adorable 1950s day dress: McCall 3489

May 19, 2011

Pattern Description:
1950s day dress with bateau/semi-cowl neckline, darted front, gored skirt.

Pattern Sizing:
30B/Size 12
using a fitted piece from another bodice, i sized it up to a 32.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
the bateau neckline was a bit of a challenge, but the instructions were by and large very solid.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i was drawn to the great neckline and bodice shape above all. the gored skirt i can take or leave–in fact, i left it, subbing in a pleated skirt from advance 8280.

Fabric Used:
pale yellow china silk, Paron Annex, NYC
liberty of london tana lawn, “honeymoon,” purchased on eBay (2 meters for about the price of 1yd at B&J, score!). it sang to me for this dress!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
because i had my beloved advance 8280 on standby, i was mass-cutting a few dresses at once. to save time and fabric, i used the pleated skirt from the advance pattern on all three, including this one.

i lined the dress in yellow china silk, to highlight the tiny bit of cheery yellow amongst the flowers and spiderwebs of the tana lawn.

i finished my skirt lining with some 1/2″ horsehair braid and a bit of lace in a great contrasting burgundy color.

at about the same time i was making this dress, i was also working on some other things: a basic 1960s cowl-neck blouse from simplicity 1839, and determining the appropriate pattern for some printed italian silk (literally, straight off the boat and still unpriced at mood when dennis showed it to me). at the time, i was leaning toward vogue reprint 1084, which has a very similar shape to this dress.

it was fun to compare three very different techniques to achieve a cowl/bateau neckline shape.

i was going to say “head over to the new vintage lady’s etsy shop! she has this pattern for embarrassingly less than i paid for it!”…but she’s already sold it. c’est la vie!

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