novelty print

A Little Bird Told Me

by Joni on June 21, 2014 · 5 comments

in 1950s,Dresses

I’ve done coordinating dresses for my daughters before, but never outright matching. Browsing vintage patterns online I came across McCall’s 4346 (copyright 1957, the same year my mother was born), and knew that I had to do it for both of my girls. It took a little while to find usable copies in sizes 6 and 12 – these were supposed to be Easter dresses (don’t judge me) – but I finally pulled it off.

I was considering making both of their dresses in solid blue with a red bow just like the blondie on the pattern envelope there. But once I laid eyes on this Michael Miller print,  I couldn’t stop picturing my girlies in it. I mean, come on! It’s birds hanging dishes on a clothesline!

Other than my buttonholer’s continued refusal to cooperate, these dresses came together amazingly fast. I love how the simple lines work with an obnoxious novelty print (I’m already thinking about Christmas dresses). And here are my girlies all decked out with their new crinoline petticoats and big smiles!

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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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I love vintage playsuits, especially ones with qwirky novelty prints!

So I made up this playsuit in this darling crab print!

It’s a mish-mash of a 40s skirt, a 30s bolero and a modern blouse.

And it was perfect for my recent trip to Florida! :D

Do you love playsuits? I’ve got more photos over on my blog.

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Simplicity 7072 front

 

For my sister’s birthday, I decided to make her a dress. Since she’s tiny, I jumped at the chance to bust out some of my smaller sized patterns (I covet size 18′s for myself) with a mod 1960′s silhouette. We decided on Simplicity 7072, which is a simple A line shift with French darts and a round neckline. Interestingly, my sister has an amazing vintage shift from the late 1960′s in an almost identical style. The fabric is even similar, although I used a quilting cotton, and the original is in a weird heavy woven. It’s almost like a lightweight upholstery fabric, but with a soft handfeel. Also, once I got the original on the dress form, I noticed that the pattern design is not centered. It was obviously hand made by a pretty good seamstress. While the pattern fit pretty well as drafted, I still had to do some pattern adjustments. These included taking it in a half inch all the way around, lowering the neckline a bit, and moving the shoulder in a bit. I omitted the facings and made a coordinating bias tape in espresso bean brown to finish the edge, which I did with an invisible stitch. I think it turned out really well. I hope it fits her! I barely got it to fit on my dress form. You can see the shadow on the skirt where I had to stretch it over the form. What would the world be without adjustable dress forms! Enjoy!

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