Vintage Sewing

The Rocket Dress!

January 10, 2010

Once more hot on the heels of Notamermaid (accidentally this time), I made Simplicity 3580, an early 1960s shirtwaist dress, in an appropriately Rocket Age fabric. Swell!

I had some problems with the sleeves and would love to hear your experiences working with set-in sleeves on vintage patterns. Read more about it over at my blog.

  1. I absolutely adore this dress! The retro rockets are to die for.

    In regards to set in sleeves, my mom taught me a trick that works really well. Ignore the pattern instructions and sew the top of the sleeves (the eased part) before you sew the sides of the bodice i.e. while you can still lie the bodice flat and before you sew the length of the sleeve so that you're sewing flat to flat. Then sew the bodice sides together, the sleeve length and the rest of the set in sleeve. It doesn't appear conceptually that it would make that big of a difference, but it actually does. It also gives you a bit more leeway in aligning the sleeve to the bodice, sleeve allowance, etc. All the stuff you mentioned.

    Well done!

  2. Wow, how fab is that rocket dress! And I love the colour-coordinated kitchen… very glam!

    For years I winged it with my set-in sleeves, simply pinning and working in ease as I sewed along, and I managed very nicely. Then one day I thought I should do it the proper way, hand-basting the ease, and making sure all the dots ligned up exactly, and it was a complete nightmare, with puckers all over…

  3. I love the dress – but I love your red kitchen even more. After seeing yours, I'm trying hard to resist the urge to paint my cabinets. For sleeve, I sew the armscye first, then the sleeve sides and body side. Most times you can sew the sleeve and body sides all in one flow. Not technically correct, but with few exceptions it's been a timesaver.

  4. Love it! I just bought this pattern last month and it'll be my next project after I finish the dress I'm currently making. I've been putting it off because I got the pattern a size small and I'm lazy about grading, but seeing yours makes me want to start it right now! 🙂

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