Added Nov 22, 2009
My lovely friend Julie gave me this gorgeous vintage pattern from 1959/60, it was still factory folded. I used some wool blend suiting fabric in an almost black charcoal shade I’d had lying around for a few years for a quick test run. I unpicked various parts of the dress several times, in particular the concealed zip which was also not behaving as requested. Not so quick, then!
The result is encouraging although I am not very satisfied – the material is not really suitable for this pattern, the hem won’t behave and no amount of pressing is helping. What does help is that it has a little bit of stretch and it is a very nice material to work with.
I still need to adjust the side seams for a better fit when I’m wearing it. The hem is also a little too low, just below the knee, and I think it will look more flattering if it sits on the knee instead. I’m also going to move the bow so it sits along the neckline and not horizontally.
I lined it of course, using my favourite satin in a contrasting colour which I like showing at the neckline just a little bit. The pictures don’t really do the dress justice… the dress does feel very nice on and it first me better than it does the dressform! Hmm, one for the Christmas wishlist, methinks.
The pattern calls for a cummerbund which I made in the same fabric, but the result is not particularly interesting. I recommend adding one in a contrasting colour in a similar fabric as the pattern suggests. The dress is shown with a shop bought one instead. I also added some contrast stitching to add interest. I might add some more when I am finally satisfied with the side seams and hem.
The next on I am going to make in a lighter fabric, maybe a nice cotton/linen blend, or a silk crepe. I also think it probably looks better in a patterned fabric, I’ve got my eye on a fabulous houndstooth next! I’ll buy enough to make the jacket too.
without jacket: approx. 1m5 of fabric, 140cm wide, 50cm zip (I used a 52cm one, too long, you end up sitting on it), lining as desired (the pattern does not call for lining), contrasting fabric for cummerbund.
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