{ Sewing } Big Ol’ Black Dress

The Little Black Dress (LBD) has been considered a wardrobe staple for every woman since the days of Coco Chanel – chances are, if you wear dresses, you’ve got a LBD hanging in a wardrobe right this moment. Especially a black 50s dress.

I, however, don’t really do little. Go big or go home, right?

black 50s dress

In comes the Big Ol’ Black Dress (BOBD is much more amusing than LBD).

I wear black dresses a lot. And since I’m running out of variety in my BOBD wardrobe, I thought I’d knock this Big Ol’ lady out with just some plain cotton (possibly a pique) that I got from my friends over at Rolls And Rems on Holloway Road.

black 50s dress

It’s a really lovely quality cotton, but the issue I have with anything 100% cotton is that it just absolutely has to crease at every bloody opportunity it can. Infuriating but so lovely to work with.

The pattern used is my self-drafted No Cock Nor Tails pattern, but with an added full bust adjustment because the original didn’t really accommodate my larger-than-I-think-it-is bust.

However my first ever FBA didn’t go so well, and I ended up with some weird bagging right on the bust apex. AKA baggy nipples. No one wants baggy nipples. Plus, some extra fabric in the arm scythe. The former isn’t that noticeable, but you can definitely see where it doesn’t fit right in the arm holes in this picture;

black 50s dress

So this dress has inseam pockets in the box pleated dirndl skirt, a lined bodice, and a centre back zip. I screwed up with the insertion so there’s a gap in the top, as you can see in the photo below. I’d say I’ll put in a hook and eye, but since becoming single, there’s no way I can undo that sort of fiddly thing myself.

But you know what? It looks pretty good, it feels pretty good, and it’s a great BOBD.

black 50s dress

Now. I’m going to stop talking about the dress and take a moment out to TALK ABOUT MY HANDBAG.

vendula london george

This is The George pub bag from Vendula London and it’s quite frankly the greatest handbag ever.

One, it’s a fucking pub. Two, you can take the handle off and use the long strap to wear it as a cross body bag. Two handbags in one, yes please! Three – THE LITTLE SIGN OPENS UP.

vendula london george

If you’re in London, pop into our shop to see this beauteous thing in the flesh, because it is just so amazing.

black 50s dress

melody maeHair Flowers; Lady Luck’s Boutique
Earrings; Bow and Crossbones
Brooch; Luxulite
Shoes; Miss L Fire
Bag; Vendula London

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{ Sewing } P-P-P-Polkadots!

I’ve spoken about Rolls and Rem’s remnant table before, right? This is yet another great find. Similar fabric to the Striped skirt I made, this is a stiff canvas-like cotton which just behaves beautifully through a machine. This Polkadot 50s dress was the perfect style for it!

melody mae 50s polkadot dress

The pattern I used for this dress was an altered version of the No Cock Nor Tails dress I made several years ago – the difference being that I added a ruched bustline by taking the bust of the pattern, slashing and spreading, and gathering it. It looks pretty adorable with the ric rac trim though, right?

melody mae polkadot 50s dress

I actually made before I went on a night out a year ago! I’d had a real problem with overestimating the ease and the finished garment ended up massive. So I threw it in the wash and it was set aside in my ever-mounting pile of alterations for another day.

Then after a re-discovery, I threw it through my machines and thought that was that.

melody mae polkadot 50s dress

But readers. This is me, and I am not a lucky person. The bloody thing shrunk in the wash without me realising, so the dress is preeeeeetty damn tight now. And I even had to cut out the bust of the original pattern which at this point pretty much served as a lining for the ruching. That was just to make sure I wasn’t giving myself pancake boobs!

However. The damn thing juuuust about fits, and quite frankly I love it. I’m still a bit of a sucker for a polka dot every now and then, and the off-white polkadots are a really welcome addition to my black obsession recently!

melody mae polkadot 50s dress

So! Lets get down to the nitty-gritty, yes? The dress is unlined as the fabric is thick enough without it, with facing on the entire neckline/arm scythe. I finished the hem with bias tape as I find it’s really just the easiest way to hem a full circle skirt without any weird puckering.

And you’ll be shocked to hear this, but there are NO POCKETS in this dress. I’d originally planned on patch pockets with ric rac trim, but honestly it looked pretty stupid and I’ve never really gotten around to popping in some in-seam ones – it might happen one day when I get too frustrated with keeping my phone in my bra, though.

melody mae polkadot 50s dress

melody maeEarrings: Bow and Crossbones and Luxulite
Necklace: Vintage
Brooch: Luxulite
Bangles: Vintage and Splendette
Handbag: Accessorize
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens

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{ Sewing } When Life Gives You Lemons…

A while back when I was checking my local fabric shop I came across this cotton. It’s black and off-white striped and near enough to a canvas but without the crazy stiffness. I loved it. I loved it more when I realised there was a few meters on the remnant table! So what did I need? A striped circle skirt!

It was sat in my stash for possibly about a year without much thought. I’d wanted to create a cute/spooky sort of vibe with it for a while, but it didn’t happen. Until I had the flu and finally just sat the hell down and got on with it!

melody mae striped circle skirt

Now, you might ask why I thought it was necessary to mention I was ill when I was making this skirt. My dears, in my flu-high, I managed to cut the thing arse about face! I ended up with a centre back seam that was… well… a little fucked up. I dashed back to Rolls and Rems to source more fabric, but I was unsuccessful. In the end, I decided to take my scissors to my pattern pieces in a desperate attempt to salvage the project.

And damn, if that doesn’t look like a purposely-decided design feature, I don’t know what does!

melody mae striped circle skirt

So I should possibly explain. Since my skirt has side seam pockets and a centre back zip, I had a half-circle for the front and two quarter-circles for the back. 3/4ths of this skirt was perfect and matchy-matchy. Then that last quarter panel was pretty much an exact copy of the other, instead of a mirror. Boo.

So with a little bit of brainstorming and some help from Rosie, I decided to split by back panels into eighths and take off an eighth either side of the front panel and mix it all up so that the panels’ mixed directions look a little less like a mistake! My visual help looked like this, if you were somewhat confused.

melody mae striped circle skirt

Whew. That was wordy. Anyway. It worked out pretty nicely, I’d say! Even if I did mess up for a second time and accidentally switched around two panels (Points go to anyone who can spot my mistake ;D).

Literally the only other thing I dislike about this skirt is I made the holes to the pockets just a tad too small. That’s it!

melody mae striped circle skirt
melody maeNecklace&Brooch: Vintage
Top: Primark
Belt: Collectif
Bangles: Splendette
Bag: Sun Jellies
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens

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{ Sewing } Twilight Tartan

Often when I’m roping friends into taking photos for me for the blog, we get a little carried away with shopping and eating burgers. We then have to run about to find the last bit of light so I can get a photo. That’s exactly what happened with this tartan 50s dress – taken in twilight!

melody mae tartan 50s dress

You can tell already – it’s the trusty B5880 all over again! My versions of this dress has undergone some real changes from the original pattern. This time, I’ve ditched the neckline notches and done away with the sarong skirt in favour of a pleated dirndl skirt. I used box pleats for this skirt style, similar to my A Check-Ah, A Check-Ow dress but used a much longer length that other versions.

This tartan version sees the return of the original concealed side zip which makes it easier to get in and out of without help! The seams are overlocked, the neckline and arms are bias-bound. It also features possibly the biggest pockets on a dress to date – it fits an A4 magazine with a bit of room! If you love pockets as much as I do, I’m sure you’re going to appreciate that!

melody mae tartan 50s dress

The fabric itself is a lovely mid-weight wool blend Stewart tartan. Is a great fabric with nice texture, snuggly warmth and is light enough to hang well, but stiff enough to keep shape, which is my perfect sort of fabric!

We’re heading into spring now, and I’m going to be so sad to stop wearing this dress. Although I love my ginghams, I adore this dress too much to say goodbye right now!

melody mae tartan 50s dress

melody maeEarrings; Bow and Crossbones
Necklace&Belt; Vintage
Brooch; Luxulite
Bangles; Vintage and Splendette
Bag;  Sun Jellies
Shoes; Primark

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{ Sewing } Planten Un Blomen

I made this Japanese inspired dress the day before I was flying to Germany. I’d decided I had absolutely nothing to wear for the wedding we were going to. This really isn’t the case, but they don’t call me Last-Minute-Melody for nothing!

I needed a tried-and-tested pattern to make this as quickly as possible. Without even thinking, I grabbed my trusty B5880 pattern and got to business with my fabric.

melody mae japanese inspired dress

This fabric is a great medium-weight cotton in navy blue with a non-specific Oriental theme. I like to think it’s a Japanese print, but you can correct me if I’m wrong! I’ve had this fabric sitting around since my last trip to Goldhawk Road – and I won’t do that again in a hurry. Does anyone else come out of every shop getting nearer and nearer to panic attacks, or is that just me?

melody mae japanese inspired dress

As always (you can check out my other B5880’s here.), my B5880 is now very different to the original, without the neckline notches, an altered neckline and this version has a circle skirt instead of the original sarong-style.

The alterations on each dress seems to change with every new version, regardless of how big or small. This dress is the same, with the side zip moved to the centre back and some neckline differences. Seams are all finished with the trusty overlocker, but the hem and arm holes are bias-bound and catch-stitched.

melody mae japanese inspired dress

Since time was not on my side (my own fault!) I didn’t line this dress. Luckily the fabric itself is not see-through, so lining wasn’t so important – no worries of flashing here! The saddest point – I didn’t have time to put in pockets! The shaaaaaame!

Now I won’t lie – I don’t actually like this dress. I loved it in my head, I loved it once it was off the machine but once I wore it? Really wasn’t a fan. And I haven’t worn it since – do you ever get like that?

 

melody mae japanese inspired dress

melody maeHair Flower; Lady Luck’s Boutique
Earrings; Bow and Crossbones
Brooch: Luxulite
Necklace; Vintage
Bangles; Vintage
Shoes; Miss L Fire

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{ Review } Brightening Up Grey Days with Yours Clothing

Yours Clothing kindly offered me a chance to try out something from their Hell Bunny collection, of which they stock items in UK sizes 16-24.
I find the transitional pre-spring time really difficult for dressing. I’m ready to wear pretty sundresses, but the weather has a completely different idea!

melody mae yours clothing hell bunny

Hell Bunny is a brand I’ve never tried before as their style in the past wasn’t to my personal taste. Seeing the selection on the Yours Clothing site was wonderful, however, as they have a nice mix of the rockabilly-goth style as well as my preferred vintage style!

I was instantly drawn to the Red & Black Polkadot 50’s Style Dress for a few reasons;

  1. Red.
  2. POCKETS.
  3. Adorable pin dot print!

melody mae yours clothing hell bunny

I’m actually a big fan of polka dots still, and the smaller pin dot print is a little more subtle.

The dress is made from a lightweight stretch cotton, which will easily see me straight into the summer months. With a typical square neckline and wide adjustable straps, I can see this being a greatly-worn sundress for me once the British sun decides to rise!

melody mae yours clothing hell bunny

I went for a size 20 for this dress as it was closest to my actual measurements on the size guide. However! This dress is clearly cut for a bigger bust than my own, so I could have gone down a size. If you’re small busted like myself I would definitely size down, but good news for you big busted ladies!

melody mae yours clothing hell bunny

To complete the grey-day outfit, I picked out the Cropped Cardigan with Cherry Embroidery as a cute cover up – and can I take a moment to gush about just how perfect this cardigan is for a moment? I love good knitwear, and honestly this has a real quality to it. It’s soft but thick, and has a reinforced button band to keep the front in shape.

I took a size 18 as I like my knitwear tight, and the size was perfect for me.

melody mae yours clothing hell bunny

 

melody maeDress & Cardigan: C/O Yours Clothing
Bangles: Splendette and Vintage
Hair Flowers: Handmade
Earrings: Bow and Crossbones
Bag: Zatchels
Shoes: Melissa

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{ Style } Of Hangovers and Vintage Fairs

It’s Saturday afternoon. I’ve just eaten a massive Korean-style burrito and I’m hungover. Surely, nursing a hangover doesn’t usually suggest going out and walking around at The Classic Car Boot Sale, does it?

classic car boot sale

So that’s what we did.

Sore in the head and later than planned, we headed off for The Classic Car Boot Sale, which comes around twice a year bringing us classic cars and all sorts of vintage curiosities being sold out the back of them.

Unfortunately, I have little to say about this CCBS – other than the aforementioned burrito, I didn’t buy a thing! Sadly a lot of items were overpriced or in extremely bad condition (I’m looking at you, woman who was selling a lucite bag with the disease!! SHAME.) – or in fact, both, in regards to one 40’s dress going for £170 with massive rips throughout it!

classic car boot sale

classic car boot sale

But we still got some great photos – and we got to see Mr Wilson’s Second Liners – of which you need to watch THIS VIDEO OF. RIGHT NOW. Because it really helped these hungover idiots!

classic car boot sale

I wore one of my favourite outfits ever – This EShakti dress is possibly the best staple I own! The length is just absolutely perfect and the scalloped neckline is beautiful. But mostly I love just how easy it is to wear!

classic car boot sale

classic car boot sale

melody maeBrooch: Luxulite
Cardigan: Collectif
Dress: EShakti
Bangles: Vintage and Splendette
Bag: Vintage (from a previous CCBS)
Shoes: Miss L Fire

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{ Sewing } Last of the Summer Gingham

Alternative title; MORE BLOODY GINGHAM. MORE BUTTERICK B5880.

Hi guys! How are we all doing? I accidentally missed a week there because I was too busy getting drunk dressed up as The Little Mermaid…  Hopefully you guys have had a week quite as awesome as that?

melody mae butterick b5880

Yes, that is what you think it is!

I made another B5880 in gingham. I’m approaching this post with general nonchalance because really? There’s nothing I can tell you about this dress that you haven’t already heard from the ONETWOTHREEFOUR versions of this dress I’ve made (there’s also one I haven’t blogged about AND another one in the making – it’s B5880 mania here!)

melody mae butterick b5880

melody mae butterick b5880

The main difference between this dress and the Check-Ah Check-Ow is the ric rac trim on the neckline and the pockets – and I have out-done myself pocket-wise, since these behemoths can actually hold an A4 magazine.

Other than that, this dress is practically identical. Still has the boatneck-styled neckline, the back zip and pleated dirndl. And frankly? It works for me. The blue gingham dress is still in heavy rotation now, so why not exactly the same thing in another colour?

melody mae butterick b5880

melody mae butterick b5880

The construction for this dress has become like second nature to me now, since I’ve made so many versions! I may or may not have sewn the ric rac skew-iff because I was still drunk when I finished it… I have cleverly hidden that from view in these photos though, of course, because no one should have to see bad ric rac placement!

melody mae butterick b5880

melody maeBrooch: Luxulite
Bangles: Vintage and Splendette
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Bag: Vintage

 

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