Sunday, January 26, 2014

Make more ways than one!

Last year I followed along oogling over the projects various sewers were creating for The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge hosted by The Dreamstress.  This year, I decided to join in on the fun.  The reason is multifaceted a) it will encourage me to make some of the wonderful historical garments I incessantly pin on Pinterest, b) it will get me back into the swing of posting on this little blog of mine and sharing projects with my family, and c) it sounds like a fun creative challenge.  

I've decided to aim for doing the "half marathon."  In other words, instead of trying to do all 24 challenges, I'll aim to participate in 12 challenges.  That way I will have a month to work on each challenge, rather than two weeks, which I just don't see fitting in well to my current busy schedule!  

The first challenge this year is entitled Make Do & Mend.  I ended up starting this challenge a little early, as I was looking to make myself a new dress to wear for Christmas and the parties that come with it.  I went digging in my stash of vintage patterns and found one from Jessica's of those fabulous mail-order patterns!  When I started working on the dress I thought it would be perfect for this challenge as it would fit the theme in a couple of different ways.  First of all, the dress looked to be from the 1940s and therefore might have been made by someone in the midst of the Make Do & Mend movement during WWII.  And secondly, it was made entirely of fabric I found in my stash.  Originally I wanted the main body of the dress to be the print, with the accents in solid red...but lo and behold I didn't have enough print to do that so I had to change it up to make do with the fabric I already had. is where I failed on this challenge.  Most of my interest in historical fashion is in the extended 19th century...ask me when a garment was made during that period and I can narrow it down to 5 years or less.  Post-1925, however, I'm still working on really getting to know all the little nuances as fashions began changing more rapidly and the ready-to-wear industry boomed with fashion trends, in general, starting to move more quickly.  So, I went online to look up this pattern to see if I could find an exact date...I was guessing it was somewhere around the mid-1940s, so right about the cutoff date of 1945.  Good news...I found an advertisement for this dress in a newspaper online!  Check it out here.  Now, if you went to the link you have probably already guessed the bad news.  That's right, according to the newspaper advertisement the dress is from 1950.  Whomp whomp.  :-(  

I've decided to go a head and post it, as I fully believed when I was making it that it would be perfect for this challenge.  I guess I'll just have to date before I make when tackling something 1940s for any future challenges!!

The Challenge: Make Do & Mend
Fabric: 100% cotton, both print and solid
Pattern: Sue Burnett 8419
Year: 1950
Notions: snaps and hooks for the side placket closing
How historically accurate is it? Pretty accurate
Hours to complete:  Hmm...forgot to track this...probably around 6-8?
First worn:  Work holiday party
Total cost:  Nothing right then...everything was from my stash


  1. Your dress was a beautiful in person as it is in pictures!

  2. Awww :-( But I appreciate that you looked it up and fessed up to it, and at least you have made a lovely dress!