it wasn’t meant to be


I had high hopes, guys, SUCH high hopes for this dress.

It was going to kickstart years of sewing vintage patterns. It was going to add some unique flavor to my wardrobe without detracting from my personal style. It was going to live in that sweet spot between effortless-casual and pulled-together-work-appropriate.

Or, you know, not!

I haven’t really posted about THIS kind of project before; my posts tend to be about my favorite makes, the success stories. But that’s not really a realistic portrayal of sewing, is it?

So here we go: I made this dress, and I really don’t like it. Let’s punctuate that with many, many GIFs of Liz Lemon, even though I haven’t watched “30 Rock” in ages and can’t remember where they all come from.

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vintage amazeballs

google news

[ Lewiston (Pa.) Evening Journal, Sept. 13, 1947. Image via Google News. ]

So, let’s talk about vintage patterns for a minute. Not those reproductions that the big pattern companies do, although I’m ALL in favor of those, and not the vintage-inspired indie patterns you see out there, like Tilly and the Buttons’ Francoise or Colette Patterns’ earlier designs. I’m talking about really, truly vintage patterns that someone bought in a store or by mail 60 years ago (crazy thought).

I’ve been sewing up my first one, and I’ve learned something important: Old newspaper ads for sewing patterns are delightful.

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the one-time-only dress


I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about this project, for a few reasons:

  1. It’s not relevant to a lot of people who sew, because not everyone wants to make their wedding dress;
  2. I’m pretty sure if I tried again, I could make it better;
  3. I don’t have many pictures of the process;
  4. Don’t you get tired of people who talk about their weddings all the time? I don’t want to be that person.

But here’s the thing: When I was planning to make my dress for my wedding back in May, I obsessively searched the Internet for people who made theirs. I shook my fist, figuratively speaking, at people who made their own dresses, or made dresses for relatives, and didn’t put an explanation on BurdaStyle or Kollabora or whatever. People, I needed help, and I soaked up whatever I could find.

So maybe if I share my experience, that’ll help others.


So! I made my wedding dress. It was fun and hard! You should do it too, maybe.

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