Vintage Sewing

mccall 8332: 60’s fabulousness on the strip in las vegas

August 29, 2011

call it the one that almost got away…

Pattern: McCall 8332
size 13/B33
“1968 Halter neckline dress has bias self fabric drawstring in casing of front neck, tied in bow at back of neck, and camisole type back bodice. Sleeveless dress, with high front neckline, has deep cutback bodice in one with back neckband which is hooked under applied bias bow. Either view has French darts in bodice front, set in faced waistband, three section gathered skirt and is lined. Halter dress has center back zipper in bodice, waistband and skirt. Other version has zipper in skirt, and waistband fastened with hooks and eyes. ” (description from vintage pattern wiki)

Liberty of London Tana Lawn “Syndenham Palace” from Purl Soho
Pink Bemberg Rayon from NY Elegant Fabrics
Trim from Mood Fabrics

The Story:
this was one of those patterns that pop up on eBay, and you like it, and you watch it….and then you forget that the auction is ending. i spent months with “McCall 8332” as a saved Google and eBay search, waiting for it to come back around, just because i thought it was so adorable. then i found out, from the Vintage Fashion Librarian, that this dress is basically a copy of one of Jackie Kennedy’s Oleg Cassini pieces, and it was true love. at long last, the day came that a saved eBay search notice popped up in my inbox, and this time i did *not* forget the end of the auction. in fact, i sort of wonder if the previous purchaser had made her own version of the dress and re-listed it, because it was exactly the same size and it looked like the same picture. hmmm.

the pattern size is slightly too big for me, so i used my french dart sloper from my trusty vogue 8615 to redraw the front bodice piece. i interfaced the front bodice as well as the side back pieces with a sew-in interfacing and attached bra cups to the front bodice for a little bit of shape and support. fun fact: the instructions for the lining on this pattern have a fabulous method for attaching the lining entirely by sewing machine, which i have since seen used many other times. i believe it is a “tunnel” method, where you sew the neck and armscye seams, as well as part of the center back, and then use that tunnel to pull the lining through so that the fashion fabric and lining are properly aligned. then you sew the side seams and finish the center back. fantastic and easy–has become my go-to method for lining insertion. i had a bit of trouble with the faced waistband, only because i was still relatively new to this type of insertion.

meanwhile, i actually constructed about 98% of this dress almost a year ago, in september 2010. the bow was a bit sad and the back needed a slight tuck (turns out i actually have a small swayback). last week, determined to pack it for my upcoming trip, i stitched in a small tuck on each back piece and attached snaps to the bow to keep it looking smart. literally finished sewing the snaps on the airplane. the flight attendant thought i was insane and told my sister so.

one more thing…

Pattern: (almost) McCall 7743, actually self-drafted from pieces of Vogue 8615, Simplicity Project Runway 2927 and Simplicity 4903

this one actually did get away. i can’t be the only one who was insanely inspired by Tasia’s beautiful Sixties McCall 7743. i’ve searched and searched for this pattern, only to come up empty. this summer, i decided my drafting skills were finally up to the challenge of recreating this pattern using pieces i already had.

i used a crazy, very 60s liberty print (Durie) i ordered from Shaukat in the UK. same thing as above: cute, bright lining, trimmed lining hem, cups in the front bodice piece. too perfect, right? i’m so happy with the result.

worn to see Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE at The Mirage. (crappy cell phone pix generously taken by my sister, who *also* thought i was insane and totally agreed with the flight attendant)

(also, i am not nearly as mopey as i look…i just have bronchitis in these pictures)
cross-posted at my blog, puu’s door of time

  1. thank you, ladies! i'm so thrilled with these dresses…i just wish i could rock the backless look at work so i could wear them all the time!

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