieces placed directly on the fold of the fabric), and cut them out!

Easy but time consuming work. Next weekend, I'll have more progress to share with you.

Hope you all had a great weekend!