1940s

Marian Martin 9359: Take II

May 25, 2009

All right–I posted earlier this month with the first version of this dress.

This is the second version. The shoulder yoke piece was altered to make the neckline fit better and the waist ties were moved up a little (I’m pear-shaped: Slightly high waists look a whole lot better on me). That seems to have totally fixed the fit. I did not put shoulder pads in it, although I think it holds a crisp 1940’s shoulder line pretty well without them. I also altered the pockets to have straight, slanted tops instead of sweetheart tops.

The fabric is rust-colored Moda with cream and black simplified floral and large black rick-rack trim. The trim came out particularly well.

I still adore this dress, but I’m forcing myself to move on to others since I have a pretty good collection waiting to be sewn up.

  1. Zowie, your clothes look so great! I just ordered my first vintage patterns – skirts from the ’50s – and am watching the door with excitement for when they arrive! I’m a bit worried about limited or unusual instructions. Any tips for a first-time vintage seamstress?

  2. This dress is just pickin’ adorable! Your choice of trim and fabric is perfect . . . way to go!

  3. AshleySews–
    I think the most important things are the most basic:

    1) Read all the instructions before you start. (You may not follow them to the letter, but at least know why they wrote them the way they did. You don’t want surprises.)

    2) Follow the cutting guide, which will show you how to lay the pieces out on the fabric.

    3) Obey the recommended seam allowance. I am notoriously bad about skimping on seam allowance [using a narrower one than dictated] but I see now how it really made life harder for me in the past.

    4) When it doubt, baste. Yes, it takes longer initially but it totally pays off in not having to rip out things that slipped or got squeezed out of place by the sewing-machine foot or didn’t line up like you wanted. That rick-rack would have been a nightmare without basting; I did it anyway, even where the pattern said I didn’t need to, and it came out perfectly the first time.

    The idea of vintage patterns is much more mysterious than the reality. The differences are stylistic: The assembly methods are generally the same as for modern patterns.

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