Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Modern Take on a Retro Dress - E.S.P. by Decades of Style!

One of our favorite sewing pattern lines for retro and vintage fashion is Decades of Style. Though some of the mid-century dress lines have a lot of seaming detail, such as our Object d'Art Dress from last year, these clever folks have come out with an easy sewing line called Decades Everyday.  It's like they read our minds - "Give me a retro look pattern that I can sew in a day and wear every day!"

As quickly as you thought of it, Decades came up with the E.S.P. Dress. (Don't you just love the name?! ) A simple dress with raglan sleeves, flattering neckline, and a gathered skirt, the possibilities are endless for fabric choices.

Pattern layouts for striped fabrics can be a challenge.  The most important part of the layout is to place all the fabric pieces so that the tops of the bodice and skirt pieces are flowing in the same direction along the lengthwise of the fabric. This is especially important if the stripe pattern has a repeating flow of colors.

Love the exposed zipper!!!

This classic dress has a gathered skirt attached to a fitted bodice. What we have found is that almost all body shapes look good in this design, which is probably why it had survived countless fashion trends over the years.  Gathering fabric is relatively simple:  sew two rows of basting stitches along the waist of the skirt and after pulling the threads to gather the fabric, be sure to sew it with the gathered side on top to avoid puckers in the skirt.

The finished E.S.P dress is just perfect!  The stripes on the sleeves were not exactly matched, but I think the result added just enough edge to the bodice to make the dress more interesting and not so matchy-matchy.  And I know I'm going to love those pockets!!

More of these wonderful cotton import stripes!

Laurel made a little tie belt for my dress so that the waist is more defined, but a purchased belt would look lovely too.

Perfect for a button detail!

I can see this design in all kinds of fabrics.  I probably wouldn't ever wear chintz, but can you imagine how cute it would be? What about a gorgeous silk for a evening cocktail dress look? Imagine the variety of looks you could get with some of our beautiful cottons.  The staff here at Stonemountain & Daughter did just that!

Here's Brenna and Suzan--don't you just love those unicorns?!
Brenna did it again!  She used a beautiful vintage fabric this time.
Isabel and Claire look great in their ESPs!  This pattern is just perfect for novelty cottons.

Want to make your own, but aren't sure where to start?  Take a Sew & Fit Lab class at Stonemountain & Daughter for help on your own individual projects.  Or check out Barbara Beccio's class on Perfect Seams for Any Garment to take your sewing to the next level.

We know there are many of you who have made this classic E.S.P. dress too, and we'd love to see!  Send us pictures in the comments or email us at fabriclady3@gmail.com.  Until next time!

Creatively Yours

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