I have been wanting to at least try to make Advance 6993 ever since I picked up the pattern at a local antiques mall. However, the pattern calls for something like 6 and 1/8 yards of fabric for the simpler version, which had rather put me off from making it. But… Joann’s had a sale on their cheapest cotton ($2.49 a yard!), so I of course jumped at the chance to make a “muslin” of the dress pattern to test it out!
The main thing I was struck by as I cut out my pieces was just how much skirt there is for this pattern. It’s about one and a half circles when it’s all put together, and it’s expansive. I was very happy that this pattern included pieces for all the facings, and they were relatively easy to put together. Many a time I’ve started sewing a vintage pattern and come to instructions that tell me to face an armhole opening with a bias strip that I was never instructed to cut!
So, how did it turn out? Well…
I LOVE it. The fit is insanely flattering, and the skirt is HUGE and twirly. I actually ended up cutting off 8 inches of skirt before I hemmed it, because it was just too long for a cotton day dress. I probably could have left it an inch or two longer, to compensate for the fullness.
Two twirl pictures to get a sense of the scale and movement of the skirt. It’s REALLY fluffy. I’m wearing one full petticoat and one light petticoat here, but really it can easily accommodate two full petticoats without much trouble. I ended up putting in a very narrow twice-folded hem instead of the deeper hem the pattern suggests because I didn’t really relish the idea of trying to press out the fullness of one and a half circles. No thank you!
I made a few small alterations to the fit, as well: I ended up taking in the side seams by about an extra half-inch, and I sewed the armholes closed higher than the pattern showed, as there was quite a bit of bra visible from the side when I first tried it on! I also ended up taking in the top back (rather inelegantly) by tapering the piece towards the top of the zipper, it was gapeing badly at first and falling off my shoulders a bit as a result.
Next time I make this, I’m going to graft on some sleeves from one of the other Advance patterns I’ve sewn. I think I’ll also leave the skirt an inch or two longer. Oh, and I’ll remember to start pinning the zipper from the TOP of the opening, so I’m not closing the top inch with hooks & eyes.
I will need to make another one, and probably soon… I don’t think it’s considered good form to wear the same dress four days in a row!