With the gorgeous weather we have been having, I was feeling the need for a quick project with a Spring/Summer appropriate fabric. No fancy linings, underlinings, or massively involved patterns allowed – just something fun and easy to put together.
Cotton was just the ticket. I stumbled across a dotted swiss print at JoAnn Fabrics a few months ago. The bolt caught my eye while waiting in line for some bemberg lining to be cut, and since it was cotton and just about gone, I snapped it right up.
It is so rare to find a natural fiber print that I like among all the poly fleece that it was not until I returned to a sewing room full of fabric that I realized the yardage had managed to follow me home. Whoops! So much for my resolution to refrain from new fabric purchases.
But then along came the Sew for Victory challenge, and the red, white, and blue color scheme seemed perfect for a 1940s design. Which somehow makes me feel a little less guilty about the fabric purchase!
This dress is another vintage reproduction from Simplicity. I love that they are reproducing these designs, I just wish they were more accurate.
First, there is the length. I am not sure where they got the model, but she must be rather short. Granted, I used a more generous hem than the 5/8” given since I think that looks chintzy, but with my standard torso lengthening and the extra inch I added to the lower skirt edge, I added almost two inches and this still came out a bit too short. Unless you are quite petite, the skirt is not going to cover the knee.
Also, the back facing is unlike any vintage pattern I have ever come across. It is massive, so I ditched the whole thing and just made a narrow facing band for the center back slit; the back neck edge is finished with a strip of bias.
Another major complaint I have with the Simplicity reproductions is no mention of shoulder pads. It looks to me like they threw a pair on the model before taking photographs so she looked more like the illustration, but there is no mention in the instructions or on the pattern envelope suggesting a pair. I am fine with people eliminating the things if they so choose, but the vintage silhouette is really hard to duplicate without shoulder pads, and ignoring the fact is doing a disservice to the design.
Even with all of my complaints, this really is a great design. It actually has more going on than a lot of the recent Vintage Vogues!