It’s been a few months since I last posted on the blog but I have so many old and new things to share! Be ready for more frequent posts in the coming weeks.
Simplicity 5244 dress pattern from the early 1970s. I loved the contrasting collar and cuffs and while it was definitely 70s, it had a 20s feel too. I first started working on this pattern almost a year ago. The pattern was a vintage size 8 with a 31.5″ bust so I definitely knew I had to do some slashing and spreading to increase the bodice size. Here’s a couple pics I shared on Instagram at the time while rescaling the bodice portion of the pattern and the final muslin.
I ended up with a fit that was loose enough and when combined with the low neckline, that I could leave off the back zipper altogether. Hooray! One less potentially fiddly thing to worry about.
I chose this pale blue floral print rayon challis with white lawn for the collar and cuffs. I had never worked with challis before this but it is now one of my favorites. So smooth and really quite lovely. I have plenty of leftover fabric that I daydream about using on 1930s beach pajamas someday.
It took me about a week to get the fit right on the muslin and cut out my fabric but it took me a few months just to start sewing. Once I started though it was smooth sailing. This challis was like sewing a cloud. A cloud you could pin down, I mean. Well, maybe sewing even a pinned down cloud wouldn’t be easy at all but I’m trying to say it was hassle-free and fun to work with. I had some issues with the lawn being very sheer and showing seam allowances but I got over it. I finished all the machine sewing and then put it on a hanger and “forgot” about it for over six months.
It wasn’t until I received a new sewing machine for Christmas that I finally got around to finishing all of the hand sewing on this dress. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I needed to get a new sewing machine to actuate hand sewing! I guess it just really put me in the sewing mood and I was desperate to complete all of my idle works-in-progress. I grabbed a few simple clear plastic buttons from my stash for the cuffs and tacked down the facings. The most difficult part for me is always the hem. Somehow it always ends up shorter on one side than the other and I think I lost a good 4″ before I felt it was close enough to work out and called it finished.
Looking back, I would lengthen the sleeves by 2″ and pay more attention when I sewed and pressed the collar as it’s a bit wonky on the one side but I really do love it and will be wearing it a lot once the weather isn’t so frigid. Sorry for the photo quality, it was an overcast day close to sunset.