Vintage Sewing: Simplicity 5300, a tent dress for breastfeeding

So, I just looked back at my blog posts and holy smokes— I haven’t posted anything sewing related in over a year! I’ll be playing catch up for a bit, because 2019 included a bunch of makes.

First up is this modified tent dress that I sewed from a vintage curtain that I found at the bins. I toooooootally love this fabric, maybe more than any other dress that I’ve made. It’s sturdy, and the green/pink/yellow colors just make me so happy. Green has long been one of my favorite colors, and this dress pairs well with cardigans I have, earrings, etc.

I sewed this dress because I needed more dresses in my wardrobe that are breastfeeding accessible. I used Simplicity 5300, a 60s tent dress pattern and simply modified it to add a center front zipper for access. It was a very quick and easy project. The zipper was the only modification I made.

I trimmed the pockets with pink rick rack, but decided not to use the trim on the neckline or arm holes because I thought it might irritate me. It looks super cute on the pockets, though!

I took a lot of care with my pocket cutting and placement, doing some superb pattern matching. I also had to piece together one of my dress front pieces because of limited fabric, and the seam is hidden well.

Sadly, since this dress was completed and worn a handful of times, the fabric is starting to tear/disintegrate along the print lines of the wheat-like pieces. This can happen because of sun exposure, or dry-rot. I’m pretty sad about it.

Anyway, I’ll repair it and keep wearing it. I think I’m going to reinforce the area that’s tearing (which is just above a pocket corner, on the main dress fabric) with iron on interfacing and some darning stitches. We will see how that helps.

Just to recap 2019–
I sewed: 2 pairs of maternity jeans, 1 vintage maternity blouse, 1 maternity tee, 2 pairs of baby pants, 4 burp cloths, a handful of cloth wipes, 4 pairs of baby tights, a hand-quilted baby coat with matching bonnet, 7 nursing-friendly dresses, 1 pair of baby shoes, and 3 pairs of slippers for my family. I also knitted/finished knitting 2 baby cardigans, 2 baby bonnets, 2 pairs of soakers, and 4 jar cozies. I also started but didn’t finished another pair of maternity pants, a dress that I ended up too small in the bust, and some other things Ive forgotten. That’s more than 38 separate items completed!

A LOT has happened in the past year, most importantly are things happening in my family. We had a baby named William in March (I posted about that recently), I spent 4 months on leave from work, I worked a lot of stressful hours, I somehow made breastfeeding work (it was a very painful slog for 2 months), our older kiddo started living his best life as a boy named Morris, and my husband left his job to stay home with the baby.

Whew. Anyway, I made a bunch of things and have some blogging to do. I’d pretty much stopped blogging entirely but I do miss the quick documenting of my makes, and the details I had in my posts. They are a good reference for looking back, reusing patterns and knowing what mods I made, etc. I do hope to get back into it this year, even though blogging is out of fashion. I like Instagram, but I feel much more like a voyeur and I learn so much less.


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