Vintage Maudella dress in coffee coloured polka dot crepe

Well what do you know – it’s a bank holiday weekend here in the UK and the sun actually came out! And having the Monday off means I have a bit of extra time to catch up with blogging.

I’ve got so many new things to show you, but our internet at home has been broken, which has made it a bit tricky. Anyway, I’ve managed to get online now, so fingers crossed it holds out until I finish this post.

This is a new dress I made for a wedding last weekend in Scotland. It POURED with rain but it was a lovely day, and everyone was safely indoors (except for the poor bagpiper standing outside the hotel, who had huge streams of water running from his cape.)


I won this crepe fabric in a giveaway run by the lovely Rehanon. I think the coffee colour makes enormous polka-dots look quite sophisticated, and it was gorgeous to sew with.

The pattern has the same shoulder treatment as the Colette Ceylon, but it’s actually a vintage Maudella pattern which I won on Ebay for 99p! You’ve seen it before, but here’s the envelope again, just cos I love it:

maudella dress front

I’d definitely make this again – it’s pretty quick to put together, and the shoulder yokes are so cute! I did two things that really made a difference. I bought posh interfacing from the English Couture Company, which made the usual stuff I sew with look like old cardboard in comparison. And I worked very hard on adjusting this dress around the shoulders, so the sleeves aren’t sliding off for once.

Unfortunately tissue-fitting didn’t show me that the centre front neck was far too big. It looks okay, but I’m going to rip out the facing and bring that front seam in a bit. I’m loathe to start making muslins for everything, so I’ll just chalk it up to experience.

dress bodice on hanger

I probably should have lined this dress, but I didn’t have the time or the fabric, so I took the cheater’s option. That’s buying a slip from M&S to go underneath. Specifically, this one.

I heartily recommend doing this. A lot of vintage dresses aren’t lined and were designed to be worn with a matching slip, so there’s a precedent! I kept thinking ‘well I could make my own slip….’ but then I came to my senses and realised I sew for fun, and that would not be fun.

I also added belt loops using this easy-peasy Colette patterns tutorial, and felt very smug about it too (although one broke halfway through the night, boo. I was dancing quite a lot).

dress belt loop
Belt Loop Action!

So, in conclusion, hooray for Maudella patterns! As well as this dress and this skirt, I’ve made another piece of clothing from this English pattern company in May, which I will post about soon (she said unconvincingly).

Here’s another photo just to prove that I can smile in pictures:



34 thoughts on “Vintage Maudella dress in coffee coloured polka dot crepe

  1. Inessa June 21, 2013 / 12:34 PM

    Not bad. Like Julia Roberts

  2. Tara June 12, 2013 / 6:31 PM

    This is gorgeous! That pale caramel can be really hard colour to pull off but it really suits you and the cut is super flattering. As everyone else has said, this looks way classier and 40s than the 70s illustration. Although you should defs give the crazy balloon sleeves a go at some point! x

  3. Elizabeth June 3, 2013 / 3:19 PM

    Beautiful dress. Absolutely beautiful.

  4. sewamysew May 31, 2013 / 9:40 AM

    I love this colour on you! It’s such a great pattern and I love the belt loop action, thanks for the tutorial tip. Can’t wait to catch up in London if you’re still up for it, no pressure!

  5. Handmade Jane May 30, 2013 / 1:32 PM

    Oh this such a lovely dress. I thought from the first picture it was the Colette Ceylon, there’s definitely a similarity, but I think I prefer your version without the 1000’s of buttons down the front. That colour suits you so well. X

  6. emily May 29, 2013 / 2:29 PM

    Oh wow this dress is perfect for you! I wouldn’t have expected such a sophisticated dress from the 70’s styling of the illustrations. Good call on the sleeves!

  7. thesecretlifeofseams May 29, 2013 / 1:04 PM

    This dress is so lovely, you must be chuffed!
    I swear by slips, not only are they handy for keeping things smoother and preventing static, they add an extra layer in chilly weather. Hard to find cute ones in the shops though.

  8. Sandra May 29, 2013 / 10:35 AM

    What a fabulous dress. I love the shoulder detail. Great job.

  9. Franca May 28, 2013 / 9:11 PM

    It looks fab! Maybe one day I can work myself up to something like this!

  10. emily May 28, 2013 / 9:05 PM

    Ahh, this is super pretty! Hope the wedding was fun 🙂

  11. Scruffybadger May 28, 2013 / 7:33 PM

    So sophisticated and one of those perfect dresses to wear to a wedding- ie one you made yourself that makes you feel great that you know no one else will turn up in!! Gorgeous

  12. Kerry May 28, 2013 / 5:28 PM

    How lovely! Good old Maudella. You can find some great features on 70s patterns can’t you?

  13. Michelle May 28, 2013 / 4:26 PM

    Tan/ivory polka dot fabric always makes me flash to the polo match dress Julia Roberts wears in Pretty Woman. Lovely classic print.

  14. sewlittletime May 28, 2013 / 3:27 PM

    lovely! i was thinking polo match too! must buy a slip – good call.

  15. ZoSews May 28, 2013 / 9:56 AM

    Very nice! I thought ceylon shoulders as soon as I saw it! Love those belt loops.

  16. sewbusylizzy May 28, 2013 / 8:21 AM

    Love the shoulder details on this! Thanks for the belt loop link, I’ll be using that tonight!

  17. Joelle May 28, 2013 / 3:52 AM

    Love your dress! That fabric is perfect for it! Never seen Maudella patterns before, but those illustrations are amazing!

  18. thisblogisnotforyou May 27, 2013 / 11:31 PM

    It looks amazing! Gorgeous fabric, looks very good on you – you did a great job!

  19. flossiejamieson May 27, 2013 / 9:20 PM

    Very grown up! I have been contemplating polka dots in dress format for a while now, but wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. Now seeing your bigger dots in a most lovely dress makes me think I should be going supersize on that score. Although I’m still positively not a grown up …

  20. nicoleneedles May 27, 2013 / 9:03 PM

    Very chic! Looka great on you.I love Maudella patterns – the artwork is always brilliant.

  21. gingermakes May 27, 2013 / 8:34 PM

    This is gorgeous! I love it! That color looks great on you.

  22. Helen May 27, 2013 / 8:06 PM

    THis is beautiful and very elegant looking. You look great, and I bet you felt it too. I would never have seen the potential from the pattern pictures. I must learn to be more open minded! I’m probably missing out on so many pattern opportunities!

    And yep, I like a lined skirt, but sometimes just don’t have the inclination, And a full slip makes me feel all grown up and sophisticated and like I’m in a film in the olden days, which is always a good thing!

  23. craftylittlebugger May 27, 2013 / 7:36 PM

    Gorgeous! The colour is very sophisticated, and rather flattering too. I also thought it was a 40s pattern. I’ve seen a couple of very old Maudella patterns floating about, I really want to try one now.
    I’m glad you mentioned the slip – I’ve been slipping it for a couple of years now and thoroughly recommend them although I realise saying that puts me nearer and nearer becoming a pensioner.

  24. didyoumakethat May 27, 2013 / 6:57 PM

    Love this soooooo much! You’re right, the colours really make it sophisticated. Good call on the slip, too – I may need to go down that route.

  25. Katy May 27, 2013 / 6:33 PM

    Its gorgeous! Very sophisticated 🙂

  26. grtescp May 27, 2013 / 6:29 PM

    what a lovely dress – glad you were dry for the wedding, the rain is one thing I certainly don’t miss about Scotland!

  27. charityshopchic May 27, 2013 / 6:20 PM

    I absolutely love this, not least because the brown polka dots scream “Pretty Woman Polo Match” (in a good way, of course!). All you need is the hat!
    You look fantastic, much better than the 70s illustration on the pattern cover, well done.
    PS Thanks for the tip on the belt loops – had not seen those before.

    • yesilikethat May 28, 2013 / 9:49 AM

      Oh man you’re so right! I meant to mention that in the post but totally forgot. I must get hold of a massive hat (+ a Richard Gere lookylikey).

  28. JacqC May 27, 2013 / 6:15 PM

    What a fab dress, I do love Maudella patterns. The neckline is very flattering, it really suits you 🙂

  29. lloubb May 27, 2013 / 5:35 PM

    love the neckline / shoulders / etc.!!
    Did you take any puff out of the sleeves or do they just not look as puffy as in the pattern illustration?

    • yesilikethat May 28, 2013 / 9:49 AM

      I actually used the long-sleeve pattern and just cut them at a short-sleeve length and elasticated them, I thought the enormously puffy sleeves might be a bit too much, although I’m curious to try them sometime!

  30. ooobop! May 27, 2013 / 4:44 PM

    Love, love, lovety love! I thought it was a 40s pattern at first but its 70s, right? Whatever it is it’s gorgeous and suits you down to the ground. Totally with you on the lining front. I mostly line the bodice and wear a half sllip, especially if its a really full skirt that I might wear with a big petticoat from time to time. 🙂

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