Vintage Simplicity 4525

Inspired by the Vintage Pledge of 2015, I thought I would continue into this year by making up some more of my patterns. It has been stinking hot here recently and I desperately needed to make a new sundress as last year’s ones either don’t fit any more or I’m no longer in longer in love with them or quite the opposite and I’ve worn them to death!

Time for a new dress (it’s always time for a new dress though right?)!!

Searching through my patterns I found this little treasure I’ve been wanting to make for a while, vintage Simplicity 4525 from sometime during the 40s.

S4525 - 1

You will note my copy is for a 32″ bust, which I definitely am not!  To “grade” this, I first tissue fit the pattern i.e. held it up to my body in the mirror. I could see it needed to add extra at the centre and definitely some more at the sides. I ended up cutting the front bodice and yoke 1″ from the fold, with a 2″ seam allowance on the sides. The back I also cut with a 2″ side seam allowance.

S4525 - 3

This method seems to have worked beautifully, the fit pretty good and required only a little tweaking at the side seams for fit.  I didn’t overfit as I wanted the dress to be looser fitting to be a little cooler in our sticky summers.

S4525 - 5

The back buttons are ridiculous! How the heck is anyone supposed to do them up, I certainly am not fancy/rich enough to have a lady’s maid nor am I so flexible to do them myself. I made the buttons functional but also added a side zipper so I could get dressed on my own!

S4525 - 4

You will also note I left off the sash ties.  I did have them on originally, however hubby dearest didn’t like them as you could see the reverse of the fabric which being white stood out. I couldn’t double them over as the seersucker I used for the dress was too stiff.

I love the pockets, they are huge!!  I did debate the addition of rick rack, but felt combined with the polka dots it might all be a bit twee.  I am happy with this decision.

S4525 - 6

I really enjoyed making this dress, it’s so different from sewing a modern pattern. The cover artwork is lovely, the instructions comprehensive and well illustrated and as with almost all vintage patterns there are extra design details which make the garment a bit different.

I’m already thinking about making a navy version with white trim for a nautical look.

PS – this already counts towards my self-imposed pledge to make at least 5 vintage patterns this year (even though the vintage pledge hasn’t been announced for 2016 yet!)

Sack, new religion or just comfortable? AKA Tessuti Pia Dress

I finished this dress last Friday – just before finishing the sleeves, neck and hem, I tried it on – first thing my darling hubby says “you know, if it was grey, you’d look Amish”. Hmmm…so not a fan then?

Tessuti Pia Dress

Anyway I persevered, took the back seam in by an inch, took 5″ off the length and now he thinks “it looks very comfy”. A step up, but obviously not his favourite.

I like it. I like the art teacher/bohemian look of it – and he’s right about one thing, it’s damn comfy!

Tessuti Pia Dress

The pattern (if you didn’t read my title) is the Pia Dress from Tessuti. A very new silhouette for me, but something that I thought might be suitable for my current living situation near the beach. It has also been stupidly hot and humid lately. The atmosphere has been heavy and revolting, the last thing I feel like wearing is my usual fit and flare dresses…I figured nude wasn’t really an option.

WARNING – if you print this on A4, be prepared to waste a lot of paper!! The total printout is 69 pages. If that wasn’t ridiculous enough, for some reason the XS and S back pieces are not nested within the other sizes (even though the front is). So depending on what size you need, you are wasting 15 or so pages for the back size you don’t need. On top of that are two sheets labelled “Sheet 1” and “Sheet 2” that seem completely pointless. All up I had 18 pages that I binned – what a waste! This could be much better optimized – something to think about Tessuti in this environmentally friendly world we are trying to create!!

Tessuti Pia Dress

The instructions also use Tearaway Vilene for the armholes and neck opening – I didn’t have this but am confident my stay stitching is fine and there is no stretching.

I used a lovely soft double gauze bought on my recent trip to Japan. This stuff is amazing, it feels like it should be used to make baby clothes. I love wearing it and wish I had bought more. I do have one more piece in a light chambray colour with white polka dots – seriously considering making another Pia Dress with it.

Tessuti Pia Dress

Size-wise this pattern is from an XS-XL. Based on my measurements, I cut the front in a medium in the shoulders grading out to a large in the hips. The back I cut a medium. Originally I omitted the centre back seam, but on trying it on it was too big, so I added a seam to take out the excess, so I guess the back ended up being a size small. Lengthwise the original pattern came to my ankles, I ended up taking it up by approximately 5″, I am only 5’2″.

Tessuti Pia Dress

There aren’t many seams or any closures so it is a pretty quick make (I made it last Friday night after dinner). I followed the instructions which seemed quite clear. The pockets are constructed kind of oddly I am guessing due to each of the pieces being a different size, but in retrospect I am not sure why they weren’t constructed similar to a side pocket on a dress. The process seemed more long-winded and confusing than necessary – anyone else found this?

This was my first Tessuti pattern and I have to say I am a little on the fence. I love their concepts and they do offer different shapes than what is out there generally, however I really think they need to think a little more about the pattern layout and conserve more paper. I don’t know anyone who likes sticking PDFs together – the less pages the better!

Tessuti Pia Dress

I find the fastest way is to use a glue stick, it works really well for those patterns with a 1″ margin around the page, and the glue lasts too. I also use a guillotine to cut the margins off several pages at once. I also don’t trace my patterns. Anyone got any other PDF tips?

Side note – the gorgeous necklace I am wearing was a present from the also gorgeous Lizzy