Vintage Sewing

1940s Simplicity 1297 – a dress for when you *wish* it was springtime!

April 27, 2011

Pattern Description:
Misses’ and Women’s Sun Dress and Bolero. A “Mother and Daughter Fashion”. For “Daughter”, see Simplicity 1296. The dress is styled with princess lines and supported by shoulder straps. A bow-trimmed fold outlines the upper edge of bodice and finishes the skirt. The cap-sleeved bolero is lined. In Style I, contrasting fabric is used for bolero lining, bow, straps and folds. In Style II, the contrasting bolero is lined with dress fabric. Style III, evening version, does not have skirt fold. (description from Vintage Pattern Wiki)

Pattern Sizing:
sz 16/34B
this is one of those situations where the waistline and hipline fit beautifully but some serious tinkering is needed on top.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yes, it’s a lovely, simple pattern that is well-represented by the envelope and drawings.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
in as much as 1940s instructions are ever easy, these were. it’s a simple pattern. ultimately, i did end up changing some of my techniques–i deviated from the instructions most notably on the installation of the upper band and shoulder straps, treating the band like a backwards facing and getting the raw edges of the straps in under there. it’s a clean, simple install.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
it reminded me of a 40s piece i saw in my local vintage shop, and i was determined to replicate it.

Fabric Used:
cotton stretch from Paron Annex, NYC
Liberty of London tana lawn, New York Elegant Fabrics

i shortened it significantly and worked on adjusting the bust size using a princess seam “sloper” than kenneth king helped me make for a princess line jacket. this worked, but still needed a tweak. it sat, unloved, for about a week until on a whim i decided to pick it up sunday morning and finish it for a bridal shower event that afternoon. cute, quick, easy, and the deep blues really suited my mood because it should have been spring on that late april afternoon but was barely in the 50-degree (F) range! the sweater was a necessity, not a fashion statement…

i also shifted the zipper to a center back alignment to give me more economical pattern-cutting options. i still have enough left of the print for a top!

  1. Did you know there was another version of this for little girls? I have it, and I'm going to make it for my niece soon…

  2. i've seen the little girls' version floating on etsy, and it is adorable. i am sure your niece would love it!

    and jessica, it's a great spring project–this is the second one i've made!!

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