Vintage Sewing

Long-weekend + bad weather = new fancy lady clothes

March 28, 2007

I had this fabric in my stash for a couple years, having bought it at a thrift store, and never knew what to do with it. Then I was going through all my patterns (which have started to spill out all over the floor of my bedroom) and decided that it would make a perfect dress based on the Simplicity 4047 shirt.
For this one, I started in my usual size, but tapered to a size smaller at the waist and then flared it back out again. This way, I almost have an hourglass silhouette, without any of the crazy 1940s/1950s girdle problems.
In addition to lengthening the bottom pattern pieces for the skirt, I also lengthened and widened the neck line. (I would have been considered a bad influence in the ’50s, I’m sure.)
The skirt is also from the same pattern set and is also from fabric I thrifted years ago. I think the only reason I was able to hold onto fabric this beautiful for so long is that it was longer than it was wide and I really wanted to keep the scalloped lace edges. If the piece of fabric had been any bigger, I’m sure it would have been sewn up into something ages ago.
When I bought the lace, it was already underlined with a very soft cotton. Rather than change the lining, I kept the original fabrics together, hand sewing them together before cutting out the pieces. In assembling the skirt, I sewed through both layers, so the darts are practically invisible from the right side.
I also altered this patter slightly. To accommodate the size of the piece of fabric I was working with, the skirt is actually an inch or two shorter than specified (there’s that bad influence again). I also added a waist band in a matching champagne/gold satin. The closure, an invisible zipper and a mother of pearl button for the waist band, are in the back seam. There is also a really beautiful little pleat in the back seam (I which I wish I could take credit for it, but it was in the pattern).

Now all I want to is wear lady clothes, heels and drink cocktails.

Here you can see the scalloped edge more clearly.
  1. Love the dress – I never would have thought to lengthen the blouse pattern like that!

    Seeing everyone’s versions – I really need to make it

  2. Hello,
    I was wondering if you still had more of this nice gold lace fabric that you’re willing to sell. I just love the pattern of the lace and I love your skirt! Do you have any idea if the shop you bought it from still has this? Please, if you get the chance, would you please e-mail me to let me know, Thanks for your time.
    Best wishes,

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