Vintage Guts part 1

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Hey Guys!

I bring to you the first installment of my Vintage Guts series!

I'm excited - I hope you are!

So the first dress I'm bringing you is my blue Wrap Dress. I bought it in April in a shop called Retro Fit in San Francisco. The shop I bought it in was really awesome, the best part being that the changing room had a submarine door to climb through.
It appears to be made of a chambray, and I think it cost me $103 with tax.

 There was another dress I liked too, but the lining was shredding and I thought it would need to much work. Also, Mr.G was all 'you don't have much room in your case and you don't know what else you're going to find'. To be honest, that was true, it was our first day. But it was super cheap because of the repairs needed.

So as you can see, the dress kind of has a dungarees feel about the straps. The wrap-ties button at the front, and there are MASSIVE pockets on the front, with appliqued rose baskets. These pockets are amazing, they hold so muc, and even better, half the time you can't tell there's anything in them.

It looks to me like the rose baskets are all one print - cut out of a print in one piece, and then appliqued around each piece to make it like like patchwork. The roses are quilted, and puffy with wadding.

The pockets are edgestitched at the top centre front. And for some reason asymmetrically.
Which is probably why the pockets sit differently sometimes. I might rectify it, as it bugs me sometimes.

A I mentioned, the wrap-ties button at the front.

And there are two sets of buttons for, you know, if you've had a big dinner.. I like how you can't tell the second set are there! From doing this post I have realised that the placement of the buttons on either side and centre front of the skirt in relation to the darts, is completely off.

There are three darts shaping the bust, which I definitely appreciate! Gives less of a boxy pointed bust, and I enjoy the fact that one of the darts goes into the arm.

The straps have a dungaree feel about them. The whole neckline is faced, and the staps are just topstitched on. The straps travel down the wrap back into the waist, and enclose the side backs in the process. It is topstitched all over.

The back skirt seams utilise the selvedge. The selvedge of this chambray is basically the exact same as the rest, which is awesome, and it isn't obviously the selvedge, but you get that finished edge with no fraying!

The outer wrap has folded in the selvedge by about two inches, and it is simply pressed, but the inner wrap isn't folded at all!

The under wrap comes through the side seam, where a gap has been left, and topstitched around. 

Now going inside out...

The company brand label is still intact! It looks like they trademarked at the end of 1959, so the dress is Early 60s probably.

As you can see, the straps enclose the side back on the inside too! the waist is pinked and topstitched up. You can see the selvedge edge of the skirt.

I love how the dress looks almost the same inside out.

The hem has a small turn and then a deep one, and is handstitched. It's a little uneven but hardly visible from the outside.

Some of the seams are pressed oped in parts and some aren't. The skirt sides are pressed open for the waist seam but pressed to the side at the hem. The bodice sides are a little erratic too!

As you can see theres a small red mark in the fabric at the waist front which was pointed out to me when I bought it. I had already seen it, but I couldn't leave it behind.

The front neckline is faced, understitched and topstitched. The edge of the neckline is turned under and stitch, although a small bit needs to be repaired. The centre front of the facing V is seamed.

You can see the edges of the straps are turned in and topstitched.

I think one of my favourite parts of the dress is how the straps enclose so many seams. If I want to replicate the dress, I will really need to think about the order of construction!

I don't think there's anything left to cover in this one!

Hope you guys enjoyed it, and if you notice anything that I haven't - let me know!!

Emmie xx


  1. Already loving this series Emmie! I can't get enough of looking at different construction techniques! This dress is a real beauty you lucky thing.

  2. Really interesting post and I'm so glad you showed this dress! I noticed it at NYLon (mainly ogling those pockets) and it's great to hear and see more about it. Interesting wrap construction!

  3. Fascinating post Emmie. I love seeing in depth looks at construction. Thanks for showing the darts - really interesting to see how an additional one makes for a softer shape.

  4. Sew Little Time30 June 2014 at 11:21

    i love this dress so much - you have to make a copy of it as it's so unusual!

  5. ozzyblackbeard30 June 2014 at 17:16

    Ooo, this is fascinating. Thank you for showing so much detail of the insides. It's a gorgeous dress, I love the pockets so much, and I can see how you couldn't leave it behind! Lynne


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