I really love this little vintage dress! It’s adorable, I think, and was so easy to fit and make! Here’s the pattern envelope:
I used a quilting/apparel cotton by Amy Butler called “Lotus” in the blue/cream/grey colorway. I just love this fabric! I bought it from my local quilt shop a long time ago and have been hoarding it for the perfect project.
Here’s a couple of pictures of the dress on me, while the sun was setting this afternoon.
This is a “half size” dress pattern, in size 20-1/2 or bust 41. I did make a muslin of the bodice to check fit, and found that it was wonderful through the bust right out of the envelope! I just had to lower the “point” about 1/2 inch. The waist hits just above my natural waist and because of the style I left it as drafted. The neckline was just a bit too wide, which leads me to believe a vintage 18-1/2 would probably be perfect.
A couple more changes…the neck was choking me on my first fitting, so I dropped it by about 1/2″ in CF, tapering to nothing at shoulder seams. But I’m particularly sensitive to things tight at the base of my neck. It really doesn’t “look” that different after the change, but it feels different! I also lined the bodice with batiste rather than use the facing pieces in the pattern.
The skirt was drafted for 6 pleats in front and 6 in back. I just barely had enough fabric to cut this dress out (I even had to seam the CF!) and I ended up a bit short when I went to pin in the pleated skirt to the bodice. The math to reduce the pleats equally all around hurt my head, so I went with a gathered skirt instead! I love the “just to the knee” length. I took a 3″ hem, stitched by machine.
I really wish I had a nice yellow ribbon to use for a belt, a’la the pattern illustration, but I just don’t have any the right color on hand.
I love this dress for its simplicity, and for the classic boat neckline and fitted bodice, even if that closed up neck/chest and sleeveless armholes aren’t the most flattering look for a busty girl with rather full upper arms. I don’t mind though, it’s a pretty style and easy enough to add some things to accentuate the good parts yet still keep me cool in the hot summer months!
I also have a vintage set of large yellow faux-pearls (I’m wearing the earrings in these photos!) and they look grand on the high neckline.
One interesting thing about the pattern that I just haven’t seen before (but I haven’t made many 60s era patterns either) was a “dart” line on the back neck. It’s just a printed line, not an full “dart”. The directions instruct you to sew up approximately 1/8″ on either side of the line to fit the back neck. I always have trouble with the back neckline gaping, so this little dart was a lifesaver! The back neck fits perfectly!
Tonight, I added a J Crew mustard yellow “Jackie” cardigan (from ebay! Love ebay!). This is probably how I’ll wear this dress most of the time.
My cardigan is held with a pair of 1950s gold & pearl sweater clips. So sweet! (Also from Ebay, although I have a pair or two in my jewelry box from Etsy too.)
I can easily see a couple more of these sleeveless cotton dresses in my near future!
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