Many thanks to everyone who gave advice for finishing this dress.
I used this cotton Donna Wilder Fabric
I took off all the ruffles, took it in at the waist, shortened the sleeves, and hemmed it to hit right at the knee. I would have liked a navy belt to go with it, but I don’t have a navy belt buckle yet, so I added my vintage red flower buckle belt I created for another dress last year. I wore it out last weekend when a friend and I went to Colonial Williamsburg (which explains the large tag and the large straw hat on my head – my friend and I do Revolutionary re-enactments, so the hat will become one of my props!). And I even got a few compliments on the dress from other tourists there! This one is sure to be worn many times.
Can't resist acting like a model
I’m at the final stretch of finishing this dress, but am having second thoughts about it. I did the pink view, but used navy fabric as a contrasting ruffle – thought the flowers to be too much. Now the dress fits nicely, but I’m getting the feeling it’s more like a fancy old-lady potato sack. Any thoughts? Should I continue as is with the navy trim? Get rid of the ruffles altogether? Do the ribbon like on the green dress? I wonder if putting some navy bias tape on top of the princess seams just to break up the pattern? Or just scrap the whole thing? (Excuse the bathroom selfies – and I haven’t set in the sleeves yet)
I just finished a dress for the Sew for Victory Challenge hosted by Lucky Lucille. I picked the Du Barry 5366 from 1942. I really wanted a simple shirtwaist dress made from cotton that would be not only functional for summer, but still dressy.
Excuse the snow of the back deck!
I used a quilting cotton (gasp!) for the dress, finishing all the seams with a turned and stitched seam. It also has an invisible zipper on the side (not authentic vintage, but I do adore my invisible zippers!). The front is stitched shut, so it’s not the typical button-down shirtwaist. I also made a red belt using a vintage buckle and button card I found here. Though I didn’t use the matching buttons on this dress, they will be used on a future 1940s dress.
Vintage Red Belt Buckle
Throw on my red shoes from ModCloth, and I’m ready for a night on the town (okay, maybe just a night at home!) I also got to learn a new technique with this dress: piecing! Turns out, the skirt back is too wide to fit on the fabric, so you have to cut off a bit of the corner, then sew that piece back onto the main skirt. And the only indication of doing this comes from that pesky little cutting diagram! This fabric is so patterned that you can’t even tell where I had to do that! I’ve already worn it out once and have gotten compliments on it. Now onto making another dress for Sew for Victory!
What post isn't complete without showing off your helper?
This little 1950s gem was in an eBay lot I purchased last summer. It has the name of the owner (Barbara Gilliam – Homeroom 111) written on every piece – the envelope, instructions, and every single pattern piece. She even did the hard work for me and identified each piece (front, back, etc.)! This pattern was probably her school project. My store-bought scottie dog pajamas, worn nightly for 5 years, bit the dust the same week Joann’s had a sale on flannel AND a 20% off coupon. I took it as a sign to get to work making these up and chose a kitty fabric as a contrast to my previously worn dogs.
I cut View 2. I didn’t have to make any major alterations to the pattern, but I did lengthen the pants by about an inch, and extended the wrist cuff by an inch so it wouldn’t cut off the circulation to my hand. It took about 2 days of sewing to complete, but only because I did french seams, turned and stitched seams, and bound the armhole and uh-hum…[crotch] seam with bias tape.
Armhole showing all three seam finishes
I know, the bias tape doesn’t match! I had this self-made tape left over from another project and didn’t feel like making matching tape for a part of this garment that only I will see. Besides, waste not, want not!
The pattern has two front pockets.
These are perfect for the frigid winter nights, and I’m hoping they will last me even longer than the store-bought ones did!