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BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern Contest 2013, Elizabeth Dress

Added Feb 10, 2013

by Libdid

Melbourne, Austr...






When I saw the contest announcement I didn’t think I’d be able to enter since my book hadn’t arrived yet. But the postie came through and delivered my book a couple of days later. I hunted through my stash and I came up with the perfect vintage fabric – some sheer turquoise cotton that was a set of curtains once upon a time (very Scarlett-esque). Of course, I couldn’t go past the Elizabeth Dress since it bears my name and is just a great classic vintage style.

The main change I made to the basic pattern was to convert the gathered skirt to a box pleat. No matter how much I try, gathered waists always look terrible on me. It took a bit of fiddling but managed get to get the pleats nicely lined up with the bodice darts and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I also moved the zipper to the centre back since I usually need to take some fabric out at the back neckline to stop gaping but in the end I needn’t have worried.

Since the fabric is very sheer, I underlined bodice and also lined both the bodice and skirt with black cotton. This also meant I could omitted the facings (I hate facings!). To attach and turn the bodice out I sewed the back and front pieces together at the shoulder then placed the lining and shell right sides together, sewed the neckline and armhole seams then turned it right side out though one of the shoulders. Although I liked the high neckline, it turned out a little too high, so I lowered it by 1.5".

I also added pockets since all my dresses and skirts must have pockets. To attach the bodice and skirt I first sewed the front skirt to the front bodice and the same for the back pieces (2 because of the centre zip). Then I finished the sides in one continuous seam from the bottom of the skirt through the bodice shell and lastly the bodice lining. The bottom edge of the lining was press up and slip stitched to the shell. I was so happy with my matching of the fabric weave down the front centre and seam matching across the zipper, both on the first go – that never happens to me! I pinked all unenclosed seams – pinking always makes me feel a little retro! Finally, I shortened the skirt length to a 23" drop from the waist so it sits just covering my knee.

I’m really excited by how it turned out. The cut has a great vintage feel and the colour gives it a modern pop.This will be a great party dress.

PS I couldn’t resist adding a pic with one of my pups.

Material Notes

Thrifted vintage curtains, cotton blend
Black cotton lining




Garment Type

10 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Feb 22, 2013, 09.43 AMby Therese A

    This dress looks great on you ~ box pleating suits you fabulously. Colour is vibrant and to think it was curtains! Best of luck ~ doggy jacket to match might be a thought maybe!

  • Missing

    Feb 22, 2013, 01.04 AMby rosemary decker

    Well done!! You captured retro. Fine work with smooth seams , no puckering. What a beautiful “drape”

  • Copy_of_americanlakeshike7_large

    Feb 21, 2013, 08.33 PMby megarooski42

    I love this dress! Very classic shape and I like the styling with the box pleats instead of gathers as well. I’d totally wear this!

  • Missing

    Feb 20, 2013, 12.14 PMby Skall

    I love the dress, it looks beautiful on you!!! And pics with dogs are always good!!

  • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

    Feb 16, 2013, 05.58 AMby smallone

    wow that fabric is so perfect for the period! and so great for what you’ve done with this dress.

  • Missing

    Feb 15, 2013, 11.19 AMby Anna E

    What a beautiful dress, and so well made! It must be a lot of fun wearing it.

  • Ravatar_copy_large_large

    Feb 15, 2013, 06.22 AMby spulford

    Love this dress, and your modified skirt really suits the print. Aaaaand I’ll admit that I giggled that this was a curtain dress. Good reincarnation, curtains.

  • 377944_10150398768726890_510421889_8601861_537155934_n_large

    Feb 15, 2013, 01.26 AMby ariation

    Perfect fit! and lovely colour

  • Bulgaria_and_france_burgundy_2012_101_large

    Feb 14, 2013, 11.31 PMby schnui

    Your dress is beautiful and so well sewn. Perfect in fact and the fit on you is also perfect. I really like the box pleats as it really suits you and the pattern. Good luck in the competition.

  • 20170310_191639_large

    Feb 14, 2013, 10.15 PMby Mary Athey

    This is a gorgeous dress, I love the colour shape and it’s fab on you. Cute dog as well good luck x

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