Cherry Ripe dress

Woo hoo! My new laptop has arrived!!! And you know what that means? I can start catching up on my backlog of blog plans. Plus, I can start to catch up on my backlog of reading of other people’s blogs. Yay!!! :-) (Sorry real life, I’ll be busy doing online stuff for the next few days. See you in a bit.)

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

To start with, here’s one I’ve been wanting to share for a while. It’s been surprisingly long since I made something using a vintage pattern (back in September, in fact), and even though I’ve been loving working with indie patterns, I’ve also been missing the vintage action. December seemed like the perfect time to break that drought – there was a picnic-in-pretty-dresses with the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network, it was ‘Celebration’ challenge month on The Monthly Stitch, and I wanted a new dress to wear for Christmas. Cue cherry print fabric, and a pattern I’ve been wanting to make for a while – Academy 3377 from sometime in the 1950s.

Academy 3377

Such a cute pattern – I’ve been wanting to make this one for ages! Check out those sleeves – they’re cape sleeves, which attach with buttons, so you can wear the dress sleeveless or with sleeves. So cute! (Has anyone ever seen this sort of detail anywhere else? I haven’t, would be curious to know if it’s on any other patterns anywhere….?)

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Since the dress was kinda for Christmas, I went with cherry fabric. Being down in good ol’ New Zealand, cherry season is right on Christmas time for us, so I always associate cherries with Christmas as they tend to be a Christmas-day treat. :-) And, you know, they’re also red and green, Christmas colours and all that.

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The fabric is a basic cotton from Spotlight, that I impulse bought one day when I’d been standing in a queue to buy 1m of interfacing for nearly half an hour. I felt I had to justify the time spent there a bit more than just by spending $6 in interfacing, so when this leapt out at me from the clearance table for $8 per metre (woo hoo!) it kinda accidently slipped into my stash. Conveniently, just enough of it to make this dress. Clearly it was meant to be, right?!?

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Being a typical 1950s pattern, and a typical Academy pattern, the instructions were somewhat sparse. I still have no idea what direction I was meant to fold the front and back skirt pleats in – I just picked a direction and went with it. *shrug*

I didn’t make many changes to this. I graded out at the waist (since I’m a bigger size in the waist than I am in the bust). And I added interfacing down the front button plackets for a bit of reinforcement. I also added an in-seam pocket on one side – skirts with pockets are the best, yes indeed. Oh, and I still haven’t gotten around to finishing the belt – I’m considering leaving it as a tie belt, what do you reckon? Or should I make it a typical belt instead?

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now, I kinda-but-not-really apologise – this is going to be a picture heavy post, due to the sleeve variations. You see, I can wear this sleeveless, or with the sleeves buttoned on. And since the sleeves are identical back and front, and button on, I decided to make them reversible – with the contract chocolate brown fabric on one side, and the cherry print on the other. So, you know, I have to put up pics of all the variations, right? (Especially since I’d like to know – which way does it look best? I can’t decide if the sleeves stick out too far or not – what do you think?)

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

For the fun of it, I used contrast fabric for the inside collar and the belt. I also used the same fabric to make bias binding and used that to make piping for contrast trim along the shoulders and the sleeve edges, so when I wear it sleeveless or with the cherry print side out on the sleeves, there’s a bit more contrast brown to go with the collar and belt. Since the dress is covered with cherries, I went with the theme and used a chocolate brown poly-cotton (from a duvet cover actually, and left over from one of my maternity dresses). Coz it’s fun to make dresses that remind you of chocolate bars. ;-)

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The buttons down the front are vintage self-covered buttons, which I covered in the cherry print fabric. I went with plain red buttons (purchased from Made Marion) for the sleeves though, as a) I didn’t have enough vintage buttons in the right size, and b) I wanted them to lie flat for when I wear this with cardigans or jackets).

I used vintage green cotton tape for the hem. The pop of green on the inside makes me happy, yes indeed. (Hem tape – so much fun!)

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Despite all my efforts, I didn’t get this made in time for the sewing bloggers picnic. Or for Christmas. I was so tempted to rush through it, but I decided to take my time, get the covered buttons right, make the piping, etc, and I’m so glad I did – it’s those little details that I’ve discovered make me appreciate my me-made garments more. So this dress’ first outing was in early January, to the wedding of a lovely lady I’ve been friends with since we were 13. She got married in First Church in Dunedin – a pretty Gothic style church where our high school used to have yearly events. It was a beautiful day – there was a piper piping us all into the church (can you spot him in the photo below?), and the ceremony and reception afterwards were lovely – happy and relaxed and perfectly suited to the bride and groom. I love weddings like that. :-)

First Church, Dunedin, New Zealand

They also had a gorgeous vintage car, so I got a photo taken with it. Coz, you know, 1950s dress and a vintage car – it would have been wrong not to use the opportunity, right?!

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The rest of the photos are taken out at my parents place, just outside of Dunedin. (Thanks to my father, who played photographer for me in between brilliant sunshine and bursts of rain. Strange weather that weekend, it was.)

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this dress. It’s a cute print, and I enjoyed wearing it. (And will wear it again soon!)

I’d make the pattern again too. Although next time, I’ll lower the waist by about an inch, as it’s a bit high on me. Aside from that though, it fits pretty well, so overall I’d say this one is a win and a good start to 2014. :-)

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35 responses to “Cherry Ripe dress

  1. Pingback: Academy 3377 | Patterns patterns patterns

  2. I love the detachable sleeve detail. Why, it’s almost a little cape.

  3. i love the button on sleeves! i have never seen that before. and making the piece reversible is a brilliant idea – so many looks in 1 dress! i think making the belt (if you can be bothered) would be a perfect finishing touch!

    • I’m kinda tempted to make another one, also with reversible sleeves, and then mix-and-match them – or even just an extra set of sleeves. So many options with something like this! ;-)

  4. Wow! What a great pattern that yielded a fabulous dress. I love the details and of course, the print brings it all together. Covered buttons — now you got me thinking….

    • Thank you! :-)

      Covered buttons are a lot of fun – this is only the second time I’ve used them, but I’ll definitely be using them again sometime very soon.

  5. WOAH!!! Modular sleeves!! That is the BEST thing I’ve seen in a sewing pattern yet. I love the practicality of that idea, every pattern should have this option. And, you did this gorgeous pattern full justice! I love the fabric you chose with the brown trim, it look fantastic on you! Really lovely and I so want this pattern now.

    • Haha, thank you! :-)

      Yeah, modular sleeves are a pretty awesome detail. The sort of thing that only the 1950′s could come up with, right?!

  6. amazing dress! i adore that shape of the dress, and all the little details make it even more beautiful.. and those sleeves are crazy, what a fabulous idea!

  7. What a pretty dress I love the sleeves.

  8. Love that dress!!! Sleeve idea is fantastic – never saw that before but such a great idea. Love the details you included in your version and am glad you took time. Yes ma’am, sometimes that’s the bestest way!
    del

  9. Very pretty dress! The fabric and the pattern just perfect! Love your photos too :-)

  10. I love this on you! Really flattering and such a cute fabric. The sleeve button thingy is a really cool detail–I’ve never seen anything like it (although I’m a bit partial to the sleeveless version)!

  11. Love the dress!! Totally meant-to-be fabric acquisition – dont’cha love it when that happens? The button-on sleeves definitely give it a vintage vibe but personally I prefer sleeveless :)

    • It funny with those sort of fabric acquisitions – I kinda feel a bit of guilt with them (unintended stash accumulation, after all!) but there’s certainly sneaky delight mixed in with that. ;-) (Got it again yesterday – had to set foot in a fabric store to get some black drill for something I’m making, and ‘accidentally’ walked out with a dress length of navy blue cotton with cute cartoon turtles, apples and tulips on it. What can I say? It leapt out at me and demanded to go home, haha!)

      • I absolutely understand. It’s (almost) physically impossible for me to go to any fabric store and walk out with ONLY what I set out to get ^__^

  12. I love this dress. The reversible/removable sleeves are fabulous. Must have them. It looks great on you and the photos all look wonderful.

    • Oh, thank you! :-) I’m starting to think of other ways/places I could use the reversible/removable element in garments, it’s so much fun playing mix-and-match! Sleeves, skirt inserts that can be zipped closed or opened for more flare/colour, reversible/detachable collars…. Hmmm…..

      • I like the idea of detachable peplums on dresses.

      • Now that I think about it, I suspect I may actually have a pattern for one of those, from the 1940′s…. Hmmm…. Wonder if I’m remembering that correctly, may have to go hunting through my pattern library and see what I can find, and if so, make that a project very soon! ;-)

  13. Wow those sleeves are so unique! I think I like them cherry side up best but if I were you I’d just chop and change depending on what you feel like each day. It looks like you have put heaps of work into the details and it has paid off!

    • Thanks! :-) It was one of my learnings from 2013 actually – if I slow down a bit and put in some little details the end result makes me a lot happier. (Of course, I have to remind myself of that with every make, to counter my tendency to rush to the joy of getting things finished, haha!)

  14. Mmm, chocolate AND cherries! And those sleeves! :)

    Have you finished the belt yet? I vote for brown belt with a cherry covered buckle.

  15. This is gorgeous! And guess what…I just bought this pattern! I’m feeling even more motivated to make it up now. It looks so good on you and I love love love the cherries!

  16. Wow, this is beautiful! And what a fun detail of detachable sleeves! I’ve never seen anything like it, but it’s awfully clever. You look great!

  17. Pingback: Bib bop a lu-la | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

  18. I’ve never seen sleeves like that before, but they make total sense! Going to have to try something like that myself soon : )

  19. Pingback: Bossy, bossy, bossy boots | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

  20. Pingback: Meet the Editors – Kat! | The Monthly Stitch

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