romance and dressmaking – the dressmaking

We have left the ROMANCE behind us, the reason why I start to make my own garments – so now is’t time to show off all the fantastic creations I made – we start with the ones that I wore after 6pm.  The show stoppers and head turners.

Me photo modelling frame

I have also even been photo modelling – found this little photo with mom’s photos – something I had totally forgotten about – it must have been around 1975. My portfolio must have got lost in transit somehow. I must admit that I was good looker in those days. Haven’t I a bit of Greta Garbor over me in this photo … or ????? I wonder were I got lost ???? *laughing

Remember so well the suit I’m wearing .. it was pine striped the blouse was red and it’s a REAL Chanel gardenia – I wore it until it fall to pieces – on everything. A gift from Byron.

Jean Muir - etsy com

The first dress I made was Jean Muir’s gown … and I made it in white/pink/black silk – and to cut in silk which has a life of its own – when the kitchen table wasn’t big enough, an absolute nightmare.

Of course I missed that the two front’s pattern for the dress wasn’t the same, I had to buy more silk – so my first dress didn’t become the cheapest. I gave to it finely my friend Jytte – after many years of use and still looking like new. Nothing was spared on the materials quality I used. and I made a couple of dresses every month. After this dress of all that silk, everything else came easy.

Dress labels

Let show my galleries of pattern is my favorite gowns that more or less was made for Byron’s company – all the fantastic places and events he took me to. Amazing that Google could help me to find most of the patterns – today 40 years later and I’m able to buy them again. Fantastic, it shows how timeless some things can be. I still have some of Vogue garment labels that I always put in my creations.

The second dress is the one I wear here on the photo, wasn’t able to find the pattern online and I don’t think it’s a designer copy, but a Vogue Pattern. I only used Vogue – the dress was in silk crepe and fully lined It was so heavy, but what a dress. The little bolero I bought somewhere as a dress – it had a hem in the front – so I open it up and shorten the dress to a bolero.

Young and beautiful

I had that dress for nearly 15 years and where ever I wore it I got compliments. God, it was heavy – it had halter neck with a very low cut back and a big scalloped collar. It also 30 small dressed buttons – all the way down in the front and with bounded buttonholes. I always got a sore neck after wearing the dress, but I was willing to pay that price. *smile

The only thing I never saw myself was any kind of buttonholes – a professional dressmaker made them for me. I never got my head or the sawing machine around how to get them looking perfect. “Even the sun has spots” *laughing. As you can see from the patterns – I love dresses with buttons.

Of all those beautiful gowns I made – was the white 2-piece Bill Blass with the shawl – the dress I was most comfortable in and it had pockets (loved it). I made it in white silk crepe for visiting Byron in 1976 in Athens– when he had returned home after that the Junta had fallen.

Related post: “coca cola” …. mad men … magical nights and carnations

Not all dresses here was made during the years I was close to Byron, I made dresses up to 1990, when I started to gain weight – and even the dresses I made because of Byron I have used more than once in his company.

White silk crepe

All my dresses I still had into 1996 – when I got ride of my apartment in Gothenburg, while living in UK. Gave most of them to my good friend, Suzi and the rest went to charity. All those gowns would have been still be in fashion and turning heads, like they did then.

And I remember when I wore the dresses too … and where. It was fantastic time of my life and I loved every dress I made – just to sew and take on, the Vogue Pattern fitted me perfect, only had to add 5cm (2inc) to the length on everything I made.

Wivi  frame

I was size 12-14 in those days .. today I’m 20. The photo above is me all “dressed up” for a UK wedding some years ago. My moto has always been the bigger wedding the bigger hat.  At least the smile is the same! *laughing

“Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love.
Beauty comes when fashion succeeds.”
Coco Chanel

43 thoughts on “romance and dressmaking – the dressmaking

    • Helen, they are still out there – not in Sweden, but UK they still have the big thick big display book with Vogue Pattern.
      It was a fun post to do, thanks .. for your comment.

    • Marina, thank you so much … I love hats and I have a couple of them left in their pretty boxes, like this red – but haven’t worn them for years.

  1. Fantastic post and photos. I could never sew, but still love to look at patterns, who knows why. I love that Bill Blass white ensemble ( I would love it with the pants underneath…so comfortable looking). I also love that Vogue black and gold chiffon; oh, heck, I love them all!
    And you look great in red!

    • Angeline, thank you so much …. Yes, Vogue pattern make it possible for us “normal” women to wear beautiful and show stopping dresses and also beautiful every day wear, that I will come to in another post maybe.
      Thanks for your kind words, I just love red .. I don’t wear it very often – but on special occasions.
      That Bill Blass dress I would like to make again – so comfortable .. and without the long skirt it became a great short dress – never made the trousers then – but today I would have made them too.
      Thanks again for stopping by.

    • Thank, Terry …. that red hat and that suit has been to many great events during my time in UK – even to to Ascot on the famous “Ladies Day” – love red, but don’t wear it often enough.

  2. Absolutely heartwarming! You and I are “of an age” and I remember those patterns well. Never made any, just contented myself with daydreams while making kids’ clothes. You sort of “lived my dream”! Thanks for taking me there –

    • Mary, thank you so much … those patterns are still going strong – we can’t buy them in Sweden, but in UK. Fantastic tools. My pleasure and thanks for coming along with me.

    • A-C, I don’t know if I’m gifted … but some times we just have to take challenges on and make them work for us – and I loved it too.
      Yes, I don’t know if it was my dresses or me .. that turned heads … or maybe the man on my side *smile – reason didn’t really matter in those days, so long as it happen. Thanks for your GRAND words.

    • Jo, thanks for your support …. and for your kind words, I truly hope that I’m the same inside – but a little bit wiser today .. as I was then.

  3. I wish I could saw, I could not even do a straight line but I can hem my own pants. I admire people like you, you were a professional. It must be nice to be able to pick out the style you want depending on your mood without paying a lot of money. Your gorgeous even now!

    • Bebs, if you can hem your pants .. you can saw. I wouldn’t call myself a professional – but I became pretty good on what I was doing at the time, think I will be a bit rusty today ..
      Thank you so much for complimenting my looks … you gave my Sunday a fantastic start. *smile

    • Colleen, flattering takes you very fare with me. *smile
      I think this with being creative is a streak that I need to be able to be a good chef. Making dresses isn’t that difficult – hated sawing in school, but when I had to do it .. I manage and I loved it. Thank you so much for your amazing words.

  4. You are such a classy lady…I can just imagine you in all those beautiful dresses. I used to make a lot of my own clothes but the sewing machine has been put away for years.

    • I stop sewing because I gained weight .. and have given my sewing machine to charity, which I regret now. *smile
      Thank you so much for .. all the flattering words … I soak them up as a sponge.

  5. I grew up sewing as well.. I think it was one of the greatest gifts my mom gave me, teaching me how to sew my own clothes. Those darn buttonholes!! We learned how to make them with a zigzag machine, but they don’t look polished do they? Also.. the dreaded zipper!! I hated that part!! I don’t think I’d buy a pattern that requires a zipper these days! Thanks for the memories, you were such a talented seamstress!! xx

    • Barbara, nice to see you *smile
      Yes, I didn’t have much of an option – if I wanted nice beautiful dresses I had to make it work.
      Zippers I don’t have problems with – I have only done short ones. To make perfect buttonholes is a true art. I could never get my head around them, but she did them so cheap.
      Yes, I must say the same about my mom .. she was a fantastic mentor, because I hated it in school – both sawing and cooking .. and look what became of me.

  6. ohhhhh…..great post. Thank you viveka. Wanted to have a look around, make my own post but think I should spent my rest of sunday sewing.Did not make anything for the past few weeks. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I haven’t been sawing now for 20 years nearly, mostly because I have gain so much in wieght. I loved sawing in those days and to take on the garment for the first time was so exciting, so keep on sawing … great hobby.

  7. I used to make a lot of clothes when I was younger, but haven’t for a long time. My youngest daughter has just started making her own dresses, but it is so much more expensive to make dresses these days. The tables have turned.

  8. I love your red hat, Viveka. Very dashing indeed. I used to sew all my own clothes and my daughter’s too. Hubby says it’s much less expensive to buy my clothes these days, and at least I know I like it before I buy it. I made a few garments which I never wore because I didn’t like them once I’d made them. Love the snatch of music. 🙂

    • I’m sure that it’s cheaper to buy clothes today than making them – but dresses like that I wouldn’t be able to afford if I hadn’t made them myself and I still wouldn’t be able to afford them *smile – also it was fun to make beautiful garments. Relaxing, How it’s blogging instead. *smile – that hat was also been to Ladies Day on Ascot, my favorite hat.

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