1950s | Dresses

Academy 4832 and Simplicity 4693

By on July 18, 2013

I have not posted any finished projects for far too long, but of course, I’m checking back here everyday or so to see what You are doing..  So I will share some photos of my favourtites and link back to my blog if you want to see even more.  By the way, it’s chilly mid-winter here in Aotearoa New Zealand, and I’m loving all the swimsuit posts, I’m feeling inspired and as though I have plenty of time to make up my own in time for summer, so thank you all for sharing.

This dress, version 3 in the pattern illustration above, has been a rather long project for me, it is the first garment that I decided to line (and interline, as you might read over here) so, requiring new skills.  I posted some questions on WeSewRetro a while back (here) and it is a very bold design for a dress.  Which I Love.  I used an acrylic woven fabric, with no movement, it was fairly dense but holds the shape so very well, and was another excellent op shop find.  You might have come across the full skirted version I made with the same pattern, earlier this year, on WeSeRetro here.

The collar is the stand out feature of this dress, but the skirt comes together so well, and is so comfy and easy to wear.  My trial with lining and interlining was worthwhile, though it presented me with some fitting issues, I now love interlining garments!  Here’s the almost completed inside…  by the way, as I was part way through assembling the dress when it became apparent it needed lining, I retrospectively lined the bodice and interlined the skirt (Hong Kong seams and all!).

My next best dress is this, Simplicity 4693 in a lovely printed cotton, version 1, more details here.  I just love  having these patterns around, don’t you?

Unfortunately, the photos of me in my finished dresses are hard to come by these days, between the short days and cold weather, the only other grown up here is home in the dark, or that one day I get set before he leaves for work the camera battery goes flat!  Oh, so you will have to do with mannequin modeling yet again.

I’m not sure about the belt, it was a great op shop find, so close to the colours in the print, I had to try it out.  I feel like the dress needs the belt, but worry that it dominates the pretty pleats and gathers in the front of the dress.

The one photo of it on a real person!  I quite like the belt, and would usually wear one this size, but I think it’s too big, what do you think?

I have been working on separates lately, and made a up a new blouse and a pair of snuggly pajamas, perfect for winter… so I’ll get back to you on those presently!

Happy sewing!


Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses

Academy 4832, version two, full skirt.

By on February 16, 2013

This is my second time around working with this pattern, and this time, I opted for the full skirted version, my first dress with this pattern is still waiting to be hemmed!

The dress is so beautiful, and I love how it comes together, the bodice has a highish rounded neckline, dropped waist, is well fitted and sleeveless, with a deep ‘v’ neck at the back.  The skirt called for twice the fabric I had, so I improvised.  As I was low on fabric, I also used another pale blue fabric from my stash for the facings.

The fabric is an amazing vintage barkcloth that my mum gave me.  I knew I could create a stunning bodice with this fabric, but was worried the skirt may be bulky with this fabric, but it turned out well.  The fabric is actually more purple than blue, as the finished photos indicate.

I have more on the story over on my blog.. but here is my run down on the project:

Brief pattern and project review…


Will I wear it?  Yes!  I love it!

Will I make it again?  Yes!

Fabric choice, alternatives:  Barkcloth was great to work with, I love these colours, it too chunky for a full gathered skirt.

Technical, pattern fit:  Almost perfect, so glad to be able to get a little extra help from a pro sewer! I will need to make a hollow bust adjustment along with a sway back, and short back adjustment.  Then it will be perfect.

The illustration on the envelope:  Very close, this skirt is not as full, but the fabric holds the shape.

Instructions and assembly:  Easy, and quick to put together.

I can’t wait to make this one again!

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses

Academy 4832, some advice please?

By on December 23, 2012

Hello, I thought I’d share my current project, I’ve been putting together this, perhaps wearable toile, and I’m now considering lining it…  Here’s the pattern sleeve (isn’t it divine?) the dress I’m making is version three, the center black number, wide fold over collar, slim skirt and three quarter sleeves.

I have some construction photos, so you may see it coming together, and maybe get some idea of the fabric – and that is what’s making me think more – I have a feeling I’ll need to line it, as I know I’ll love to wear it.  The thing is, the fabric, bought at an op shop, is some kind of 100% synthetic, medium to heavy weighted woven material (in the burn test it immediately melted into a black blob).  It seems to be creating a good form, but I think it’s going to feel awful on skin!  It is just slightly see through, when I hold it to the light, and has no stretch or give at all.

And if I’m going to line it, I think this would be the moment to do it – and it will be my first lining project.  Eeek, I’m keen to do it, and I guess, after any tips or suggestions, I was thinking of cutting the bodice, sleeve, and skirt pieces out of lining material (I have recently inherited some fabulous red lining material – and plenty of it) sewing it together inside out, and then attaching it by hand or machine to the inside.. is that the typical approach?

More photos, I just love the low back collar and the pleats on the shoulders, are so simple and beautiful, I think!  What are your thoughts?  Thanks in advance x

Continue Reading