40′s

self drafted dress film noir

This dress is my second attempt at pattern drafting. I re-drafted my bodice block and made further alterations but still I need to take some volume from the back.

This was apparent when I came to draft the skirt. There was precious little difference between the back hip and waist measurements!

But I went with it after checking the measurements of the bodice.

It all works reasonably well but the side seams sit a little bit too forward for my liking and I’m sure by taking out the excess at the back it will make them sit properly. And will also give the back skirt a better shape at the waist!

self drafted wiggle dress

Hoping to prove myself right with the next version.

The design is based on a general 50s shape but I really like the angular necklines of the 40s. I’m not sure of the fabric content. It could be upholstery material! About 6 meters was given to me so I figured I could use it for this test dress and have plenty left over if I messed up!

As for the crazy  photos, Mr Ooobop was determined to practice with his new camera flash and who am I to argue?! A little wave of the Photoshop wand and abracadabra, all sorts of crazy faux film noir was achieved!

self drafted wiggle dress

More over on the blog

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Handmade Vintage Dress
This dress was the first item of clothing I made, with the exception of the few things I made during Textiles class at school (I remember an awful fleece hat in particular…). I didn’t make things easy for myself by starting with an original 1940s Marian Martin sewing pattern (9049)!
Sewing Pattern Marian Martin 1940s (9049)
I made this dress while I was still at University studying for my undergraduate degree (BA English as it happens) approximately eight years ago, but pretty much never wore it as the original length (ankle length) didn’t really suit me. When I rediscovered the dress in the attic last year I lopped a big chunk off the skirt to get to the current length. Much more my style:)
Handmade Dress from Marian Martin 1940s Sewing Pattern (9049)
This week (spurred on by me made May) I finally got around to tidying up the hem and redoing the buttonholes (which were frankly awful, tut tut Charlotte of 8 years ago). Now I can finally get some wear out of my new-old dress!
Handmade Dress from Marian Martin 1940s Sewing Pattern (9049)
I love the pleated front and the awesome roomy pockets. The dress is worn below with my Brigitte Scarf from Tilly Walnes’ Love at First Stitch.
I’d love to see you over on my blog English Girl at Home.
Handmade Vintage Dress

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pattern envelope picture

Mailing envelope says "Marian Martin"

Hi, everybody! I really enjoy reading this blog and figured I’d better start contributing.

So, here ya go!

I love this style of dress and wanted to make it up even though it is three sizes too small for me based on bust-as-high-bust measurement.
I used the Threads article on slash and spread pattern grading.
My first muslin (bodice only) was plagued with large ripples on the back.

front of dress
So the second muslin – the full version in yellow flowers shown here – I assembled out of order from the pattern instructions, leaving the shoulders last.
Yes, it was a pain, yes it was worth it.
I adjusted the dress to accommodate my lopsided shoulders, then stitched it together.

I took horrifying shortcuts on this, doing nearly everything on the machine.
The material, a thin, unlabeled synthetic from Walmart was not too bad to work with, but the double fold bias tape would have been better single fold.

Back of the dress, showing the V neck

No wonky ripples!

Because my waist is one size larger than my bust (I’m 1/3 of the way done with my weight loss), the dress does not overlap as much as it ought, so there’s a pin at the V keeping my bra band out of sight. I’ve also pinned the back as I don’t have two buttons on hand at the moment.
So I can’t say it is done, but I can say it has a lot of promise.

I like the set in belt, which defines my waist a bit. I like the scallop details – even the pockets, which I might modify to protrude a little less next time. I even like the yellow flowered print, something I was very unsure about to begin with.

standing with hands in pocketsThe pockets are very high up on the skirt. Awkward to get my hands in there. Are they supposed to be that high?
When I graded the skirt, I added length through the middle of the pocket as well as the skirt. I may move that grading line to above the pocket altogether for my next try at this pattern.

A lot more of my ramblings about this project, and pics of the wonky ripples, are available in a post on my blog, Waltzing Sieves. You can also read there about my plans for a vintage-flavored wardrobe as a treat for when I’m skinny again.

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I sewed this dress as a muslin for the Hollywood Sewalong challenge. This seasons movie theme is The Notebook.

Hollywood Sewalong: The Notebook | SewsNBows

Butterick 5846

I love the pleats and shirtdress style! It’s actually my first successful women’s clothing garment in a decade. I mostly sew for kids. So I’m proud of it even though there’s plenty of room for improvement.

1940s inspired vintage dress with pleated bodice

I have a few things I need to work on for my final dress, like making my slip stitched collar look nice. The bodice back is very roomy, and it bunches out. I need to figure out a way to eliminate some of the bulk. I know it’s a popular style right now, but it’s not for me! (Photos on the blog, linked below.)

Butterick 5846 by SewsNBows

I’d love any tips you might have for me! Also, I thought the We Sew Retro readers may like to stop by and see all the other 1940′s inspiration! Our final reveal is in May. Read about it here: SewsNBows Hollywood Sewalong : Part II.

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