Added Apr 6, 2011
Vogue 2787: Original 1948 Design: A-line dress, loose-fitting through bust and hip, semi-fitted at waist, mid-calf length, has shaped bodice front and drop shoulder, forming cap sleeve. Option of button and thread loop or zipper closing at back neck and snap or zipper closing at side.
I love just about every vintage pattern from the 1940s that I come across. This dress looks a bit like a sack on the hanger, but it works on the body!
I purchased pattern back when the pattern first came out in 2004. Jo-Anns had a sale on Vogue patterns, but not my usual size 12. I got it anyway, thinking I could exchange it at some point. Well, every time I looked it was never in stock, so I have been avoiding the pattern for years because I assumed it was going to need some alteration. However, it turns out it was a good thing I purchased the smaller size – the huge amount of ease built into this pattern allowed me to use a straight size 10. According to the Vogue charts, a size 10 has a bust of 32.5" and a waist of 25". The finished measurements for that same size 10 is a bust of 39" and a waist of 29". Looking at the pattern artwork, this dress looks as though it is very fitted, but 4" ease in a fitted waist is just ridiculous. This is the first Vogue pattern I have come across with this issue – it is something I expect from Simplicity and Butterick.
I added 3/4" to the torso length, but that is so standard for me, it no longer seems like an alteration.
This pattern is rated plus difficile, but I do not really agree. The only real persnickety part was lapping one smooth front bodice piece to the gathered piece below on a curve. There are basically five large pieces to contend with plus facings, shoulder pads, etc. That does not, in my opinion, qualify a pattern as difficult. I completed the dress this past weekend after receiving my fabric.com goodies Friday evening – it was an incredibly fast process (another reason I do not agree with the plus difficile rating).
Another reason I did not make this dress sooner was the difficulty I had deciding on a fabric choice. I knew that I wanted to use rayon, but could not find a print that I liked. I finally found a rayon challis on sale at fabric.com a couple of weeks ago. I was worried that the challis print design might go horribly wrong with the curved seam at the center front, but the cutting layout worked incredibly well with the pattern repeats, so I guess it was meant to be.
I love the shoulder pad pattern pieces included with this pattern. They make a lovely addition to kimono and raglan vintage pieces and I will probably pull them out for other projects. The fabric covering has three darts or tucks that are sewn to pull in one side of the circle, creating a molded shape to the pad.
The pattern gives you the choice of a side opening zipper or snap placket. Because I like the waist to be fitted, and I do not wear long-line bras, I find that the snap closure wants to open with natural movement during the day. So, I used an invisible zipper for my side seam – because this was a quick weekend project, I needed to pull from my zipper stash. Thankfully, I had a 16-18" vintage invisible zipper in bright blue that worked well with my print. The packaging is thrilled to announce a new “100% polyester knitted tape” and a “finer, more flexible coil.” Now, I prefer the cotton tape that was used on the vintage metal zippers because they drape so much nicer, but I guess the poly coils could be considered more flexible than the metal ones. And having caught some skin in one of those vintage metal zippers before, I do appreciate that we now have the option.
The pattern calls for six buttons (if you choose buttons for the neck opening). I only had four small button forms in my stash, so I made them work. And I used self-fabric bias tubes sewn into the facing instead of the suggested thread loops.
I would recommend the pattern to others with a love of vintage fashion who have some sewing experience (do not let the plus difficile classification scare you away).
I think that the 1940s are quickly becoming my new favorite era. This dress took only 2.25 yards of 60" fabric – wartime rationing at its finest. It is interesting that the date on this pattern is post “New Look,” but it clearly ignores the new silhouette Dior had just introduced to the fashion world. This proves that it does not take masses of cloth to make a lovely vintage frock!
Rayon challis; Hug Snug rayon seam binding; cotton quilting batting; Dritz button forms
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