Monday, April 9, 2012

The Conservative Dress

Wow, I never expected to have so much interest in my plain ole black and white dress! Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments. I definitely finished it much faster than I would have if you weren't all waiting to see it!

And here it is!


I really love this pattern. The instructions are somewhat ambiguous, extremely brief, and crammed together on the smallest pattern sheet ever, but I was able to follow them, mostly.

The confusing part was the neckband, or what I call the under-collar.
Although it looks like (and logically should be) a complete collar with a back and two fronts, it turns out to just be two separate pieces which get tacked to the front facings. You’re probably thinking that this would be a perfect opportunity to create interchangeable collar pieces in different colors, and that’s what I initially thought, too. But after struggling to make both the neckband and the bodice pieces lie relatively flat, I decided to just make this collar permanent and consider a slight redesign if I want to make this pattern again.

The dress was supposed to have a side hook-and-eye closure. The fabric seemed too loose and floppy to stay closed, so I inserted a length of this tape with the fasteners already attached. It looked terrible, with the fabric puckered, gaps around the hooks, and unmatched seams. I ripped it out and inserted it again. Worse! Fabric bubbles at the top and bottom, and the waist seams still didn’t match up. I ripped it out AGAIN. I was not in a mood to put up with any more nonsense, so I stabilized the seam allowances with lightweight fusible interfacing, and put in a zipper instead of the hooks and eyes. It might not be vintage-compatible, but the zipper is functional and does not cause the fabric to misbehave. Phew!

Shoulder pads or not? That is the question for modern sewists with 1940s patterns. I decided to put them in, since the yoke is meant to be supported by them. I think it would be fine without, but I do like the extra shaping, especially with such a soft, drapey fabric.
It's hard to see details in this print, but the bodice has pleats at the back waist.


The only thing I haven’t done yet is the belt.
I’m considering this white faux mother of pearl buckle. What do you think? Too much matchy with the pearl buttons? I also have a black buckle but it is big and round and looks very modern. I could also do a metal buckle, but it adds another element...

No more sewing this week - I have to focus on taxes, and something even more important: The Piemaker’s birthday! But I've also got some garden photos, a cake mess, and an award coming up, so you'll be hearing from me a lot this week.

Katrina

4 comments:

  1. Your sewing is so lovely and wonderfully neat.
    I really like the notched shape in the collar - too difficult for me at the moment.
    I don't think the print's boring, the little button shapes are fun.
    My vote goes with that white buckle - it looks perfect for the dress.
    Good luck with the tax return at least you have some birthday fun to look forward to aswell.

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  2. Happy birthday to the pie maker!

    The dress is just stunning and so beautifully made. I love the white belt buckle with it also. It gets my vote!

    Uggh; taxes. I have to do ours, also. Why do I always wait intil the last week?

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  3. Wow....I love it! It is such a classic dress. I love the fabric you picked as well! Taxes...ugh! Have a wonderful week!

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  4. How did you finish that so fast??!!!

    Anyway, it looks really great. I love the collar!

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