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Lilacs and Love Letters

Added Jul 1, 2011

by lauramae

Novato, Californ...






Simplicity 2491, 1958 original pattern: Jr. Misses’ and Misses’ One-Piece Dress: Simple to Make dress has short kimono sleeves; full skirt. V. 1 features V shaped front neckline; ribbon sash. V. 2 feature low, round neckline; contrast belt. V. 3 features bateau front neckline. Bodice and skirt trim are in contrast to the skirt. [This is a printed Simplicity pattern that originally cost 50 cents!]

I purchased this pattern on ebay years ago, and thankfully, this one has most of its pieces intact. I can tell that one of the previous owners made up View A because she used pinking shears to cut the fabric out and nicked some of the edges. So the pattern loses it mint condition, but I get to know that the pattern was enjoyed, and maybe the garment still exists in someone’s closet!

This is a great pattern – it is basic late 1950s and can be made up in so many different ways. I enjoyed all three views, so I did my best to pull ideas from all three. Although I completed this dress a few years ago, and some of the construction is imperfect, I do love wearing this dress.

The instructions are easy to follow, however, the instruction sheet has seen better days. It is amazing to me how well tissue pattern pieces can hold up for over 50 years, but the envelopes and instruction sheets rip and shred apart. Oh well, the important part has lasted.

Instead of making my own self-fabric bias facing for the sleeves edges, I used a contrasting color to tie back to the neckline and skirt trim.

I love the recommendation to top-stitch close to the underarm seam. With a kimono sleeve, I am always concerned with clipping enough to get the arms to lay flat, but want to make sure that the fabric does not ravel too far with wear. This reinforcement is a wonderful vintage trick that I will have to remember!

I used the belt from View 2 but altered the tone-on-tone idea from the original and made mine with a bit more contrast.

I will probably sew up another version of this dress eventually. Having pulled out the pattern again, I am finding myself drawn to the v-neck version . . . And I would highly recommend the pattern as a great place to start if you have been wary of working with true vintage patterns – there are not too many pieces involved and the instructions are clear for someone with a bit of sewing know-how.

Material Notes

*Quilting cotton *Cotton sateen




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Classic, Vintage

7 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Dsci1090_large

    Jul 2, 2011, 01.55 PMby Fipp

    Wow you sew really pretty things!!!!! I also have an aversion to contemporary clothes and who couldn’t like pretty vintage dresses?!? Great work!

  • Img_2769_large

    Jul 2, 2011, 10.06 AMby mollykatherine

    Another stunner! great work!

  • Sewing_machine_large

    Jul 2, 2011, 09.49 AMby bjr99

    What a beautiful dress! Love the contrasting trim.

  • 036_large

    Jul 2, 2011, 07.00 AMby Debby H

    Really pretty.

  • Missing

    Jul 2, 2011, 05.35 AMby inskirt

    Very pretty. love the contrast trims.

  • 310e9d23ffe5e7ca479359c543a9bfa7b7dbd56e_large

    Jul 2, 2011, 12.38 AMby kanamithedreamer

    This is so pretty!

  • Holliebell_large

    Jul 1, 2011, 11.48 PMby freakusbzzz

    Very pretty. Do you wear these dresses every day?

    1 Reply
    • Burda_style_pic_large

      Jul 1, 2011, 11.54 PMby lauramae

      I don’t wear vintage inspired pieces each and every day – it probably averages out to 3 or 4 times a week. I have an aversion to pants and most contemporary clothing!

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