Loving the vintage vibe!

Here's where I'll share my obsession with vintage fabric! It's taking over my house!

I'll sharing with you my favorite fabrics, my 'adventures" in dressmaking using vintage patterns, some home furnishing ideas and no doubt I'll be telling you about any exciting finds! Love to hear about your vintage adventures too!

My first Shop was AudreysCat ( online shop May 2010) , but my new logo / name - WittyDawn , arrived Jan 2014.

I hope you'll have time to browse my shops too !

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Want to make the Great British Sewing Bee 50s wrap dress - hints and tips !

Firstly this was indeed a fun dress to make - and having made it yes I think I could happily run another up in a couple of hours.....and I intend to do so maybe with some design tweaks too!

As I am a fairly rubinesque size 16 and no longer in the first flush of youth , small waisted/big skirt designs are not always the MOST flattering look for me but the wrap/high waist design did seem to do me a few favours - OH seemed to approve anyway! 

I'm not going to do a step by step guide - you'll need the pattern for that - Butterick B4790 - BUT I am going to pass on what I hope will be some useful advice which might help you end up with a dress you'll be happy with .

1. This design comes up SMALL on the waist in my opinion. Measure your waist and use that to determine the size you need against the ACTUAL pattern piece - do not be surprised if you go up a couple of  sizes from your size in a modern garment. This is quite often the case in vintage patterns - even reissued ones. Unhelpfully the pattern has NO info' relating size to body measurements on the back of the packet! SO be careful f you can get into modern, often stretch'y size 16 jeans you ain't necessarily gonna get into a size 16 version of this dress !!

2. Choose a fabric with some body to it - by that I mean stiffness. A floppy fabric will not give you that nice 'sticky out ' 50s shape to the skirt or show that bodice shape as well. I used a heavier weight cotton - ( a rather nice find in a charity shop - grey plaid on on side, red on the other). I think this would be a knock out in raw/curtain weight silk / silk mix as well.

3. You might think you can put a net petticoat under that skirt - sorry nope - the under skirt/front is a closer fit than you might realise . HOWEVER I think it entirely possible to alter the pattern to have the underskirt as a fuller/lace/netted petticoat. I might have a go at this sometime!

4. Bias binding point 1 - 9 metres should be enough if you follow pattern exactly. I however wanted bias binding on overskirt hem and I didn't bother bias binding sides and hem ( where I used lace instead) of the underskirt. For this modification to the pattern I used 10.5 metres.

5. Bias binding point 2 - I would suggest using a fabric/bias binding combination where your fabric is stiffer/has more body that your bias binding. If you use a softer/thinner fabric with a coarser bias binding I think you could risk a twist in those front edges - which you want to keep nice and straight !

6. Bust darts ! I made this up , tried it on and bust darts tips were at least an inch higher that where they should be. OK - this MAY be just me LOL ! BUT remember this pattern was styled to 1950s undergarments and they tended to haul your 'ladies' up quite high and make 'em pointy . So unless you do the FULL vintage look with period appropriate bra/corsetry you may have to adjust the bust dart slightly .

I hope these tips help you out - I would certainly make this again and I look forward to wearing it when the weather gets just a bit warmer!

( BTW - The red comes over the shoulder more on my dress as I tweaked it to have some red showing on the front shoulder - If you follow the pattern exactly and use two contracting fabrics you won't get the same effect as on my dress )

EDIT:My estimated size info' on waist measurements. Max waist size, assuming front edges should meet and allowing 1 inch for narrow hem on back seam.

Size 22 - 35 inches
Size 20 - 33 inches
Size 18 - 31 inches
Size 16 - 29 inches

I have based this on actual pattern measurement from my size 16 -22  pattern . 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Sometimes you gotta LET IT GO....

So the thing is I've been lucky with my vintage thrifting/hunting recently....

I found this lovely set of Poole Twin Tone in the colour that I collect in a local charity shop
 ... and - as usual... I've been TOTALLY unable to pass by some fabulous fabrics...

but my cupboards can only hold so much so I've gotta LET SOME GO...

If you check out my ebay page I got some great items I'm 'releasing' back into the world!

I've listed lots of Vintage fabric DIY cushion pieces - which are being snapped up - and some great bundles/job lots like these....

I've also got some vintage clothes for sale, some of my WittyDawn items and I'm FORCING myself to rationalise my china collection, so these items are up for grabs too !

Why not check my EBAY listings out ;)!

Friday, 6 March 2015


Ok I'm having a little clearout

Do YOU like vintage barkcloth fabric ?
Do you like a bargain ?
Would you like to add to your vintage stash WITHOUT slogging  through charity shops/car boots/ebay listings ? ?


Head over to my WittyDawn Facebook Page for details of how to make a bid for this lot -

There's enough fabric in this lot to make the fronts of a LEAST 17 40cm cushions....