I am still mulling over my options for SWAP 2008 and I think I'm closing in on a plan. Even though I'm not ready to start SWAP sewing yet, I am in the mood to sew. So, to get me in a 60s kind of mood, I have settled on my first major project for the year:
The pattern is Vogue 1854, a beautiful dress by James Galanos. There is no date on the envelope, but the lines of the dress say mid-60s (1966?) to me. Although I knew the name Galanos, I didn't know much about this designer, so I did a little surfing. For anyone interested, I found an interesting article online. My favourite quote from this article is
"When I started making clothes in the 1940's, elegance and formality were the rule. Now it seems vulgarity is rampant. It's encouraged by some TV shows and interviews. I don't really like it. The clothes themselves look unfinished, "The only thing that seems new is accessories. Most of the clothes are sleeveless and strapless. People themselves look messy. I hate the hair, it doesn't look groomed. It looks unwashed. I guess the fashion is to look blown and windswept. But it seems to me the hairdressers are doing a bad job of styling."
"Everybody seems to be wearing pants all the time. And everyone wants to bare the midriff. I really don't understand the mentality. It's certainly being casual. But it has nothing to do with class. Some of the clothes look beautiful, but I don't think the designers, as a whole, have made their mark."
Ya gotta love this guy - dang, but I'd like to spend an afternoon with this gentleman!! Also, anyone in the Philadelphia area, there is an exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art featuring the work of James Galanos, Gustave Tassel and Ralph Rucci (my all-time favourite designer).
The fabric that I'm using can be seen under the pattern, a warm brown wool tweed. When I first got this fabric, I was certain it was a knit due to the sponginess of it, but it has no stretch. It washed up beautifully, with very little fraying and so far it has been a dream to work with.
At this point, I have cut out the fabric and the underlining. I am in the process of transferring all the pattern markings to the underlining and pinning the fashion fabric and underlining pieces together. I figure it will take me about six hours total to complete this phase of the sewing process.
The pattern is very interesting. Although this dress appears symmetrical at first glance, it is not. Here is the description from the envelope: Semi-fitted A-line dress with jewel neckline has left shoulder and side back concealed button closing. Right side front and and left side back pleats. Full length sleeves with slits. Right side pocket.
Notice that there is only one pocket and the pleats are on the right side front and left side back. The only pattern pieces that are cut twice are the sleeves. All the other pattern pieces are unique. As with all the vintage patterns I have ever worked with, the instructions for this dress are exceptional. Take a look:
Before I finish up today's post, I wanted to answer a question from yesterday.
* Michelle writes, "You have commented on several mail order/web sources for fabric (2 of which I have recently used). You have yet to mention Fashion Fabrics Club. What has been your experience with them? I'm on their email list and am tempted, but before I plunge I would like someone's experience."
Michelle, believe it or not, I have never ordered from FFC. I have been tempted in the past, I have loaded a shopping cart with fabric, but I have never pushed the submit button. Sorry, that I couldn't be more help. Maybe some of my readers could leave their experiences with FFC in the comments section for Michelle.
Finally, this is what the dog has done all day - sleep, sleep and more sleep. It is just too darn cold around here (-7 C with a windchill of -15 C) to go out for a walk, so Simon is cooped up inside. I sure hope this cold spell breaks soon because both he and I are going stir crazy.