That 70s Dress: Vintage Diane Von Furstenberg Vogue Pattern

I managed to finish both of my Diane Von Furstenberg knit dresses (Vogue 1547) for the September Vintage Patterns  challenge.  I made the short-sleeved belted version in a brown polka dot ‘Germania’ by Jay McCarrol for FreeSpirit, Westminster Fibers two-way stretch knit fabric.  DVF brown polka dot knit dress Go Kitty This fabric caused me many problems while sewing it up, including stretching out of shape, leaving white spots and holes from the stitches and unpicking seams.  Diane Von Furstenberg Knit Dresses

The second version I sewed was with long sleeves and the collar tie.  For this, I used a four-way stretch blue knit fabric that had a wonderful drape and silky feel to it and sewed up beautifully.  It literally SWISHED when I walked.  I had the opposite experience I did with sewing the brown fabric even though they are both cotton knits.

To learn more about sewing with knits, (in order to avoid some of the headaches I encountered), to find more pictures and information on the construction of the dresses and on Diane Von Furstenberg and the 1970s, and also to see a classic geometric print DVF knit wrap dress sewn by my mother in the 70s, please drop by my blogpost at Gjeometry.

Happy Sewing Everybody!

Catja from GjeometryDVF blue knit dress cat bombed

20 thoughts on “That 70s Dress: Vintage Diane Von Furstenberg Vogue Pattern

  1. Wow I love both dresses. As usual you have picked the perfect materials for this pattern. I’m sure kitty helped . Love reading your blog & I’m looking forward to the next one.

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    • Thanks Josie :). Kitty always helps. His fur tends to also really stick to the brown cotton knit and yet not so much to the blue fabric. Another reason to have made a kitty blanket or sweater out of it instead of my dress.

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    • Thanks Mel! It’s funny because I really thought that the plusher, two-way stretch brown knit was going to be very easy to sew with and that the thinner, very drapey, four-way stretch blue knit would be the challenging one. But, it was the exact opposite. I’m very much a newb to sewing with knits, so this was definitely a good learning experience for next time. (Kitty approves as long as he’s getting attention :))

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    • Thank You Sandra! I loved that fabric as well in the store and had to buy it. Helped too that it was on a wicked sale! Lol. But, it really did not sew up the way I had hoped. Just stretched right out of shape. On my blog, somebody left a comment suggesting to use water-soluble stabilizer to help avoid it stretched while sewing, and I thought this was a great idea.

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    • Thank You Del!! I tried to make everything look appropriately 70s for the photos. The pattern sewed up really well, I like the extra details in the instructions that more modern patterns do not seem to have. They had a ‘legend’ that explained several different techniques including pics and steps involved. Was very helpful.

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  2. What a great choice of fabrics, The colors & patterns are so nice. I love both styles. They both look so good on you. And of course fur on 4 paws is the best kind of fur.

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    • Thanks! Yes, you obviously read mdimi’s comment. When I began reading it, I was so nervous, as I am so anti-fur! Then, I read the rest and laughed!! :)) I still plan to sew a belt for the blue dress, in the same fabric, and so am hanging the dress up to see if it will stretch a bit longer, since belting it will bring up the length.

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    • Thank You Lizzie! These are actually the first knit dresses I’ve sewn. I’m more of a ‘wovens’ girl, but do like the feel of the drape of the stretch knits.

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  3. OMG, fur is so very, very in. It never goes out of style. Especially when it’s still walking around on 4 paws. Luv da kitteh! 😀

    Oh, yes, the dress. LOL Of the two styles, I think I prefer the short-sleeved v-neck version. The polka-dots are so pretty and the style flatters you enormously. I’m really very impressed with it. The L/S is nice, but the other just works for me better. I think it’s the sexier of the two.

    Oops, am I allowed to have an opinion? No offense intended, you did a great job with both. I’m just opining, to my husband’s eternal chagrin. He points out that opinions are like noses – everyone has one and most of them smell. 🙂

    And them shoes, lady! Lurve them shoes.

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    • Ha ha ah aha ha hah ha ha! This comment showed up in my notifications, I began reading it and I thought ‘oh no, this is not going to end well…’ then I read on and realized what you were talking about! And, yes, now I have to agree with you about fur being a great accessory. 🙂 Of course you are allowed to have an opinion! Thanks for sharing! I do love that brown fabric and the belted silhouette as well, but unfortunately, the fabric just did not sew up well and things like the neck and sleeves are not tight and do not lay flat the way I wanted them to. In the pic here, the blue dress looks to have a very high neck, especially with me looking down, but actually, that nigh neck is the scarf-tie sewn out of the same fabric. So, in real life, it looks more drapey and the neck is actually a rounded one. The shoes :). I thought they were the quintessential 70s wedge so had to try to rock them for these outfits.

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