Two things of note: I don't normally 'do' cream/white or similarly light-coloured dresses and I've steered clear of polka dots since my rather cartoonish take on vintage back in 2013. For these reasons my second version of Tilly and the Buttons' Martha Dress shouldn't work for me, but it's really rocking my world!

I already waxed lyrical about Martha when I blogged about my first version and I'm fairly certain that she may well be my pattern soulmate. I love the silhouette of the princess seamed bodice with the swishy skirt, and by omitting the overtly 60s/70s accents like the mandarin collar and big sleeves, I've found a go-to shape that works well for both work and play. The retro accents are great by the way, I personally just find the dress more wearable without them.

Just like my first Martha, this one is also made from a medium-weight knit. I bought it on Goldhawk Road last year after falling in love with its waffle texture, but I really can't remember the name of the you look up the street with the tube station behind you, it's one of the very first ones on the left hand side of the road.

Once again, despite working with jersey, I wanted my dress to keep its shape and look structured, so I reinforced the waist with a hardy ribbon and didn't skip the centre back zip. Like before I cut out a straight size 4 and hemmed the skirt at the mini length, which on my petite frame is the right amount of modest.

The only thing that bugs me about my first version is the neckline. I finished it with a facing (which the pattern calls for as it's designed for woven fabrics) which I then top-stitched, resulting in a slightly wavy finish due to the ponte's thickness. Vowing to avoid that issue this time, I followed a reader's advice to under-stitch the facing instead. Sadly, the result was the same so I ended up unpicking the entire facing and simply turning the neckline seam allowance under and top-stitching...which worked a treat! 

I first wore this at a wedding a couple of weekends ago and it seriously felt like cheating. Even though I felt cute and put together, I was so ruddy was just like wearing the pyjama equivalent of a dress! I could have added a belt for some extra glamour, but it was hot and I was like 'meh'!

As an aside, do you wear or blog your makes first? I have this OCD thing going on where I prefer to blog my makes before their first outing when they're still looking as pristine as possible, but that wasn't the case this time. There was a mixed reaction when I raised this on Instagram, but Rachel of House of Pinheiro made the excellent point that by blogging after wearing you can give a better review of how the garment fares in the real world. 

Anyway, it's safe to say that you've not seen the last of Martha from me. In fact, the jerseys on the right-hand side here are all earmarked for future versions! I may even make it up in some slinky viscose, so watch this space.

On that note, I'll leave you with this wonderfully flattering picture of me being a brat. While taking my photos, Charlotte suggested that I might want to look happier, so I flashed her my sweetest smile...

When Portia invited me to take part in the Refashioners again, I jumped in without hesitation. 

With my adrenaline pumping, I sought inspiration on Pinterest and fell hard for the patchwork look. It seemed to be the perfect match for Seamwork's woven tee, Hayden, which I'd been dying to make for ages.

Like a total nincompoop though, I totally missed her very clear memo that this year's challenge is all about jeans.

As unlikely as it sounds, distracted by work and life, I somehow managed to convince myself from the very start that it was about denim in general. Despite her follow-up emails, related blog posts and blindingly obvious blog button, I didn't twig until it was far too late.

Nonetheless, Portia is SUCH a gracious host, that she still humoured me with a guest blog and that's just one of the many reasons she's a beautiful human being.

Find out more about what charity shop finds I transformed to create Hayden, why I paired it with my faux-quilted pleather skirt and what I think to the pattern and a boxy fit.

Also, get involved in Portia's community challenge for a chance to win amazing prizes!

You guys! Kerry and I are so overwhelmed by your participation in #VPJuly on Instagram - between us we posted over 2,250 inspirational photos to celebrate vintage sewing and fashion! It's been an absolute blast, so THANK YOU all!

Although I'm a little sad July is over, don't forget that #VintagePledge is a yearlong challenge. You can sign up by leaving a comment and if your makes on our dedicated Pinterest board you'll be in with a chance of winning brilliant prizes at the end of the year! Details on how to become a pinner are here and we'll be announcing our prizes and sponsors in September.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a cracking round-up of #VPJuly...

Guest Bloggers

Our guest bloggers delighted us with their array of beautiful vintage makes. The links below will transport you straight to their posts, taking you back in time:



Of course #VPJuly wouldn't have been quite as exciting without our fantastic sponsors and generous prizes. Check out what they have to offer:

Bamber Sewing Machine Centre / Beyond Measure / Ditto Fabrics / The Foldline / Girl Charlee Fabrics / Love Sewing / Minerva Crafts / Remnant Kings / Sew Over It / Sewn Bristol / Simplicity New LookThe McCall Pattern Company UK / The Splendid Stitch / The Village HaberdasheryTilly and the Buttons / WeaverDee Sewing & Craft / WhiteTree Fabrics

Thanks again to everyone who got involved and I hope we can keep the momentum going until the end of the year!

I've got a bonus #VPJuly post for you all today, to mark the end of our July Extravaganza! As well as a guest blog over on Kestrel Makes, the inspirational Erin of SeamstressErin Designs is sharing a cool 1970s number with a matching outfit for her beautiful baby girl! Erin is not only inspiring for taking part despite giving birth very recently, she's also got a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, has a growing range of sewing and knitting patterns and has given us a wonderful insight into the style of some of our favourite bloggers!

Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress 4

Here I am with my #VPJuly dress (and the little munchkin that has been keeping me from doing much of any sewing). When Marie asked me to take part, she mentioned that she liked that I often sewed vintage patterns but put a modern twist on them. Well, I guess I took that as a challenge to be true to a pattern as this a deviation from my norm since I used a 1970's dress pattern and 1970's fabric with (almost) no modifications!
  butterick vintage 3068 envelope

I used Vintage Butterick 3068 that I bought on my honeymoon in New Zealand. I couldn't find a date for the pattern, but it's clearly from the 1970's (those collars are a dead giveaway!). It's described as "semi-fitted, slightly flared dress in mid-knee length has front zipper closing, shaped waistline seam, pointed collar, and sleeve variations." For an explanation of why I agonized over using this fabric and why I picked this pattern, pop on over to the post on my blog.
  vintage dress with collar

I did intend to sew the dress totally as written with its collar. However, once I got the collar sewn (immaculately, if I might add), I basted it on and thought that it threw the proportions off. The adorable floral bodice was drowned out by the giant collar. I think the collar might have worked had I not color-blocked the dress, so I may give the collar another shot if I sew the dress again without sewing the bodice and skirt from separate fabrics (I didn't have enough of the floral to sew the whole dress out of it and I thought an entirely denim dress more plain than I wanted. I considered a denim dress with collar and pocket cut out of the floral, but the floral is pretty thick and I was worried that it would make the collar too bulky. I also wanted to use as much of the floral as possible, so this is where I ended up!)
  Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress neckline

I'm super happy with the finished dress, most especially the bodice as the cheery floral is just so happy-making! I happened to have a zipper with an interesting pull in my stash in a yellow that coordinated, so I opted to use it, thinking that if I was going to insert a centered zipper, I might as well emphasize it. Normally I would swap centered zippers out for an invisible zipper, but again, I chose to make the dress (almost) as written.
  Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress pocket

I'm kind of obsessed with the pockets on this dress. I'd like them a bit more centered (they are set quite wide, but I bet that's how the pattern was graded into this "large" size 16) on future dresses, but it doesn't bug me enough to rip and re-sew the pockets on this dress. I think one of the most fun things about vintage patterns is the details, and the slanted shape of these pockets that echoes the slanted shape of the waist seam is no exception!
  Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress

Thanks to Marie and Kerry for asking me to take part and for inadvertently encouraging me to sew a vintage dress without adding a modern twist!