Diane von Furstenberg dress and a blog hop

This is probably my penultimate vintage make for this year. It is the 40th anniversary of this iconic wrap dress, although the pattern (Vogue 1549) was released in 1976, so I thought it was a fitting make.


I have never successfully bought or made a wrap dress, but have often wondered about this one as the common view is that this dress suits all body types.


I bought the fabric a few months ago on sale at Knitwit and cut out the dress and then lost interest and it went into the UFO pile. I got sick of looking at it and really wanted to wear it before summer came and so I managed to get it together. I think I was scared of it. The pattern is several sizes too small for me and so I had to grade it up which I’m not good at, and add to this the fact that the pattern looks complicated even though it’s rated as very easy. I also decided that I didn’t particularly like the fabric even though it is the most beautiful Italian cotton, and I loved the colours, I just thought it might look a bit old fashioned somehow.

I decided on the short version without the collar. I think the trick with this dress is that the skirt is cut on the bias rather than being gathered. This is a very flattering look, although it does take a bit more fabric, but look how beautifully it drapes.


Sooo, I set to and was at the belt making stage when I had that horrible realisation that I needed two belts and I only had one and absolutely no spare fabric for the second one. You know how your heart starts to beat harder and the skin on your head sort of shrinks? I had that. The dress would not work without the tie belt. What to do? Luckily I made the discovery on Saturday morning and hightailed it to Knitwit to see whether they (a) still had the fabric, or (b) had something which coordinated. I scanned the shelves and finally found the right fabric tucked away on the very top shelf. Crisis averted!

I only have two issues with this dress. In spite of careful dart placement, they are still too high, so I will unpick and restitch I think, and it needs to be put on carefully – the belt is quite wide and tends to bunch up, and the bottom edges need to be aligned.

The details: Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, Vogue 1549, made from an Italian cotton knit from Knitwit. I had to take the photos inside because we were having a hail storm outside – in Perth, in the middle of spring! It was glorious!! Here I am trying to take an interesting photo after someone took the chair away for some reason.


Blog Hop

I’ve been invited by Carolyn of handmadebyCarolyn to participate in the blog hop – thank you Carolyn.

1. Why do you write

I really started writing because I had been a lurker on other blogs for a couple of years and it looked such fun. I wanted to be part of the community, even if it was peripherally, and I wanted to acknowledge those people who inspire me and whose ideas I “borrow”. I also wanted to share my efforts with my sister and niece who live in the UK, friends I don’t see very often, colleagues, and yes, total strangers who have become virtual friends and acquaintances. I also do a lot of writing as part of my work, which has to be carefully crafted and polished, and I love the stream of consciousness type writing that blogging encourages, writing as I would speak without worrying too much about grammar, passive voice and the rigour that goes hand in hand with scholarly writing, although I am still particular about my use of apostrophes.  One unexpected benefit of blogging is the ability to go back over what I’ve made and look at them with a more critical eye. The camera really does pick up issues of fit and when I remake something I do revisit posts to check what the problems were.

2. How is your blog different to others of the same genre

Ha! This was my big stumbling block as I am so in awe of what other people do and my contributions are quite lame in comparison. I think my blog is different in its almost complete lack of contribution of anything useful to other people, and I mean that quite sincerely. Perhaps the only thing that is useful is if the reader hasn’t seen a pattern and therefore might be inspired, or otherwise, to make it. I do try to combine my sewing, knitting and travel, and I like to occasionally include some Perth vistas to perhaps encourage people to travel to this lovely city, but this takes a level of planning that is sometimes beyond me.

3. what are you working on right now

I am currently working on a vintage dress from the early ’60s that has had to be resized – just like the Diane von Furstenberg above. Given that I am not good at this and some of the web instructions to grade patterns do my head in, it takes a certain resolution to get going. I have even made a muslin and identified a couple of issues which I have resolved, so I am feeling quite pleased with myself. The dress itself is quite detailed with underlining and lining so is taking time. I am enjoying the process of some slow sewing for a change, but, of course, this means slow blogging and my sister nags me if I have too much time between blogs :).

4. What is your writing process

Basically I take a few snaps and then craft some words around them rave on a bit – usually when I am in front of the TV. I do try to talk about the process of whatever I have made, what my thoughts and feelings were and the final outcome, but I am aware that my posts are pretty basic in the context of the information they provide. I am always pleasantly surprised when someone comments (thrilled in fact!) and I am kept going by  the supportive comments I get. One of the things I want to do is improve my photography. I inherited a classy camera from my son and I use it on automatic as I don’t have a clue about f-stops, etc. I will address this when I eventually give up work.

Anyway, back to writing: I thought I would share this illustration of the writing process which both amused and resonated with me. It’s for writing a book, but it’s the same process for me when I write my blog posts.

process of writing

I wonder how many of you can relate to this?

Anyway, that’s my blog hop and I hope you felt some mild interest. My nominees for the hop are Andrea from obsessive creativeness, and Patricia from http://pfarr.blogspot.com.au and Michelle from That Black Chic. I know that’s three, so clearly I can’t count to two, so my apologies, I got carried away with my invitations!


24 thoughts on “Diane von Furstenberg dress and a blog hop

  1. I seriously love this dress on you – the fabric is beautiful and colours look amazing on you. Of course the shoes just finish the look of this outfit. Definately one of my favourites for you.

  2. This dress is fabulous. Really elegant, great fit and gorgeous with those lovely shoes!!! Stunning outfit.

  3. I’ve always wanted a dress like that – print and style match so well! It’s glorious on you. Those tell-tale red-soled lovelies are a hit too 🙂

  4. Your wrap dress looks wonderful on you, Sue, drapey and flattering and vibrant as it is. But don’t things have to go out of style at some point to be called vintage? 😉 Thank you for your invitation to join the blog hop. I’m flattered that you thought of me, and I will enjoy participating.

  5. Lovely Sue, and the fabric is gorgeous. I think I have an old wrap dress Vogue pattern from the late 70s that I can’t bear to throw away.

  6. It’s lovely Sue! Wow, you’ve made me remember; I actually have a few tatty old designer Vogues from the 70’s, including a Chloe with Jerry Hall modelling on the cover! So funny!

    1. Sorry, I meant to add, thank you for taking the blog-writing baton and I enjoyed reading your answers. And I had a good laugh at that illustration too. And thank goodness KnitWit still had some of that fabric! It was meant to be!

  7. Love your DVF wrap dress and so glad Knitwit had the fabric for the belt. I really enjoyed reading your answers and the illustration is so true!

  8. Thanks a bunch Sue and I just want to tell ya that dress is fab! I love that fabric and the dress looks fierce on you! I did the blog hop and it was entertaining answering those questions. Thanks again.

  9. I finally got around to finishing my reading of this post. I got side tracked the other day and only read the bit about the dress – gorgeous by the way. I love your writing style, and am amazed by how frequently you manage to get projects finished. I laughed at the bit about your sister nagging you if you leave it too long between posts! Thank you for the blog hop nomination, my post will (hopefully) make it up by the end of the day!

  10. Love this! I’m enjoying your writing very much, and I was looking at the DVF dress patterns recently and wondering how they look on different body types- once again this dress is so flattering! May be worth the $$ 🙂
    Thanks for the lovely blog!

    1. Thank you Marg. As I said in the blog, wrap dresses do not suit me. At all. But the DVF dress is worthy of its legendary status. I really do think it would suit anyone.

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