1950s | Dresses

Academy 4832 and Simplicity 4693

July 18, 2013

I have not posted any finished projects for far too long, but of course, I’m checking back here everyday or so to see what You are doing..  So I will share some photos of my favourtites and link back to my blog if you want to see even more.  By the way, it’s chilly mid-winter here in Aotearoa New Zealand, and I’m loving all the swimsuit posts, I’m feeling inspired and as though I have plenty of time to make up my own in time for summer, so thank you all for sharing.

This dress, version 3 in the pattern illustration above, has been a rather long project for me, it is the first garment that I decided to line (and interline, as you might read over here) so, requiring new skills.  I posted some questions on WeSewRetro a while back (here) and it is a very bold design for a dress.  Which I Love.  I used an acrylic woven fabric, with no movement, it was fairly dense but holds the shape so very well, and was another excellent op shop find.  You might have come across the full skirted version I made with the same pattern, earlier this year, on WeSeRetro here.

The collar is the stand out feature of this dress, but the skirt comes together so well, and is so comfy and easy to wear.  My trial with lining and interlining was worthwhile, though it presented me with some fitting issues, I now love interlining garments!  Here’s the almost completed inside…  by the way, as I was part way through assembling the dress when it became apparent it needed lining, I retrospectively lined the bodice and interlined the skirt (Hong Kong seams and all!).

My next best dress is this, Simplicity 4693 in a lovely printed cotton, version 1, more details here.  I just love  having these patterns around, don’t you?

Unfortunately, the photos of me in my finished dresses are hard to come by these days, between the short days and cold weather, the only other grown up here is home in the dark, or that one day I get set before he leaves for work the camera battery goes flat!  Oh, so you will have to do with mannequin modeling yet again.

I’m not sure about the belt, it was a great op shop find, so close to the colours in the print, I had to try it out.  I feel like the dress needs the belt, but worry that it dominates the pretty pleats and gathers in the front of the dress.

The one photo of it on a real person!  I quite like the belt, and would usually wear one this size, but I think it’s too big, what do you think?

I have been working on separates lately, and made a up a new blouse and a pair of snuggly pajamas, perfect for winter… so I’ll get back to you on those presently!

Happy sewing!


  1. I agree the belt, lthough nice, is too big for the dress. I think it would look really lovely with a delicate, thin (<2cm) belt that adds waist definition and visual interest without overwhelming things.

  2. Very pretty dresses! I love the gathered detail on the bodice of the second one. I agree, a very narrow belt would probably work well. The width of the belt is obscuring the detail, but a narrow one will help with the waist definition without being overpowering. White would probably look nice, or a mid-shade of blue.

  3. I love both dresses. I especially love the print on the second dress. Gorgeous! You obviously do beautiful work.

  4. I think the belt looks just fine on the dress form so I guess whether or not it’s too wide depends on the height of the wearer and whether it bothers you that it covers the waist ruching that much. Maybe you should just think of it as having options? No belt, skinny belt, wide belt, for different looks?

  5. I like the belt, and I could see it with a narrow one, as well. I also like the cardigan idea, but I still think you’d need a belt.

    What about a pretty brooch? If you skip the belt and just put a pretty vintage brooch on the upper chest, you can still have a finished look without a belt.

    Thinking about doing all that lining on dress number one is making my brain melt. So much work, but a gorgeous result!

  6. What lovely dresses! The black one is so chic. I love the detail on the green dress and think that a narrow belt with a little bow as on the pattern would be just fab! Could you make one?

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