While her iconic wrap dress is particularly famous, she produced several patterns for Vogue and I have a few of them. An interesting write up of her work can be found here, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the wrap dress, which recently featured in the film American Hustler.
Does my collar look a bit big? Obviously this is how it was designed but it did seem a little extreme by today’s tastes. There is always a temptation when making a vintage item to remove the design details that date it. Gertie often notes that 50s dresses can be overly “poofy” – worn today they can make you look just too big in the hips. I have a sixties full length skirt on the go at the moment and I think it is just too gathered to be flattering. Another blog I admire describes how Karen often makes small alterations to her vintage patterns to make them more classic. Again I am sympathetic, and to be honest I have also made this pattern up again with a reduced collar.
But today I am wearing a big collar, feeling a bit like Harry Hill.
Basically I feel that it is the exaggerated details that somehow make the garment special. However this dress is designed as a “below the knee” dress, which I find hard to wear and unflattering. And have you noticed I am wearing thick brown tights and brogues? Hardly 70s styling!
Its like the old saying that if I replace first the handle, then the blade, of my Grandma’s old knife, is it still my Grandma’s old knife?
If you sew vintage do you feel the need to stay true to the design, or are you always going for the most flattering look?