Monday, 21 April 2014

Blue vintage dress fix

I've signed up to Me-Made-May and there is nothing like an externally imposed deadline to get the gears into action when I realised the quite limited amount of me-made clothing I will have to wear.
This was the incentive I needed to get some of my UFO's (unfinished garments) completed.

This little job has been hanging around since last summer and the Easter sunshine has spurred me on to finish it.

I purchased this lovely hand-made vintage dress at Rockit in Covent Garden for a knock down price because I spotted the hole in the front of the skirt. I had noticed it when trying it on (and also spied the generous seam allowances in the bodice that I would be able to use to patch it up with). So a huge reduction in price was negotiated!

Here is the dress - I am guessing it's early 1960's. What do you think?

Vintage blue dress from Rokit
So I bet you are thinking "I can't even see the hole at the front of the skirt?!" luckily its only a tiny hole and with such busy fabric you could get away with wearing it 'with-hole' but that's not the kind of style statement I want to be making.

Here is the tiny hole:

Here is how I fixed it.
First, I took a sliver off the very generous side seams inside the bodice of the dress.

I selected a part of the fabric that was mainly blue to match the missing fabric in the hole.

I carefully matched up the grainline of the fabric when laying the patch from the inside of the dress.

I then pinned the little patch in place. The hole seems to have already disappeared even at this stage of the fix!

The next task was to select a suitable thread to 'disappear' into the original fabric - there are a lot of options given the multi-coloured hues of the dress. I chose the second from right which I felt softly blended with the majority of shades in the print.

Onto the hand-sewing! The trick is to carefully fold back a small section of fabric and stitch a very small 'seed' stitch to catch the folded back fabric.
This technique is how you hand-sew reverse applique (a fun link about machine reverse applique here).

This is the finished patch!

From a distance you don't even really notice it!
What do you think?

All ready for Me-Made-May. Let's hope we get some nice weather so I don't need to wear it layered up with leggings and a big chunky cardigan.

Now, I just feel I should make my case for using this item of clothing for MMM I have also had to replace the buttons (the old self-covered ones had worn out) at the back of the dress, add some press-studs at the rear opening (it seemed to have a large area just left open for some reason) and I have adjusted some of the back seams too.

Quite a few additions that in my opinion makes this little blue vintage dress a contender. I hope you agree?


  1. Caroline it's a really beautiful dress! How clever of you! I would never have thought to make a patch from a seam allowance - I hope you get plenty if wear from her this summer :).

    1. Thanks so much - it occurred so me to patch up witht he seam allowanceonly because they are so darn generous!

  2. Brilliant mending, how handy that they were so generous with the seams! That fabric is fabulous too, what a gorgeous dress. Hopefully you get to enjoy it plenty over the summer! :)