Monday, April 15, 2013

Minty Fresh

I just love learning new techniques from pattern instructions!

The side closure on this dress reminds me of an Edwardian piece.  Before you think I have completely lost it, just hear me out! 

If you have been lucky enough to see vintage Edwardian pieces up close, one of the first things you will probably wonder is how the heck did anyone get in and out of their clothes, even considering an extra pair of helping hands.  Where are the openings hiding?

Layers are hook & eyed, pieces are snapped into place to cover those hooks, etc., etc.  Throw on an extra layer of lace, and it is virtually impossible to tell which seams actually open.  The architecture of some of those antique designs is incredible.  My dress is a highly simplified version, obviously, but a snap here, a zipper there, and the comparison does not sound quite as crazy, does it!

My first concern when I saw this dress was the zipper opening.  The bodice is lovely and blouson, and the hip is rather fitted.  Invisible zippers these days are produced on horribly stiff polyester tape which was not going to drape like any fabric choice I might make for this dress.  This is the main reason I let the pattern sit for so long.

If I had simply opened the instructions, I would have been put at ease.  Taking a cue from the Edwardians (I am just making that up, of course!) the design uses an invisible zipper along the hip yoke and a few snaps to close the bodice.  Multi-notioned openings are awesome!  Why did I not think of this on my own?! 

Speaking from experience, snaps are not a great idea to close seams that are tight fitting unless you are wearing a compression undergarment like a corset.  Or maybe my rib cage just expands a lot throughout the day because of my vocal training?  Anyway, the threat of popping snaps is minimal here since there is a lot of ease in this bodice.  

And it is always fun to add a completely different silhouette to the closet!  So this one is a win!

Dress:  Made by me, Simplicity 1939
Shoes:  Hinge
Earrings:  Macys


  1. Laura Mae,
    I'm not going to lie - when I saw this pattern for the first time, I thought you had lost your mind. From the envelope artwork, I would have never thought you would choose this AND I really didn't think it was attractive at all. (I actually thought it could qualify for "contemporary modest" way of dressing.)
    This dress is LOVELY. I love your fabric choice and I think it looks gorgeous on you. Thank you for proving me wrong.

  2. I was skeptical as well when I saw the pattern envelope, it just looked... not flattering. But the version you made and are wearing is absolutely beautiful! So goes to show I can't always rely on the pattern envelope.

  3. Thought the same as everyone, if you look at the pattern envelope you'd think this dress has a very, very strong 80's vibe! Not the fashion era you'd want to wear ever again in your life I guess. Probably because of the poor styling with the long skirted version with the boots on the pics you get the wrong idea about this dress? I can imagine it would look lovely made up from a sheer fabric with wedges or heels.
    Your version looks really pretty! The snap closure is a great idea, wish I knew this when I made my Colette Ceylon dress.

  4. So fresh and springy--the green is especially good with your coloring.

  5. What a lovely, spring-y dress! Thanks for the peek "inside."

  6. I have to b honest here and say that at first when I saw the pattern I was SO surprised you went for this, to me it looks like a 70s disaster. BUT you're take on it is absolutely amazing! I love the color, the fabric choice and the silhouette just looks stunning on you - it's so flattering! My favorite kind of projects are when other sewers make me see a pattern in a whole new light - which you totally did. LOVE IT!

  7. It looks great!

    I thought it would overwhelm your figure (from the illustration), but while it is blousey, it's also fitted, and the color and length scream better days are here.

    Your gathers go appreciated - very well done.

  8. So pretty, you really made this pattern work! The fabric you chose has the perfect weight and drape required. Wonderful!

  9. I bought this pattern when it first arrived, and being from the 80's sewing generation, I just loved it. However, I had reservations about it -- such as, would I really want to wear an 80's outfit again. But I couldn't resist, and it's sitting in my "dresses" pattern box. This is the first time I've seen it sewn up, and I adore yours. Thanks so much for showing it to us, I've secretly wanted one of my own for a long time...Nancy

  10. Seriously, you make every pattern waiting in my arsenal. But, that's great since you do such a great detailed review! I want to make this in antique sari silk for festivals.

  11. What a sweet, stylish, completely lovely dress and fabric colour. There's something joyfully fresh about that great shade of minty green.

    ♥ Jessica

  12. Yours is so pretty. I'm hoping to sew the A version soon in a green as well, but more of a moss green with a slight blue tint. I'm just concerned it won't look as nice with a long skirt.

    By the way, you look like a brunette Amy Adams. =]