Added Apr 8, 2012
I found this vintage 1976 Style paper pattern from an op-shop and was instantly drawn to Dress 2 with the cute cap sleeves and belted at the waist (see last pic.) Pattern notes state “… Girls’ dress or top and trousers: dress or top,softly gathered onto yoke, has collar, short sleeves and top-stitched trim. View 1 and 3 sleeves are gathered into armholes.View 2 and 4 have set-in sleeves. View 2 has purchased belt….”
Although a ‘Girls’ size 10 pattern, after looking at the body measurement chart, I decided that I was roughly similar. How wrong I was! Despite the large amount of ease at the skirt and around the chest, the armholes were far too small and the collar far too large and pointy! (It was the 70s!) Also, the yoke was too tight and the set-in sleeves stuck out at an odd angle near the bottom of the armscye. Thankfully, I had made a toile and was able to grade the yoke up and modify the sleeve to a cap sleeve. I drafted a mandarin collar with help from Vani’s blog to replace that 70s collar.
I used shapewell iron-on interfacing to stiffen the mandarin collar and store-bought bias binding to finish the inside edge of the collar. I also used this bias binding as facing inside the armscye and to finish the inside edge of the cap sleeve. I did not top-stitch around the front neckline. The fabric is a grey and purple printed rayon but I’m still not sure about the large print. (I usually prefer smaller-scaled prints.) The rayon was easy to sew, not at all slippery and held its cut shape well. Instead of a purchase belt, I re-used a black chiffon sash that I made in an earlier project, cute collared dress with chiffon
Overall, I really enjoyed sewing this dress, learning to draft a mandarin collar and exploring cap sleeves. I quite like the shape of the dress and the feel of the fabric and hopefully I can get over the giant print and get good wear from it!
Element rayon Fuji Swamp (taupe) 148cm ($5/metre, Spotlight); shapewell iron-on interfacing (white); 12mm poly cotton bias binding (grey); thread; Pattern notes also suggest cotton, denim, linen, poplin, wool/cotton blends, twill, crepe, lightweight wool, jersey and synthetics.
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This dress may have a simple silhouette but it consists of many panelled seams!
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