Thursday, January 6, 2011

Eco retro...

I have just completed this dress from 1974, Vogue Americana - Carol Horn 1032, using op-shop cotton fabric, and eco-dyeing techniques.

I don't know the names of all the leaves I used, but it included lavender sprigs, broken oak leaves, eucalyptus leaves, and one unidentified leaf - some "windfall" I found on a walk to the supermarket. These were all placed between the folded fabric and bundled tightly with yarn.

I cooked this in a leftover dyebath from a few weeks ago - I had left the liquid in the pan after my last dye lot. The dyebath actually had a little stuff starting to grow on the surface, but I think that all just adds to the natural dye least I hope so :-)

I cooked the bath, just under a simmer, for an hour and left it overnight to cool. Normally I am far too impatient and curious to leave the bundles before unwrapping them, but I forced myself. In the morning the water looked black and I thought I had left it too long, and it would all be black. It is such fun opening the bundles, always a surprise, and they turned out really good!

The dress was super easy to make. I had the size 10 pattern, from an op-shop, and was not sure it would fit. I seem to be a 12 in both vintage and modern patterns, so I only used a 1cm seam allowance instead of 1.5cms. This gave me a little extra room, and I think it fits really well.

I have been making more 60s and 70s dresses lately, with satisfying results. I think I will make many more.

BTW - these photos were taken along the waterfront where my BF and I go for our daily bicycle ride. It is just lovely...

It was a great night for a ride, lots of people sharing the path :-)


  1. Hi there

    Dress looks great!

    I have made several dresses from that pattern and it is terrific. But.....I have lost some of the pieces! So if you ever finish with the pattern I'd love to have it - mine is a size 10 as well.

    guess I am becoming a follower.

  2. Hi Lyndel,

    If you let me know which pieces you need, I will copy them onto patter maker's draft paper for you and send them on to you.

    Leave me another comment with how to contact you and let me know what you need :-)

  3. Thank you. I just grabbed the pattern (because I knew pieces were missing I haven't pulled it out of the envelope for quite a while). And in reality I am missing a lot of pieces. Front of dress and both side pieces and facings. I think it will be too difficult to copy all that! I might try to see if I can find a copy from Vogue online. Though I looked before I think and couldn't find it. Bit of a sentimental favourite for me because my bridesmaids wore it back in the early 70"s. If I have no success finding a copy I will contact you again. And thanks so much for the offer.

  4. It would be no trouble to do it...just let me know :-)

  5. I found the pattern on an US website in the right size and ordered it. It arrived today so I am very delighted. Thanks for your offer to send me pieces and thanks for the inspiration of the dress. Spurred me to action and for that I am grateful. Now to some sewing.... enjoying the blog. cheers

  6. Hey Lyndel, good on you for getting the pattern :-)