I’ve been neglecting my vintage patterns of late. But that did allow for some exciting rummaging and little squeals of delight when I found some treasures I’d completely forgotten about. And I just love that ‘aha moment’ when found pattern meets perfect stash fabric. Proper romance that is!
This is Blackmore So-Easy 9266. Not sure if it’s 50s or 60s as it’s not dated. The instructions were a little more explained compared to the last 40s Blackmore pattern I used but I enjoyed making both just the same.
I knew this dress wasn’t going to fit straight out of the packet. It was already too small and any dodgy fitting on this was going to shout from the rooftops. So it needed time and patience to grade it up properly and work through 3 toiles before I was ready to cut into the real stuff.
Once all the adjustments were transferred to the pattern pieces – grading up, shortening the back bodice substantially, taking out some excess from the overbust and increasing the waist – it was fundamentally a very easy to sew dress.
There’s no lining. The bodice is simply faced at the top edge. I must remember to tack this down in a couple of places on the inside, as the photos totally reveal how it peaks out at the back if it’s not poked in to start with.
I do so love recreating an original vintage dress but I should know by now how the drawings on the cover cheat so much! The skirt on the cover looks tapered and very fitted but in actual fact, not only is cut straight, it has a wide kick pleat allowance which gives the visual appearance of being even wider at the hemline.
I took it in quite substantially to arrive at this shape – like 4 inches each side seam! – and I sewed the kick pleat down too. I hated the granny hemline. Not flattering on my vertically challenged frame for sure. This does, however, mean that I have to walk very lady-like and in heels and therefore one helluva lot slower than normal. Not such a bad thing when for most of the time I’m rushing around like a lunatic with giant strides in Docs or trainers.
The fabric is bark cloth. Found in a little basement fabric shop in Waterloo ages ago. I love the texture so much, the colours are fabulous and it sews up beautifully. I made a Martini dress from bark cloth of the vintage kind but I have to say, this modern weave was definitely more grain-stable and less prone to stretch. It’s not usual to find this stuff in any old fabric store. Certainly a void of it in the Goldhawk Road. So if anyone has a link to a favourite UK store, please let me know. By the time shipping is added to the original Hawaiian brands, the price is rocketed!
Now, I would just like to touch upon the issue of straps. Fally down straps!! I felt sure that I had sussed the right width, length, the right position and before sewing them down, I walked around the house for a few hours with them pinned to make sure of their position. Ulitmately the ends of the straps would be sandwiched between the facing and the top bodice so better to get them in the right position first. I thought I’d cracked it. Made sure to sew exactly as pinned. But the buggers still fall down!! It really is the bane of my strappy-dress life.
To be fair, It doesn’t help that I’ve got sloping shoulders. But I do think also that I made the bodice a touch too wide for my over-bust and so the straps sit too close to the edge of my shoulders. Another little adjustment to bear in mind for next time.
Clever lady Clare, from River Elliot Bridal also had a great solution which was to sew a narrow elastic inside the strap to generate a little more grip. Must give that a go too.
I’m hoping the stormy skies keep at bay and glorious sunshine keeps coming over the next few months so my current favourite newbie gets more outings. But all the same, the fickle in me is furiously flicking through the collection to find the next new fave to make… because I can!
Photos by Daniel James Photography
Shoes: Lola Ramona
17 Replies to “Blackmore 9266 So-Easy!”
Fabulous! May those stormy skies stay at bay (does make for a dramatic photo though!) x
Thank you lovely Jen. Dan was really stringing it out. He was trying to convince me that a drowned rat look would be really cool, lol! He had a cover for the camera and everything in preparation… cheek! xxx
Oh it is so Bombshell! Especially on you, Lady! <3
Re straps, the elastic is something I was thinking too. or jut move them closer together at the back? That will make them a bit firmer and angle the straps in more. Bonus – if you do do that, you could add narrow elastic threaded through them, caught at the front end, and slightly shorter than the strap. This will have them pull in a little but it won't show.
Now, sissy that walk!
Ah yes! Genius! Although that would command a strapless bra. There’s always something. Thank you Maryanne xxx
Such a glorious dress! The weather isn’t so good for it this week, but it would look super cute with a shrunken cardi too!
Thank you Evie. Yes I totally agree. In fact I’ve just dug out a little cropped jacket that fits the bill, too!
You look stunning in this dress. It’s a perfect look for you… Kx
Thank you, Karen x
Yes, you are a bombshell beauty in that dress. You have lots of patience to do 3 toiles before getting to your fashion fabric. Very wonderful dress.
Thank you Connie. I’m only ever that patient when I really want something to work!!
You look absolutely gorgeous, love the fabric design.
Thank you so much. The fabric was end of roll and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it but I’m jolly glad I snapped it up! 🙂
The dress is a knock-out. Are you going to do the jacket, too? Just as an FYI, back in the stone ages when I was young (and the pattern likely was introduced), I remember working with an illustrator at the department store where my mother worked. This was when advertisements were illustrated as opposed to photographed. The illustrator told me that the illustrations, such as on this pattern envelope, were never meant to look like real people…they were always very elongated, especially the legs. So that picture of the skirt is very deceiving…not fair to the normal women sewing it. But you did beautiful!
Soo good! Great score on the bark cloth, it’s glorious. I like the shirt dress version of the pattern too. Even though we are heading into winter I have a hankering to make a strappy tropical tiki dress lately (Maybe because Gertie visited down under and is releasing that 3 way dress through kickstarter?!)
yes, I also hate fally down straps! And everyone’s shoulders slope! Mine less than a lot, but bought things, straps fall down, too. No, I have no answers. Just irritation about it.
Love that dress, though!
Ooo!! Your dress is fabulous! A perfect match of pattern and fabric.
So beautiful! Interesting to hear how the modern barkcloth as to work with, I have a couple of pieces of vintage barkcloth, waiting, I think for a summer frock….I have used old barkcloth before and found it mostly soft and comfy, but it did seem to stretch in the finished garment.
And that sky in the last photo, also impressive 😉 Looks like a moody day.