I always sew with a character in mind. Generally she is a late 50s’ housewife, escaping to the big city for a night away from her lousy lush of a husband. This time I decided to go for something a bit more dramatic. I was given a slightly gothic Indian necklace by a Friend About Whom I Am Conflicted. The FAWIAC bought it for me in an old mining town about 5 minutes before he bolted for his flight out of here.
The more I looked at the necklace the more it started to look like a prop from Star Trek. I could see a gorgeous blue nurse from a far off world soothing Kirk’s fevered brow while wearing it. What the necklace needed was a crisp white linen uniform to offset it.
I’ve had this 1960s pattern for a while – it has fantastic seaming details on the front bodice – which I topstitched somewhat ineptly. The front is a main piece with the bodice sewn as a large inset. I was totally awed by the precision of the drafting. I made tons of alterations (lowered armhole, lowered bustdarts ((which are still too high! Where did ladies keep their boobs in the 60s??)) added back darts, totally changed the neckline), but it came together perfectly.
It also has a sexy nursey kind of vibe. There are a few issues – the armholes are incredibly tight. Originally I sewed it with the full length sleeves (which have lovely pairs of elbow darts) but I couldn’t move, so that didn’t work. I suppose the short sleeves might be better removed completely, but for now I’ll keep them and see if I wear the dress enough to justify doing so.
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