#VintagePledge Guest Blogger: Three Stories High

Wow! Jo's, of Three Stories High, foray into unprinted vintage patterns has resulted in a seriously adorable tennis dress, complete with polka dots and ric rac! What's not to love about this make?!? Best of all, she attributes her brave approach to taking part in #VintagePledge since 2014. Well, Jo, it's been a pleasure following your vintage journey!

I am excited and honoured indeed to be joining an esteemed list of bloggers and makers joining in the July Vintage Pledge EXTRAVAGANZA. It means a lot to me because without joining the vintage pledge last year I don't think I would have improved so much as a dressmaker through the inspiration it gave me. I had been an admirer of vintage patterns because I liked the artwork, but now I can truly say I am a maker of a wonderful wardrobe full of them thanks to the Vintage Pledge 2015 and 2016.

For this guest post I wanted to try to use an unmarked vintage pattern. You know, a little challenge to myself, a little step up. I love this pattern and have avoided it for over two years now because it is 'pre pattern marking' and that is a bit scary.

Now if I am going to be totally honest with you, my heart was with the shirt dress. I wanted to try the princess seams to give a shirt dress better shape for me, but in reality when I got the paper pieces out, I got a little bit frightened about putting on a collar and button band without any markings. 

I knew it would be possible, but I kind of chickened out. No matter, as the other tennis dress was really beautiful too. The square neckline attracted me because I didn't have anything like that in my wardrobe. So I cracked on cutting out and marking every tiny hole.

I tacked the whole dress together. That is how I have been working recently. I have only ever made one toile in my life and that was a self-drafted pattern. Tacking a whole outfit works for me because I have made so much now that I have a good idea of what I need to alter when I cut right at the start.

I made a few changes. If you are a long time reader of my blog you will not be surprised to know it was too long in the body. This is just what happens on me and why I make my own clothes.

I also made it longer because I was not going to be playing tennis in it even with those big ball pockets stood on a tennis court! Lengthening was a strange phenomenon for me because I usually have to shorten things.

The fabric is a thick viscose with a lovely drape purchased from the stitching show last year at the NEC in Birmingham, the grand purchase total being £12.00. At the end I added on the ric rac because I am a sucker for the stuff and the buttons are shown as on the pattern. I added three purely because there were three in the packet.

Will I be tackling another unmarked pattern? I wouldn't specifically hunt one down, but if I really liked a pattern/design/image, it wouldn't stop me from having another go.

Do join in with the pledge if you haven't already - it could be something as simple as a skirt to get you going or you could end up like me and make nearly all of your clothes from vintage patterns by the end of the challenge. My motivation to sew more generally definitely started with the Vintage Pledge back in 2015. It really has been an inspiration.

Happy sewing one and all. Thanks Marie, I feel totally honoured to share one of my vintage makes in your creative space.

Jo xxx


  1. It's lovely! The fabric was a great choice - I wouldn't have even thought beyond tennis dress white for this!

  2. I adore this dress. The shape! The spots! A brilliant make. BTW Marie, I've been trying to make comments on your blog from my phone and it's not working. Not sure if the problem is at my end or yours?

  3. Absolutely lovely dress Jo. It works so well in polka dots! x

  4. What a gorgeous dress! I too would not have thought to make a tennis dress pattern into a "normal" dress. And ric rac and polka dots are two of my favourite things, you just can't go wrong with them in my humble opinion! :-D

  5. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!
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  6. What a lovely dress! The pattern has been transformed for the better in my opinion in the choice of fabric and trims, plus the added length.

  7. The pattern and the stitches match perfectly and you look so lovely in that dress. Try a different jacket it would be much appealing.

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