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Purple 1960’s dress

Hi, I actually made this dress last December and it was my ‘Christmas dress’.  It’s made from a pattern I bought off ebay and the dark purple jersey fabric was bought to make this dress.

This is the pattern.  I made view C but with sleeves from view A.  I did lower the neck a little as it was quite high and I also had to draft a back bodice as it was missing!  I used the back facing and the front bodice and a bodice piece from another pattern to help me draft it.

I needed to make the bottom half of the dress wider to accommodate my big bum 😉  (English pear)  My waist and hips are always 2 dress sizes larger than my bust.

I decided to make the skirt a bit A line so I could take out the split at the back.  This was simple – I just took the hem out about 2″ at each side and drew a line up to the hip on the pattern.

Don’t you think the girl in the centre has fab hair?  If only mine would do that!….

I am in love with invisible zips and have used one on this dress too.  I don’t have a ‘proper’ invisible zip foot so I just use my normal zipper foot and my finger nail to hold the zip in the right position while I sew it.

The rouleau strip really finished this dress and was great at hiding the tiny miss match with my zip and under bust seam.  So now no one knows it’s there – except you!

I decided against lining this dress but do like to have some sort of lining or slip because isn’t it awful when skirts stick to your tights?!  I thought it would be quite groovy to keep the vintage vibe going and make a full length slip.  I can also wear it with other things too.  This is what I made out of black silk which was not easy to sew on my machine….errrr!  Tension issues I think and I hate fiddling with the tension on my machine because it doesn’t seem to like it.  I worked French seams and hand finished a lot of this slip.  It has a placket on the left side seam with poppers.


I drafted the pattern from an Enid Gilchrist book.  I love these books!

I hope you like my dress and underslip.  Thank you for reading.





About the author: Hi, I’m an English lady living in France who loves to sew, knit and be creative!

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Ruby June February 11, 2014, 8:01 pm

    Your dress and slip look lovely. I still have issues when sewing with slinky/silky materials, so you are not alone! Well done, everything turned out excellent!

    • Claire February 12, 2014, 2:14 am

      Thank you! I’ve read about using tissue paper to stabilise the fabric but haven’t tried it yet. I suppose I could have used some with this but didn’t have some and you know how it is…. you just want to get on with it.

      • Ruby June February 12, 2014, 3:08 pm

        Totally understand! I often get so caught up in projects, I can’t wait to see them finished! I have tried the paper tip before and it did help a bit. I’ve also found taping down a small section of the needle plate has helped to prevent the fabric getting sucked down into the machine (especially with using charmeuse).

        • Claire February 13, 2014, 4:55 am

          Top tips – love them! Thank you.

  • Lazy Seamstress February 15, 2014, 3:17 am

    Love this dress! And yes the girl in the centre has fabulous hair, I used to lust after hair like this in my teens, and asked my Mum for a hair piece (for extra oomph!) for Christmas when I was 17, she refused!!
    I like to wear full slips under dresses, and have been meaning to draft a similar one to the one you have made for ages. I have a sewing book from the 1940’s with instructions, I just haven’t got around to it yet. Yours is lovely.

    • Claire February 18, 2014, 12:07 pm

      It feels nice and ladylike to wear a full slip. I hope you post a piccie of yours once you’ve made it…

  • Catherine Alekna February 15, 2014, 8:47 am

    ooh i love it! the purple is such a nice colour for this shape. The pattern is really nice too – she has a very chic hair-do!

    • Claire February 18, 2014, 12:07 pm

      Thank you!

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