Inside A Vintage 1960s Dress/The Dress Form Review

A little while back I posted about the gorgeous purple 1960’s dress I ordered from The Dress Form on Etsy, and as of a few days ago, this amazing dress is actually in my hands!


This dress!! My goodness, I cannot tell you just how much I love this dress! As soon as it arrived, I had to try it on and was astounding to find that it fits like a dream!


I’m going to have to ask my husband to help me take some better photographs, because none of these pictures do this dress justice!

This is the only strapless dress I have ever worn that has actually stayed up, what with my small busted frame and all. This is because the bodice of the dress has internal boning:


Some of the boning is peeking out of the boning channels a bit, but I’m sure I can fix that!

The dress is made with a beautiful Lilac polyester lining and a darker purple chiffon overlay. The effect of the two together is just gorgeous.


The seams of the dress are pinked:



The boning channels are tacked down in the bodice, but some of that needs repairing as well, which is no big deal. Here you can also see the boning peeking out of the channel a bit, as well as a close up of more of the seam finishes.

This dress has no label, so I don’t know anything about it’s origins, but it has a mix of machine stitching and hand sewing, which I absolutely love finding in garments! It really adds an extra special touch.


This is the inside of the matching bolero, it has two darts in the back and the same finishing techniques as the dress itself. It looks as though quite a bit of care went into both garments.


Understandably, due to the age of this dress, there are some areas that need repair, such as a few tiny scattered holes. I don’t really hope to be able to fix the holes in the chiffon, but I’m hoping someone will be able to guide me in how to repair the few holes in the lining of the dress. I tried stitching this hole closed from the inside of the dress, but couldn’t do it without the stitches being visible, which was annoying, so I unpicked them. The little holes don’t take away from the dress at all, and if I can’t mend them, I will probably just make or find myself a slip in a similar colour so it helps disguise any tiny holes in the lining. If anyone has any advice on mending the tiny holes, or on repairing the boning channels, please let me know, because I’m unfortunately a little stumped at the moment.


The dress has a metal zipper and a hook and eye closure.


The hem is finished with what I’m assuming is either hem tape or bias binding (I’m sure someone who is more of an expert can weigh in on this one!) that was first machine stitched on and then hand stitched.

The dress is incredibly fitted in the bodice with an incredibly long skirt, which has the surprising effect of making me feel much taller! I wish I could show you how the skirt of the dress moves when I walk in it, because it is really hard to describe the gorgeous fluid movement of the skirt itself.

Everything about this dress is just breathtaking!

I’m absolutely smitten with this dress! Wearing it instantly makes me feel about ten feet tall and gorgeous! It is such a glamorous dress, and my husband (bless his sweet heart) says I look “like a princess” in it. ❀ This is what I would call a “Grace Kelly Dress” in that wearing it makes me feel like a princess and a a movie star at the same time – kind of like Grace Kelly. I’ll definitely take and post more photos of this stunning dress once it has been cleaned! This dress is like a dream come true to own and wear!

Stacey (who runs The Dress Form) was great to talk to and do business with and was even able to help me figure out how best to have the dress cleaned!* She made the purchase of this dress wonderful every step of the way, even offering to refund me after she noticed the tiny holes in the dress (but I love this dress so much that the holes don’t matter!). The dress shipped quickly and was well packaged – and came wrapped in pretty tissue paper, just like a gift – which, as you will know if you have read my Bella Bordello review, is something that I absolutely adore! I loved shopping at The Dress Form, and would love to buy another dress from Stacey in the future! She has an amazing collection of vintage garments in her shop! This dress was also a fabulous deal, bought during The Dress Form’s Boxing Day sale – I got it for 50% off, which was absolutely amazing, as the dress and the matching bolero were only $28 CAD, including shipping! It doesn’t get much better than that for a beautiful vintage dress like this one! I honestly don’t think I could be happier! I would definitely recommend shopping at The Dress Form and I hope to be a repeat customer myself! πŸ™‚

My only regret about this purchase was that I only bought one dress while the sale was on!


*Note: I will be having this dress dry cleaned, and was wondering if I should attempt to fix the holes first or is it safe to wait until after it has been professionally cleaned? Whatever I do, I don’t want to risk damaging this dress!


17 thoughts on “Inside A Vintage 1960s Dress/The Dress Form Review

  1. Very pretty. I made a similar dress and bolero in the early 60s before the advent of zigzag stitch machines. Indeed that is hem finishing ribbon, I still have some in my notions drawer. And yes the dresses did stay up; I would make fabric channels on the seam allowance to slip the boning into so that it could be removed before washing the garment (some boning had a covering that dissolved if wet). Enjoy wearing your dress. I look forward to seeing pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the advice, Carlie! πŸ™‚ I’ll definitely do that! The dry cleaner across the street from me also does repairs and alterations of clothing, so I might ask them if they would be able to mend the holes as well! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much, again!!


      • Just make sure they have the skill. Invisible repair of tiny holes is a far cry from changing zips and taking up hems. I would repair the holes first because there is always a risk that they’ll “run” and become larger during the cleaning. “Never send a hole to the wash” – remember that saying?

        What you need to do is buy some thread in exactly the right colour and darn the holes imitating the weave of the material. We learned it at school but you’re probably too young for that and were spared the boring and useless home economics…

        Liked by 1 person

      • True, true. I think I’m going to end up having to tackle this myself, just to be safe!

        I’m going to have to do that! Also, I actually wish I’d been able to learn home economics in school, but I was home schooled, so missed out on one of the few classes I would have actually loved. Though, my mom did kind of teach us how to sew a little (mostly how to thread a needle and do a basic stitch :P).

        I’m definitely going to have to learn how to darn, luckily they talk about it in some of my vintage sewing books!


      • Darning is really weaving in miniature. You need to recreate the threads that got lost to the hole. It is essential to imitate the type of weave, not merely to apply simple cross darning to everything. The wrong weave is very visible!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had another good look at those holes. Just how big are they? They appear tiny, and anyhow darning this cloth is no simple matter. Have you considered cheating instead? πŸ™‚ You can, for example, prevent the holes from “running” with a little bit of contact glue around the edges applied on the wrong side. It will leave a smudge, but that’s on the wrong side, so who cares. And while you’re at it, you could cut a tiny piece from a seam allowance and glue it over the hole (from the wrong side, obviously). If you align the fabric carefully, it will be almost invisible, certainly under the chiffon. You can then iron on a small patch if the thinnest interfacing that you can find, covering your patching and reinforcing it and preventing it from coming off in the wash or during dry cleaning. No darning required. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, great idea! The holes are very small, and only a few are noticeable – like the one in the lining and about three that are in the chiffon (on the bodice of the dress and back of the bolero, so those three would be very hard to mend). The one on the lining could be fixed the way you just described, but the holes in the chiffon I have no idea if they can be fixed, unless I do just try applying some glue to the edges to prevent the holes from becoming bigger like you said, but I wouldn’t be able to apply it to the wrong side without taking the bodice and bolero apart. It’s a bit of a conundrum!

        Thanks so much for the advice!!


      • I don’t think you can mend the holes on the chiffon invisibly because it’s translucent. But also, they are not likely to “run”, I don’t think. So either just leave them be, or hide them with beads, embroidery or diamante stick-on beads. Make them into a feature. πŸ™‚ I would probably just leave them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s exactly what I was thinking! πŸ™‚ I’m probably just going to leave them. The hole in the lining I will try and prevent from becoming bigger in one of the ways you suggested, just wear a slip in a similar colour underneath to help disguise it, have the dress cleaned and wear the heck out of it, because I just LOVE how this dress makes me feel! πŸ™‚ It’s like a magic instant mood lifter and makes me ridiculously happy whenever I put it on. πŸ™‚

        Going back to our discussion in the Hell Bunny comments, I need to start applying this to more clothes and make it almost a requirement when buying clothes – if wearing something doesn’t fit beautifully and make me feel fantastic, it’s not worth spending my money on. πŸ˜› After spending such a huge part of my life settling for poor fit and poor quality, that is a difficult transition to make, but starting to sew my own clothes has really helped me make that mental leap. I rarely buy clothing anymore and sewing my own clothes has made it so I don’t settle for poor quality workmanship in the clothes I DO buy anymore, so I need to start applying that to fit as well. πŸ™‚


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