mccalls 5507

Grapesicle Dress

by Joni on May 12, 2013 · 9 comments

in 1960s,Dresses

So there I was minding my own business when I thought, “Hey! That bright purple stretch cotton shirting in my stash would make a GREAT wiggle dress!”

Of course I had to do it. The Sewing Gods must be obeyed.

I combined two patterns in my stash – I put the bodice from 5808 (dated 1960) on top of the skirt from 5507 (dated 1961). This was a great instant gratification project – about $15 in supplies and a day and a half of labor. Even better, it allowed me to check off one of my resolutions as I’ve been meaning to make a wiggle dress for ages! Of course, what happens when don’t make a muslin is that you discover that the bateau neckline is about an inch too wide on either side… after it’s been faced and understitched. (This is at least the third bateau neckline I’ve had problems with, maybe someday I’ll learn!) Rather than undo all that hard work, I took a couple of pleats on either side of the neckline to rein in the extra material. They coordinate with the double pleats in the skirt so I’m calling it a design element.

The purple color is really hard to photograph – it’s a bit grape-ier in real life. And I am hard to photograph too!

All in all, I’m really glad I made this dress for myself. For one, it was really nice to have a new dress for Mother’s Day! For another, I’m gradually getting over my fear of my giant hips. I was really surprised to learn that I don’t look like Barney the Purple Dinosaur in such a form-fitting dress. Actually, while I used a material with a wee bit of stretch, I didn’t really need to – there is plenty of ease in the hips. Once I get the neckline issues worked out, I actually have some vintage brocade that would make a SMASHING wiggle dress!

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