How long does it take to plan a sewing project? In the first picture I ever saw of Dita von Teese back in 2001, she wore a black vintage dress with enormous bows on the pockets and neckline - I’m guessing it’s a cusp late 30s - early 40s number. I fell in love with it instantly. Years later I came across the dress again on Pinterest, and saved it to my sewing inspiration file.
When I came to sketching my own version I didn’t faithfully recreate the original, but rather drew on the details for inspiration: I gave the bodice a sweetheart neckline rather than the high neck (while the high neckline and bow is cute and gamine on the pixie-like Dita, I knew it would look matronly on me). I also wanted to make it in a colour other than black; I jotted down a few ideas (teal with aqua? Emerald with pink?) before settling on soft dove grey with pink bows. This is why I love sewing vintage clothing - I can make it so it suits me. I can take the elements of awesome from a vintage dress, but then redesign around them for a style that suits my body shape, personality, and colour palette.
This is the second completed project from my #2018makenine list, and basically the only change from sketch to realisation is the addition of pink trim on the sleeves. This came about more or less by accident - when I sewed the seam binding to the edges of the sleeves in order to hem them, I loved how it looked. After polling Instagram I decided to add the trim to the outside (thank you to all those who voted on my Instagram stories! I ended up moving the trim to the bottom edge of the sleeves).
I'm so happy with the finished dress! I feel like always say this right after completing a project, but then I've been completing a lot of long-awaited projects lately.