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Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Original Dress, Forties Inspired

June 23, 2013

I had some bright red cotton sateen (medium weight) laying about and I ended up turning it into a lovely dress with a boat neck, sleeveless, drop waist dress with a circle skirt.

Using my own torso sloper, I extended the hip line down a couple more inches to give it a lower waist drop. Once I made a minimal muslin, I found that I couldn’t go too low without needing to reposition the darts, so I changed the measure of the drop accordingly.

To create my circle skirt pattern, I used a trick that my Patternmaking teacher taught me.

You can find the instructions here. It might sound strange, but it takes about 5 minutes.

For finishings I created a 2 inch facing for the neckline and binded the armholes. I also did a turn and stitch hemline.

This dress was made in a 9 hour straight session.

Please bare in mind that this dress has not been ironed/steamed since I first wore it back in Feburary/March.

It is nowhere near perfect.

I went through two and a half muslins as well as my final fabric in a 9 hour window.

I hope that in the near future, I can go back and perfect my dress. For now though, I am happy with this project.

  1. What a lovely shape!

    I have one tip though- you may want to re-fit your bodice darts for future dresses. The points of them shouldn’t end so close to the bust apex (or each other)- this can lead to very pointy boobs! Try and get them so the end of the darts is about an inch away from your apex. This will give you a much smoother fit.

  2. Hey thanks for the thoughts and suggestions! I totally agree that the bust darts were too close together for my tastes, though they were part of the style at the time. My sloper was not originally fit for me and I cut a lot of corners to get this done in a heartbeat, I hope to create a better one at some point.

    And thanks for the correction about the dress being more 50s than 40s. The way I had styled myself (hair, makeup, etc.) was aspiring 40s, but the dress silhouette closely resembled those in the links provided.

  3. Great job making the pattern! I know pattern making can take a long time to hone (7 years or so for me!). You did an awesome job and you will only get better with time. 🙂

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