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V&A Couture Vintage Dress

Added Mar 16, 2013

by sewingentusiast

Toronto, Canada






The dress that inspired this project is from the Victoria & Albert Collection. It was a part of their “The Golden Age of Couture” exhibition in 2008 with a pattern available here
It took me entire day to piece the pattern together and to cut the pieces out (there are A LOT of pieces to this dress). I had no problems with the instructions – it was very clear and detailed. In fact, I discovered that the technique I used (completely intuitively)to finish sleeve opening for the Blooming Almond Dress Project is the same as proposed for this couture dress 
The fabric was much busier that the one used for original dress and I decided to embellish the dress with the blue satin ribbon rather than suggested band cut from the same fabric.
The Dress has number of interesting design decisions: no side, back or front seams; big pockets, triangles for upper part of bodice (shoulder parts), zipper insert etc.
The main challenge was to neatly join all parts of the upper body ((including the lining pieces) together at the same points at the side seams.
Lessons learned:
1. I should have used the white lining instead of the same fabric. The upper bodice looks spotty from the bright flowers on the lining.
2. I modified the pattern to provide for a larger waist but it was unnecessary because the pattern has more ease then it should’ve had for the fitted bodice.
3. Next time, I will make more effort to have symmetry and/or continuation of the fabric pattern between different parts of the dress.

Overall, I am pretty happy with the result and dress feels amazing to wear!

(Click See all and scroll to see all pictures at once)

Material Notes

I spent a lot of time searchig for the fabric that would have flowers arranged in some kindof stripes.. and ffinally had settled on an inexpensive cotton (about $15 for 5 yards). It was not a perfect choice but it allowed me to “play” with backgrounds of white and yellow.

I paired the dress with the fresh-water pearl necklace that I made a while ago.




Garment Type


Victoria & Albert Collection

4 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    May 8, 2013, 10.25 AMby pinkgribble

    Love this dress I have got this pattern I have never tried it. Think I might just have to go for it.

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    Mar 16, 2013, 04.56 PMby Bublet

    Loverly! Thanks for sharing the link also :)

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    Mar 16, 2013, 10.11 AMby sleepy-dumpling

    Stunning dress! I love your choice of colour and the ribbon trim x

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    Mar 16, 2013, 07.31 AMby Mary Athey

    Fabulous dress, i bet this is gorgeous on x

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