I attend the 50’s Fair in Sydney last wekeend and I chose to sew up Simplicity 1459. I was in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it and couldn’t wait to swoop it up. I love the button front, the exaggerated collar and full skirt – just all of it really! I had the perfect rose print cotton in my stash wating for such a pattern for over a year. I picked up the fabric on the clearance tables at Spotlight for about $4 a metre, and bought about 4 metres as this kind of vintage dress just eats into your fabric.
Whilst the dress does look a little scary, it wasn’t too challenging to sew up – so don’t be put off! I cut out the dress in a size 12 and it was pretty true to size, and with not a lot of ease as some Simplicity patterns tend to have. I have made up a similar vintage style dress before with short sleeves so I thought I would give the 3/4 sleeve option a go. I was also aware it is Winter, so it was a more practical option too! The only adjustments I made during cutting it out was adding 1.5 inches to the hem because I felt on the pattern envelope image it only ended just after the knees and I was going to be wearing a crinoline underneath it, so I wanted it to be slightly longer. I aldo cut out the sleeves in a size 14 as I find sleeves in lots of patterns too tight for my arms.
I did a small amount fitting during the construction but nothing major to be aware of – just a nip and tuck on the side seams and shoulder. To finish off the dress I put in a invisible zip down the side. I was going to make it more authentic and do a lapped zipper but given its on the side of the dress and with the busy-ness of the fabric, I think the invislble zipper is a better option. The pattern calls for two buttons down the front bodice which really aren’t enough. I ended up sewing on three buttons and tried it on with a sash I had made previously but it still felt like it gaped so I ended up adding another button and foregoing the sash when I wore it. I recommend sewing four buttons down the front when making it.
The only other thing I would mention is the sleeves. If you tend to have to take out your sleeves thanks to bigger arms, I suggest sizing up. I cut out my sleeves in a bigger size and I still had to take them out so much I almost ran out of fabric. Right from the top to the bottom of the sleeve had to be taken out a lot. So be warned!
More piccies of the fair and my dress on my blog: http://www.bobbinandbaste.com/post/50s-fair-1