1960s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Vintage Sewing

First Fall Frock

October 6, 2014

Hi everybody! I’m back with another dress. While I’m usually the flared skirt type of girl, I wanted to try sewing something else this time, taking into consideration that Autumn is coming. Actually, the day I made this dress, the Autumn came in her full gloomy glory. So that was a very timely sew!

Sewing this one was surprisingly easy and quick. It only took one day or 12 hours from copying the pattern to making the last stitch on the hem. I had the pattern from a vintage German magazine called Neuer Schnitt, issue 8/1963. Here’s the photo of the original deisgn.

When I was first looking through the bunch of these magazines that I had, I dismissed any type of garment that wasn’t what I’m usually into but then, after more careful reading, I’ve found a multitude of different patterns that I loved and wanted to give them a try. I really liked the kimono sleeves and loved the inverted collar detail in this one. I’d had a fabric perfect for this type of dress: a nice, warm and soft cotton in a sort of greyish or beige-ish colour. The sewing started right away.

Easy! And lovely. And highly practical, I believe, what with the colour and the warm fabric. My only concern is that I’m not sure if the skirt isn’t a bit too wide. It IS the shape that was given by the pattern but I’m not sure it’s flattering. It’s something between A-line and pencil. What do you think? Should I make it more pencil-like?

If you’d like to see a few more photos of the dress, details included, head over to the adequate post on my blog.

  1. Nice dress! I love that neckline.
    I’ve been reading early 1960’s magazines lately and a “roomy but not full” skirt was really popular at the time. And it looks like that’s exactly what this skirt is.
    If you want to make it more of a pencil skirt, remember that will make it more difficult to walk in.

    1. Hey, thank you!
      Well, I’ve actually been thinking along the same lines concerning the skirt. Early sixties seem to me a lot more liberal towards how dapper a woman should look as opposed to 1950s. A tad looser silhouette and the overall cuteness is forgone for general comfort without looking shabby, of course. I really like the casual elegance of the era.

  2. What a great dress – it looks so edgy yet sophisticated! Well done!
    It would probably turn out sizzling if you “penciled” (is that even a word? -it is now!) the skirt a bit, but I think the current skirt looks a winner 🙂

    1. Oh thank you, thank you! I really like the shape of this dress and I think I’m going to stick with the original skirt. Here’s why.
      I like to think that what we now perceive as THE fashion of the era is what we are told by the movies and vintage fashion magazines and various present-day transformations and iterations thereof. That’s all very beautiful and quite staged, I’m afraid. And it’s probably quite far from what women wore on everyday basis back then. I mean, imagine that still-perfect practical housewife of the early 60s running after her sons and daughters in her pencil skirt. Elegant much? I don’t think so.

      So yeah, thanks for convincing me to convince myself to leave the skirt as is. It’s comfy and easy to wear and while it might not look like I’m the next diva, it’s practical and lovely –and very authentic!

  3. The more I see this dress, the more I want it. It looks so cozy, yet classy, and like it would be wearing a hug on a chill fall day. You have to wear the dickens out of it, so we can all live vicariously through you! 😛

    1. Haha, love that comment! Thank you :). I hope to wear this dress to its imminent death this autumn. Sadly, I’m afraid it will promptly go out of shape as the fabric seems petty expandable :(. But I’m sure I’ll make this pattern again, it’s just too pretty and too practical.

  4. This is lovely: both elegant and comfortable. And with a perfect fabric.colour choice, which is where I have failed more than once….
    Well done!

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