As mentioned in a previous post, I recently bought a 1960’s Hostess Gown from a lovely vintage shop in Dunsborough, if you are ever down that way “do yourself a favour” and check it out (Oroton mesh bags, skirt suits a la Jackie Onassis etc etc, it’s a treasure trove!).
Anyway, this lovely dress caught my eye, the fabric colours are my two favourites. I don’t know the maker Noble Frocks of Sydney (last mention I found online was 1969), but I think they must have been a high-end manufacturer. The dress was very well made, with pattern-matching and tailoring techniques- it made unpicking the whole thing quite a chore, but oh, so worth it 🙂
The first step was to harvest some fabric from the lower hem, I took about 20cm as the dress was very long and I am not particularly tall. I added 5cm to both sides of each shoulder to drop the bust points to where I am and also to keep the balance at the back. Then I added another 5cm to both sides of the dress. Unfortunately the pattern matching had to go as what I had available just couldn’t be wangled that way. No matter though, the pattern is pretty busy and the areas I added the fabric are not glaringly obvious.
The sleeves were left open at the bottom edge. The fabric is synthetic and I wanted to have as much air flow around sweaty bits as possible. I had enough fabric left to close the sleeves with a seam, but decided against it, I may well change my mind in the future, but I am happy with the decision at the moment.
I finished the bottom with a finger-rolled narrow hem, to be honest, it’s a bit of a dogs breakfast, that chiffon just moves around so much when trying to cut accurately, methinks I will need to investigate Tear-Away… anyway, the hem is far enough away for it not to be an issue (really?).
Now all I need is a party to “hostess” !
I wonder if the original owner would recognise her dress now? It has gone from a long, elegant gown for a slim and pert 1960’s woman, to a shorter and slightly less elegant one for a slightly plump middle-aged woman.
It is funny though, I am gradually coming around to liking this stage of my body’s evolution; it is a strong and capable one that has borne children and worked hard. it is pretty fit and getting even fitter as I write; it is good 🙂
UPDATE: This may well be my last post for a while. Personal stuff is pretty overwhelming at the moment and I haven’t much energy for sewing or commentary; hopefully things will settle over the next few months and I can get back into this…