The first two dresses I found on the internet. I bought them of a woman in Amsterdam, so I could just go pick them up by bike. The day I planned to do that however the heaviest summer storm ever recorded made Amsterdam into a battlefield of branches and falling trees. But everything for a dress, so I did cycle through it got soaking wet, but it was worth it.
This dress needed little to no work except a wash. Because of the two different fabrics this had to be done with some care especially because of the white flowers, that could easily turn blue when the color bleeds too much.
I did remove the shoulderpads. Though it is a bit of a nuisance it's always a wise thing to do as they would take very long to dry and might create uneven color or even waterstains.
The dress washed and dried very easily. As it is crepe fabric it dit shrink a little. This problem is solved by ironing it back into shape when the garment is still a little moist.
I love the use of a patterned fabric and a plain one so much. It very probably dates the dress to the WWII era when textiles were particularly scarce. There are plenty of patterns of dresses from scraps of fabric and how to revamp your old dress or combine two dresses etc. I own several examples of actual dresses, often with very inventive combinations of two fabrics. I really like the look of patterned fabrics in combination with plain ones.
This dress is already one of my beginning of autumn favorites. Very comfy, a bit dressy bt not too much.
The second dress is made of very soft cotton, a really casual daydress. The print is not your usual floral but consists of feathers and scrolls in white. To compliment the print the dress has white cuffs and collar. The white collar was a little dirty and sewn on top of the rather nice sharp collar of the dress. So I took it off and tried to clean it, as the upper layer dit not become as white as I'd like so I sew them over with the other side up and under de collar of the dress. This also matched the cuffs much better.
A problem I often have with vintage dresses is that the sleeves are to narrow for me as my arms are rather chubby compared to the rest of my body. The sleeves of this dress did fit but not in a comfortable way, as you would want in a cotton dress you might actually do some housework etc. in. The bodice had two darts from the shoulder to the bust. The fabric had not been cut away so I could use it to create some gussets in the sleeves that would make them a little wider.
I've worn the dress on several occasions, for example comine with a white apron on my mother 40 year work anniversary. (the picture is a repost, but I don't care)
The third dress I found in one op the four Episode stores in Amsterdam. Episode sells a lot of 80s and 90s 'vintage' but they do have a rack of 30-60's dresses in every shop. As these dresses have one fixed price regardless of rarity or quality you can sometimes find gems that are quite affordable.
So I found a gorgeous late '30's/40's dress made of lace. Pity to find the dress had a lot of scattered holes in the skirt. Even more allarming were the signs of moth activity I found in one of the skirt seams.... As the store policy is that they cannot give al lot of discount when something is dammaged (they told me broken zips were considered more severe than fabric littered with holes...unbelievable, as a zip is never a potential hazzard and is a traighforward thing to replace). But oh it was such a lovely dress that I did eventually buy it.
Because of the indications of moth larvae having munched through the dress I put it in the freezer for more than a week. Putting clothes in the freezer kills any eggs that may have stayed behind. I usually do it anyway with any wool I buy secondhand. It's best to let it sit in the cold for at least a week. I roll it (to prevent creases) and put it in a plastic bag or two.
Afterwards I aired it in the bright sun (moth eggs can't stand sun either). And I did not put the dress in my closet right away, so I could keep an eye on it. This might sound a bit paranoid, but preventing is better than curing and a moth investation is one of my greatest fears.
Then there were the holes to adress. This was a lot of work buti ts always very doable to mend invissibly with lace fabrics. You have to kind of reweave the lost fabric. When darning this has to be done very densely, with a lace fabric you should not do that as it would show. Just mimic the lace. I like mending holes, it is very calming.
I wore the dress on my housewarming party.
Some very good additions to my wardrobe. I tend to buy a lot of dark blue, because I think it suits me and it is an alternative to black.
I already bought another dress in this color last weekend, but that shopping trip will feature in a next post.