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6-way neckline/ vintage low waisted dress with full skirt

Added Apr 15, 2008

by elamberdor

Wagga, Australia






no pattern, just wanted a 50’s bell skirt, with a bit of volume, a strapless torso, and would experiment with what i wanted as a neck line later.

i buy patterns, but have so much impatience i just jump in in sections. (am doing a sewing course soon though!)

the 2 feet of loose stips of velvet (just zigzagged on the bottomfront) open up the opportunies this dress has for wearability!!!!

I’ve never sewn with tulle before, but theading inch thick zig zags onto a piece of cotton, then tacking stitching that onto the linen skirt bottom, then zig zagging it onto the linen with a machine, and then removing the tacking stitch – turned out wonderfully!

so my only mistake in this one was not remeasuring my torso template as the dress was too big at the end, so my original ‘true waist’ retro bell shaped dress slunk towards my hips, i fixed this by putting the strip of black velvet on the top to cover my chest, and found that a lower waist slimmed the dress down on me loverly!

all up:
-3 hours bodice(with zip)
-2 hours – underskirt with tulle and darts and velvet trim on skirt.
-1 hour neckline, finishings.

Material Notes

- 2.5/3 m thick beauuuuutiful black cotton with metallic silver embroidered cotton paisley design. (read: heavy!)

- 2 metres of white linen to form inside and under skirt of dress.

-invisible zip for torso

-3+ metres of 4inch wide velvet stretch strip, to form neckline and bottom of skirt.

- 1 metre of tulle, cut in quarters, gathered and stitched onto an underskirt peeping from under the dress.





to mum for the velvet strip i had no idea i’d ever use, and formed the wonderful unique versatile neckline and accents.

to Roethke at craftser.org for her tutorial on how to make a half circle skirt.

this tutorial

and to a few brief seconds in this video:

this tutorial

for showing me how to make a torso pattern off myself.

excuse the photography – will retake all creations once new camera!

once again – a happy surprise!

3 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 526e154b1afd847a50daa7af1c056f47b5391707_large

    Apr 15, 2008, 06.59 AMby sunnyb64

    Great fabric, and I love how versatile it is.

  • Profilbild_mini_large

    Apr 15, 2008, 06.49 AMby polychromatin

    Really nice dress. The many versions, how you can wear it, are great. I also want to make a 50ies dress soon :) Could you maybe make a photo of the underdress? I’m not sure yet, how to make it!

  • 35c6c9c4ce402dfe2d2d55e815109e01ce0a8916_large

    Apr 15, 2008, 05.37 AMby senasews

    i love about this dress, that you can wear it in so many ways.

    • This is a question
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