1945 Wool Challis Dress with Peplum
Added Dec 1, 2010
EVA DRESS E40-6111 (Reproduction pattern) – 1945 Ladies’ Dresses; 16-piece pattern in size 18 (36" bust, 30" waist, 39" hip). Original instructions are missing; Xandra has provided minimal written instructions. The pattern is available at http://www.evadress.com/6111.html
This garment is a wearable muslin version of a formal gown that I wore last year.
The first thing I always do when I have a pattern that has been printed on bond paper, or anything thicker than pattern tissue, is trace my pieces on muslin. I prefer not to fight the difference between the paper and my fashion fabric while cutting. Also, I can write all over my muslin and make any necessary changes. When I finish, I just fold up the muslin pattern and store with the original paper pattern. Next time I want to make it up, I just pull those pieces out, iron them flat, and go to work!
I think I love every 1940s dress pattern that I have come across. I especially love the neck treatment on this particular garment: it shows just the right amount of skin. I also love a peplum (although this pattern uses the term “tunic”) – especially the way this one dips down in the back.
I used French Seams wherever possible for a finished look, and I used self-fabric bias tape to finish the left side seam where my zipper was inserted.
Be aware that a standard shoulder pad will not work with this garment as the front bodice cut-outs leave a rather narrow bit of fabric to cover the normal half-circle pad. I always make my own self-covered fabric pads out of cotton quilt batting, and this time around they are shaped more like a rectangle with a slight curve cut into each end to avoid any points visible through the dress fabric when worn.
The neck bands are a bit tricky. The pieces do not really match the curve of the neck opening, so I had to fudge this a bit. Also, the markings on the pattern seem to suggest that you cut them on the fold, but this makes the back facing difficult to work with so I ended up cutting four separate pieces.
I think this is a wonderful pattern, and I am so thankful to the ladies out there that are duplicating and sharing their treasures with all of us. I would absolutely recommend this pattern to someone with a bit of vintage pattern experience.
Wool/Cotton Challis (10/90) from Fashion Fabrics Club.