1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

McCall’s 2440 (1962) back-wrap “apron” dresses, again

By on July 27, 2015

I made this one in 2009 in pink cotton-polyester with pink gingham binding.

Version one used this awesome faintly-Japanese Jules and Coco floral print from Joann’s.  I actually made this, discovered that the bodice was too big (it was too big on the pink dress but I’d gotten used to wearing it that way), tried to jerry-rig a fix, and then gave up.  Then I rallied and took the dress apart, cut a new bodice, and put it back together.  It was worth all that seam ripping:

19612440 19 Japanese flowers done

I went to DSW for work shoes on Saturday and found pink loafers on clearance.  I’m not really a novelty shoe kind of girl but something told me I might need them for my early 1960’s stuff:

19612440 20 pink shoes

I finished another version last week of the same dress but in a yellow atomic print I got at Joann’s a few years ago.  I loved it, kind of, but it was way too modern and the wrong scale for all my 1940’s dresses.  This pattern is 1961 so it’s a much better fit.  You can’t really see them, but it has big black buttons on the pockets.  (I borrowed DSW’s mirror.)

19612440 21 yellow atomic done

A word on fitting this pattern: It runs in small-medium-large-etc. sizes, not individual sizes.  This one is a 14-16 (bust 34-36) and I think the shoulders run a bit big.  I fixed it by taking in the shoulders a size on the upper front bodice (not the lower front, just the upper front) and by taking a wedge out of the back bodice.  I basically took an inch out of the center edge of the back, tapering to the lower side-seam corner, to shorten the center edge without shortening the sides.  This pulled it closer to my back and helped the gapping.

The yellow dress and pink dresses both have buttons added to keep them closed.  I’m not sure I need that now and have not added one to the flowered dress yet; I’ll wear it awhile and see.  (The back button catches on my hair, which is annoying.)

Flickr set: YellowFlickr set: Flowered

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1940s | Dresses

Simplicity 4102 (1942): the Shy Sister of the Chicken Dress

By on July 10, 2015

I made the sweetheart version of this a number of years ago out of green Aunt Grace fabric with chickens on it.  This time, I made the button-front version out of a dark gray (with maroon and pink) Concord VIP mini print that somebody gave me.  I realized this should be a quick project since I’d already done all the fitting.

My only two issues with this pattern are:

1) The inset belt appears to have been drafted without wearing ease.  That is, the size 16 (waist 28 inches) allows for an actual 28-inch finished inset belt, not a 29-inch one.  It fits, but an inch of ease would be more comfortable.  Measure yours before you cut.

2) The waist ties are too short.  Fabric rationing be darned, cut yours about eight inches longer so you can tie them into a real bow and not just an knot in your lower back.

I only have a picture of the empty dress right now, but here is a link to the Flickr set.

Simplicity 1942 4102 finished

Also, this has a daughter pattern in Simplicity 4103, which I don’t have (and I don’t have kids, anyway).

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1930s | 1940s

Housedress with Pockets

By on May 21, 2015

Long-time reader, first-time poster. This housedress is based on “The Magic Nightgown” at http://sewingvintage.blogspot.ca/2012/08/the-magic-nightgown.html, but in a cotton print, knee-length for a more 1940s look, and with patch pockets added. I made bias tape from the leftover fabric rather than using contrasting tape to finish the sleeves and neck opening. Also, I only did two darts. I think next time I make up this pattern, I’ll follow the “small” measurements for the neck opening, shoulder breadth and armholes, as the latter are slightly larger than I could have wished, but overall, I’m pleased with the look and the comfort of this casual dress. purple_dress

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