Month: July 2017

Achievement Unlocked: Flamingo Dress

For someone who loves kitsch and vintage as much as I do, I have a startling lack of flamingo! No jewelry, no clothes. I might have a scarf but I also might have lost it. I’ve never had the lawn versions and the little knick knack ones I had are long gone. But that has all changed! I have sewn my very own Flamingo dress.IMG_5488My flamingo fabric is a slightly looser weave cotton from Joann. I found it near all the fashion fabrics. It’s definitely a dress fabric, not a quilting cotton.  For the pattern I used Simplicity 4478 from 1962. I loved the big collar and sleeveless view #2.IMG_5102 My dress seems great but there are definitely fit issues. Half sized Simplicity patterns start to get weird in the 60s. They go from fitting perfectly to being almost as bad as straight size patterns. I just don’t get it.IMG_5101The bodice looks awesome right? It seemed ok in my mockup too! But when I finished the dress the length from shoulder to bust point was way too long. The waist is a little lower on 60s patterns as well, which gives me a new fitting issue at the hip. The bodice was also really big at the underarm. I may have messed up and made my overlap too shallow so that’s at least partially my fault. Since this fabric is a looser weave I also wonder if I over handled it or stretched it out while ironing. I made some minor adjustments after it was basically all together. Fixing it properly would require removing and redrafting the collar, among other things….so I’m going to wash the dress and see if it shrinks a little (even though I did already pre-wash the fabric). Those bodice issues are exactly the problems I have with straight size patterns. I thought the goal of half size patterns was to scale for narrow shoulders and a shorter torso? Not really happening here! I also got the amount of fabric I needed wrong so I really had to squeeze. Luckily the skirt was also too long, by over six inches! The illustration shows a knee length dress but mine would have been easily past the calf. These patterns are supposed to be for ladies 5’3″ and under (and I’m 5’3″ on a good day). What were you thinking Simplicity? It just doesn’t make sense to me.IMG_5492The pattern called for very of the era 1 inch buttons on the non-fuctional shirt front. Since I didn’t have anything appropriate in that size, I opted for a bunch of pink and white plaid covered buttons. I think they look pretty adorable.

The issues I had with this pattern and others from the 60s really frustrate me. I’d like to sew more with 60s patterns as I dig the way styles shift from the late 50s to early 60s to late 60s. In fact, I was originally planning on sewing this dress again but I’m not sure I want to keep messing with it versus trying a different one from my vintage stash.  I don’t understand why the 60s fit goes so wonky nor why it seems to sort itself out again in 70s patterns.


In addition to a new dress, you might have noticed my new haircut! It’s still basically in a bob but it’s a lot shorter and stacked in the back. While I generally wear my hair on the shorter side, I get a little nervous about cutting it shorter than X. I decided it was time for a change and it is hot, humid and Georgia out there. Perfect timing!