Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sewing: Late 40s Dress, Economy Design Pattern 212

You may remember that I wrote a post back in May about a dress I was making from a vintage pattern.

It is Economy Design patter number 212 and I was going for the view with the buttons all the way down the front and the short sleeves.


This is the first dress I've made from a vintage pattern and I did originally film me making it to out together a s a little how to in case I came across any struggles. When I went to make it though I didn't come across too many problems. 

Those I did, I have listed below. 
  • The bust was a 36, I'm a 34. I amended by taking half an inch from the seam allowance at the bust and an inch at the waist and  marking it and marking it diagonally to ensure the correct gradient. 

  • The waist was a 30, I am a 26. This meant taking an inch from each side of the seam allowance, when cutting the pattern. Not that difficult to do. 

  • I did notice with the marking on the paper, the diamonds, to show where to match up the pieces, weren't marked on the outside so I had to make sure I did that when I was cutting the fabric. 

  • The buttonholes were the worst part of it but I had this amazing reader's digest book (the complete guide to sewing) that I would recommend to anyone who's just starting out with sewing, it really is the best source of information and has really detailed diagrams. I did a few practice buttons of pieces of cloth first before tacking the dress. They certainly arent perfect but they'll do for my first try...and no one's getting that close to them anyway! 

  • I made sure I loosely stitched every part of it before I sewed it as I wanted to ensure it was correct. It took me a little time but it was much better than making mistakes have having to unpick what I'd sewn on the machine. 

  • My hemming is not great, I am crap at slip stitch, I am sure I'll get better in time but I have had to re-him the sleeves with wunderweb after I washed it for the first time and the stitching came out! 

  • The collar was a bit of a puzzle, it seemed far too many pieces were involved but once I'd started sewing it all in I soon discovered what they were needed fro and I am very proud of the my collar, even if it is ever so slightly smaller on one side than the other. 

  • It took me just under a week (sewing in the evenings) and was ready in time for my friends wedding, which was a treat, and I was especially proud to be wearing something that I'd made myself. 

All in all I think I did a good job, and it has made me think I can tackle the smallest of sewing projects now and those with intermediate difficulty. I do think it's a case of having more confidence in myself than anything else. 

So here it is all finished, my beautiful red dress from a lovely vintage pattern. I have been getting lovely comments about it in the office and when I tell them I made it myself they're pleasantly surprised!

Red Dress from Economy Design Pattern No 212, early 50s.

Red Dress from Economy Design Pattern No 212, early 50s.

A bit closer up, excuse the squinting, it was really sunny! 


  1. Such a lovely colour on you. I really need to get myself a sewing machine - yet another thing on the list of wants when we move house.....for me to have an area where I can set one up.

    You've done a fab job for a first go :o)