Thursday, May 28, 2009

On to the Business of Dresses

I enjoyed sewing my apron. It was a fun project. I like projects that give my brain a "rest" after a bigger or more complicated project. My true love, however, is dresses (and costumes). I use the time during the in between projects to conceptualize my next project or two or ten.

I started a new dress a couple of days ago. It's a late 50's mail order pattern that was in last weekend's auction haul. It was still in its original mailing envelope from The Corn Belt Dailies. I couldn't believe my good fortune, not only on the entire lot, but on this pattern in particular. It's one that I'd bid on before and lost. So, despite my very long list of patterns to be sewn "next", this one trumped them all and went straight to the top.

I'm using a cotton that's been in my stash for almost two years. It's a vibrant, hot red with a leaf design that has some gold highlights. I always envisioned it made up in a slim-styled, hubba-hubba dress - the kind you'd wear to a Luau or pool party. (Note: I personally don't have the 50's bustline that produces true hubba. It doesn't stop me from enjoying the styles though!)

It is a size 14, 34B-26W-36H. Normally 34B is much too large for me and I have to alter to remove excess fabric that gapes along the center back and high bust areas. This pattern, though, seems to run smaller than usual for this era... After a tissue fit, I determined that I didn't need to cut the bust/back areas smaller. Any tweaks could be done from cutting as is. I shortened the shoulder straps by one inch, and added an inch to both the waist and hips.

The fabric is easy and a pleasure to sew; it hardly frays. I'm finishing the seams simply by pinking. Here's the inside of the bodice; the straps criss-cross in the front and then go straight down the back and attach to the back bodice.

It's a very straightforward construction and is going together well. I've added some understitching along the front and back facings to prevent rolling. The instructions didn't include this step and I'm not always sure on these vintage patterns if it's assumed that you know you should do this... regardless, I often add understitching because I like the clean, straight edge it gives.

The dress is nearly finished. I just need to add the zipper, which happens to be a center back on this pattern. Then it's just the hem and the belt. I tried it on yesterday after attaching the skirt, hoping all of the fitting adjustments worked. I'm really happy so far and can't wait for it to be finished!


retroliving said...

What a gorgeous pattern I cant wait to see the dress finished.

Trudy Callan said...

This is going to be so beautiful when it's finished. What a unique pattern. I've never seen that one.

goodworks1 said...

That's definitely a 50s style fabric, especially with the gold! Great choice for the pattern. It'll look great on you!

And yes, I'll bring the quilt on the 11th! Thanks for stopping by!