Saturday, 11 August 2012

1950s sundresses



Watching this little video by The Guardian yesterday produced an uncharacteristically smug feeling in me. It features 1950s dresses on the high-street for those who want to get on board with this summer's vintage trend, but all I could think about is that we (possibly I and most definitely you talented lot) could do it even better!

Don't get me wrong, I love it when vintage, classic and retro designs hit the runways, and subsequently high streets, spreading awareness further. I also think that some of the featured dresses are cute, but not cute enough to pay extortionate prices for.

Take the dress the 'presenter' is wearing for example. A pretty Jonathan Saunders number, costing a whopping £825!?! I'm sorry, but it's not dissimilar to this dress made by Kerry of Kestrel Finds and Makes and I think Kerry's make has a much more interesting neckline and authentic feel about it. It's so fabulous and only cost Kerry around £30. Among the other 'pricey' dresses featured (ranging from £60 to £157) there are some nice enough designs, but I know I would struggle to find my desired length and fit amongst them.

Even the more affordable dresses, for example the £39.50 London novelty print one from Dorothy Perkins, left me feeling a little cold. In fact, I think this dress by Amy of Sewing Through the Motions is much, much sweeter. The other thing about the more affordable dresses was that they are borderline boring and lacking in the detail that vintage sewing patterns are so popular for and that home sewers are so good at adding.

There are countless more examples like Kerry and Amy, so yes, the film made me feel smug to be a part of this talented community, where making awesome and affordable vintage-inspired dresses is commonplace and downright inspiring. 

Do you think we do it better?

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for mentioning my dress Marie!

    Yes, I think we DO do it better. The more affordable high street dresses always skimp on fabric where they can and are too short for me, in the bodice and skirt length. As ever, homemade rules!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your dress is gorgeous and so much better than the presenter's!

      Delete
  2. Wowsers!! The prices of some of those dresses made my eyes water! :O And of course we do it better!! The dress on Sewing Through the Motions blog is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right!?! Who pays that sort of money? And yes, Amy's dress is super cute!

      Delete
  3. You guys most definitely do it better! No question!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes we do! I wouldn't look twice at the dresses in the video, the 2 homemade dresses are are lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think we definitely do it better! Sewists dresses are, as you say, usually more authentic since they've been made using original patterns. Can't believe the price of some of tham - crazy!

    Plus, we get to custom fit our dresses to our body shapes, which will always produce a better hanging garment than anything you could by off the rack! ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't quite mastered the whole fit thing myself, but you are totally right...theoretically ours not only look better and cost less, they fit better too ;o)

      Delete
  6. No doubt! Sewers sew dresses with lots of love to the detail of our garments, this is not possible with the industry, so impersonal ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, 'impersonal' is a great choice of word!!!

      Delete
  7. I totally agree! And the fantastic thing is that we will all be walking around in original dresses. There is no chance of us turning up to something and seeing 3 other people in the same dress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! I love knowing that I'll be the only one wearing my dress (even if many of you guys use the same pattern, we all make it up so differently)!

      Delete
    2. You ladies hit the nail right on the head with the originality angle, so true!

      Delete
  8. Of course we do it better!

    While I'm sewing I like to think about all the dresses I could make for £825.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And with your super thrifty skills, you could especially could make more dresses than the average sewist for sure ;o)

      Delete
  9. It always amazes me how much some people are willing to pay! I've always sewn to have more individual clothing than I could afford if I even paid high street prices. It's very hard to justify spending on clothing when you know you can make it ( personally fitting ) for so much less. Love the examples you showed btw....the Paris sundress has helped me in my maxi skirt decision....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that Amy's dress helped with your decision! And yes, I'm totally with you on that sentiment!

      Delete
  10. Yes, wow, that video was unbelievable. I've been so much more inspired since reading and following sewing blogs out there than I ever have before, and I just finished my own 1950s dress, and it came out so much than these dresses (and so much cheaper at $21!)

    These designers trying to cash in on the fads are just ridiculous. I can't believe people pay those prices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is ridiculous! Can you imagine paying that much for a fairly simple dress, that's not even original and that someone else at a party might come wearing too!?!

      Delete
  11. Aw, thanks for the shout out! I actually started sewing because I loved vintage dresses, but I'm such a common size that everything would be really picked over or go for way too much on eBay. There's so many cute patterns and novelty print fabrics out there. I definitely think we do it better! And wayyyyyyy cheaper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, it's well deserved ;o) Interesting to hear why you started sewing in the first place, people have so many different reasons I guess!

      Delete
  12. What a lovely post chica! Damn right we do it better! And so do you in spades. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nothing looks better than a properly fitting dress & that's what we get when we create them ourselves. I love having a one of a kind minus an obscene price tag. I try to stick to classic shapes when I see and love to see RTW styles like that because I know sewists are ahead of the curve. Why follow a trend when you can help start one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your last comment Erin...too true!!!

      Delete
  14. We have the same smug smile, Marie. I totally agree with you on this. We absolutely can do it better, so much cheaper, and most of all so much more original and unique. Pah! Sundresses? All you have to worry about is making the top fit. And then it' s just a matter of two rectangles gathered. Easy peasy.
    Seriously now, ever since I started sewing, it's getting more and more difficult to buy off the rack, especially when it comes to dresses and skirts. Very spot-on remark, my dear! Oh, that made me feel so good about me/us and my/our sewing skills (and potential)! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad this made you feel good too! It is very hard buying ready-made stuff nowadays, I just don't like parting with my money when I know I could possibly make it better!

      Delete