Even though I didn’t have anything more exciting than church planned for New Year’s Day, I thought a new dress would be in order. Continuing my pretty well-documented shirtwaist fetish, I tried out one of my latest eBay acquisitions, Simplicity 3580 from 1961. The pattern called for button links, and as luck would have it I had some nice vintage pearl ones in my stash! (They are really just shank buttons with a metal linky deal in between.) The fabric is some wonderful Tula Pink ‘Parisville’ I’ve been hoarding for the right moment. Yes, that is a Marie antoinette-style lady you are seeing with a fully rigged sailing ship in her hair.
I used five smaller buttons instead of the one giant button they suggest – since I had the lovely vintage pearl shank buttons, it seemed a shame not to use them. I also used some wide ribbon instead of making a covered belt, but other than that, I followed the pattern pretty much exactly. It’s a ‘proportioned’ size, so I took advantage of that by making the bodice in the ‘tall’ size, since I am 5’7″. I cut the skirt at a Medium and still had to hem it up 4 inches (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these patterns were drafted for Amazons) – next time I will save some yardage and cut the skirt at the Short length. Anyway, here I am all tricked out in heels and my trusty crinoline petticoat.
I love it, this dress was so easy to make (no side zipper!) and a lot of fun to wear. The only thing I really didn’t like is the one piece front facing/collar thing, it doesn’t lay flat no matter how much I press and understitch (but it’s a dark and busy print so you can’t really tell). I can see myself using this pattern again and again and switching out the collar and sleeves.