1960s | Dresses

Simplicity 5954, my first dress sewn out of a sheet!

February 12, 2012

Straight out of the 60s, I picked up this pattern from a vintage textile fair last year.

My first full skirted pattern, I had a few troubles with the fit, and skirt length – which was much longer than the illustration on the pattern.  You can read all about it over on my blog, but here is a photo and my next dress project…

And here’s my next project, I’m doing a test run, as I’m looking for a nice number for a wedding later in the year…  Version one, on the right, and I’m using fabric from a large bed throw I was gifted, in a kind of cream colour.

  1. Just a tip–most patterns have a “finished length” measurement on the back of ’em. Just because the illustrated models have it end knee length doesn’t mean that you’re as tall as they ideally wanted. Measure yourself where you want the dress to end up just so you know how long you want it to be. And check how fat they want the hem to be, too! It’s not uncommon to have a 3″ hem in vintage patterns!

  2. Agree with everyone – a lovely dress, lovely pattern(s), and how wonderful to think of such good use fabric-wise. Have thought sometimes of doing the same – you’ve give an ol’ gal a bit of incentive!

  3. That came out great, and I think the fullish skirt looks very well on you. It’s also nice that you resisted the modern urge to over-shorten the skirt and spoil the proportions!

    That said, I have to echo LauraD about pattern skirt lengths. For example, I’m looking at a similar McCall’s pattern from the same era. The “finished length from back of regular neckline” (which is a jewel neckline in this case, easy to figure) is given for each size, with a specified 2 5/8″ hem (a lot deeper than yours). The skirt pieces are marked with a “lengthen or shorten here” area so you can plan ahead and don’t have to cut more fabric than you need.

    Old patterns have deep hems for two reasons: one, they make the skirt hang better in gentle swells (if you sew the hem by hand – machining tends to make it a little stiff); and two, because nobody ever knew whether hems were going up or down. You always wanted to leave something to let out later!

  4. very pretty! this turned out so nicely! the sheet idea has really opened my eyes to a whole new world of fabric possibilities! 🙂

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