The “Blue Bird” Dress

This is one of those projects that was abandoned mid-construction because I was unhappy with how it was turning out.  It is my own darn fault – I put too much pressure on myself to complete a new dress for an event in a few days time.  Turns out, the fabric required a lot more attention and time than I had.  Silk velvet is a PAIN to work with.  (Well, it doesn’t have to be, if you have the time and energy to devote to it.)

I am mad at myself for wasting such beautiful fabric.  This is a washable silk/rayon velvet that I found at a warehouse sale for Bella Notte linens.

The fabric is a bit too thick for the bodice draping, which is part of the problem.  The other issue is that the pattern size I purchased is one size too small, and the hip area is very fitted.  And my hips are NOT small.  I did add some extra ease, but it would seem that it was not enough.

I also used an invisible zipper the first time around.  However, the plastic coils were just too stiff for the fabric.  So I ripped out my stitches (which was not fun) and replaced the invisible with a regular zipper and lapped insertion.  However, I did a rather lousy job of it.  Oh, how I wish I had a needle board!  I also managed to flatten the nap at the center front skirt seam while binding the edges with seam binding.  Of course this ends up front and center!  Aargh.

The only other thing that was unfinished was the shoulder pads, and a hem.

It is far from perfect (I am too embarrassed about the inside seams to show you) but at least I persevered and finished the darn thing.   They can’t all be perfect, right?

• The Facts

⁃ Fabric:  Silk/rayon velvet from Bella Notte Linens warehouse sale; Bemberg rayon remnant for bodice stay

⁃ Pattern:  Vogue 2610

⁃ Year:  1947

⁃ Notions:  Zipper, Thread, Hug Snug seam binding

⁃ Time to complete:  From first cut to last stitch, it must be over a year.  The sad thing is I have many UFOs that have spent quite a bit more time in a bag/drawer.  I am going to have to something about that . . .

⁃ First worn:  January 29, 2012

⁃ Wear again?  Not sure – perhaps if I lose five or ten pounds.  It’s not my favorite, but at least I followed through and finished it.  Thank you Sew Weekly for the extra motivation!

⁃ Total price:   ~ $45.00  This is just a guess – it has been quite a while since I purchased the yardage.

Author

Laura Mae

Laura Mae adores sewing and knitting, mostly vintage or vintage-inspired patterns. She hopes to inspire others to create lovely and lasting garments that speak of a past era and yet remain timeless and elegant.

14 Comments

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  1. Wow! This is gorgeous!

  2. What a beautiful dress! It doesn’t look too small or too thick in the bodice to me. It’s such a lovely vintage pattern. I’m glad you finished it because it just looks fabulous on you. You really look stylish from head to toe in your excellent photos. Well done!

  3. You’re being way too hard on yourself! That is a gorgeous dress and you look beautiful in it.

  4. I love the vintage styling with the snoot and shoes. Gorgeous. It’s such a beautiful shaw of blue, I’m wondering if you added some darts in the bust area you can maybe cut down some the fabric bulk.

  5. It’s great that this challenge made you finish this dress, but, if I’m honest, you have made so many other things that are so much better than this that I can see why it was a UFO.

  6. Wow, it looks amazing, so pretty. And what lovely styling too

  7. It may not be perfect to you but it still looks good on you, it doesn’t look too tight at all.

  8. I think it looks great on you! Don’t be so hard on yourself, you churn out gorgeous thing after gorgeous thing, and this is no exception. I think this awesome, and the color makes up for any flaws you may see. I see none, personally, I think it drapes well and highlights your figure nicely.

  9. This is an absolutely pretty dress. Doesn’t look too fitted at all. And the blue is gorgeous. I am a lover of red but this blue could make me forget about red for once. Pretty, pretty, pretty!

  10. Love the fabric, and it’s a great era for you!

    I totally understand this kind of project: where the fabric choice just makes the sewing miserable. It may not be perfect, but you still look amazing in it. And no-one but the most horrible and nit-picky snark will ever notice the things you aren’t happy with ;-)

  11. I love how you work these 40′s patterns and your styling is always spot-on. Loose those few pounds if you really really must (it really really doesn’t look it!) because this dress looks amazing!!

  12. Know how it feels always thinking “this could be done better” – but the dress looks great on you, and the color – wow!

  13. This is so pretty, such a lovely color. And those shoes!

  14. I’m more than a little in love with this dress. I love the color on you, and the style is so flattering! It looks perfect with those shoes :) I think you should wear this dress everyday because to me it is just perfect!