Monday, July 6, 2015

• Striped 1940s Frock •

You might just recognize that fabric, right? It's the keyhole tutorial dress! :)
Several weeks back, while perusing Pinterest for sewing inspiration, I spotted an absolutely adorable dress on a 1940s pattern cover. It is so pretty!

Pattern for sale here.
I had this green striped material in my stash (to make bathroom curtains, no less), but it really was the perfect choice to make into this dress. My mom also had a couple of yards of the fabric, and was gracious enough to let me have how much more I needed. Thanks, Mom!!!

I used Simplicity 3688 (one of my new favorite patterns!) for the bodice and sleeves, cutting the yoke crosswise to look like the original pattern picture. The bottom of the bodice is gathered onto a waistband rather than tucked.
I also cut the back bodice on the fold and made a faced keyhole opening, as you know from the tutorial.

I always shudder at the thought of fitting a waistband, whether it be on a dress or skirt, but I managed to get this one just right nevertheless. There's something *so* comfortable and fun about wearing a dress without a belt!

Since the back shoulder measurement was slightly narrow for me, I made it slightly wider and eased it onto the front shoulder. That's definitely one of my favorite fitting tricks!

For the neckline, I simply cut it square rather than round, but making sure that the front of the neckline was markedly narrower than the shoulder area. I didn't care to repeat my redo dress experience! Thankfully, there isn't a bit of neckline-gaping on this one.

The back bodice is gathered evenly across the back, whereas the front has concentrated gathers that are even with the gathers at the top of the bodice.

I really love this dress, and am happy with how it came out! It was very fast and easy to sew too, so maybe I need to make that other view with the floral fabric and lace.... ;)

I've been on a vintage kids' clothes sewing binge lately, so you'll be seeing some of that soon (Friday posts again!). There's just nothing on earth cuter than little vintage baby clothes. Period. ;)

If you haven't checked them out yet, be sure to take a look at the Miss L Fire shoes for sale on the blog here.
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  1. Wow, that's a gorgeous pattern indeed! Something very similar to this has been on my wishlist for ages, I should really just buy it :-) Wonderful dress!

    1. Thank you so much, Draped in Cloudlets!! You would definitely love a pattern like this; it's comfortable and fun to wear for anything from church to pickin' beans! ;)
      Thanks for your sweet words!! :)

  2. Gorgeous! Love that material!!

  3. So pretty! I love the fabric. Stripes and green are two of my favorites.

    1. Thank you, Mary!! I too love stripes but have a definite lack of them in my wardrobe. They're so pretty! :)

  4. My favorite dress so far, Esther! (Oh, have I said that before?! Well, this one tops the favorite list.) I'll take about half a dozen of them for my wardrobe. Perfect classic styling, you did a wonderful job of copying the picture. Isn't that fun to do? Of course, I love this fabric (as I mentioned before I have it in blue), and I love how both you and your mom had some of it. I am glad you made it into a dress and not curtains! The pattern number sounded familiar, when I clicked on it, no wonder! That is my favorite skirt pattern ever. I've used it several times for several people. I found that if you cut a size or two bigger it can then be gathered onto a waistband (instead of straight cut which is hard for big hips and a small waist, um, why would I know about that?!). You have inspired me to try that blouse pattern as part of a dress. :)

    I have one question...with the fitted waistband and just a keyhole opening, how do you get the thing on? Or is there a side zipper somewhere that you just didn't mention?

    Have a most blessed day!


    PS. If this dress is ever destined for your Etsy shop, send me a note first. Pretty please with sugar on top (to quote my Grandma!). ;)

    1. Awww, thank you so much, Sarah!! You're always so sweet and encouraging!!
      Mmmm...if I ever go into the other-people's-wardrobe-making, you'll be the first to know. ;) I have to admit, this has become one of my favorite dresses. It's immensely comfortable, and it is SO nice to not have to wear a belt!
      I used the skirt part of this pattern for the bottom of my nautical dress (which has yet to be blogged), and I agree, it's a wonderful pattern!!
      To answer your question, no, I'm not actually a magician. I just forgot to mention the side zipper. Probably because it wasn't one of my best ones. ;)
      I am sure I'll never be selling this dress, but just in case, you have my promise that you'll be the first to know. :)
      Thank you again for your lovely comment. I always love to hear from you!!

    2. Hi Esther...So fun to see your reply. :) Thanks for taking time to write! I hope you get years and years out of this dress, and I just might have to see if I can make one myself. I really would enjoy it, and I'll send you a picture if I ever do sew one. Looking forward to your nautical dress!!! Someday I will make or find the perfect classic sailor dress..... :) Thank you for writing such a sweet and delightful blog! Very lovely and refreshing. Have a great day!

    3. Sarah R. (used to be A.!)November 17, 2017 at 11:42 AM

      Well, here we are 2 years and 4 months later.....we actually KNOW each other by now, in person and as good friends....and this little striped number is in MY closet these days, thanks to your super sweet, super kind, super generous gifting of it to me a few weeks ago! Hee hee, it's fun to look back at old posts and old comments, and see how far life has come. I'll get pictures of me in the dress to you soon............. Love you, sister! :)

  5. That's darling! I love the sweet pattern in the fabric. You look great!

  6. What a great pattern Esther! I love how simple and flattering it is!
    Thanks for the tip on easing in the shoulder! I seem to have to configure with that as well at times. :)

    ADORABLE shoes!

    of Calico Sisters blog

    1. Thank you so much, Cassie!! You should definitely try easing the shoulders; it is a life-saver for wide-shouldered gals like us!
      :) Have a lovely week!

  7. Hi Esther
    Love, love the dress! Question for you: you used S3688 for the bodice , did you use the 3688 skirt pattern
    for the skirt part of the dress? Which pattern did you use for the waistband? Love the fabric , joanns?
    I know .. so many questions , but again because I love your dress!
    Keep on sewing, I always enjoy your sewing posts!

    1. Thank you, Irene!! I actually used Vogue 8728 as a base for my skirt, but flared it out to the width of the fabric from the waist. I drafted my own waistband just by deciding on which width was the most flattering.
      The fabric is from JoAnn, but we bought it several years ago, so I don't know if it would still be available.
      I love questions; thanks for asking them! :)
      Thank you for your lovely comment!!

  8. This could be one of my favourites of yours, you look excellent.

  9. Beautiful dress. That colour palette is so sweet and peaceful - plus I was instantly struck by how nicely it compliments your blog design.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you, Jessica!! I hadn't even noticed it, but it does match my blog design! I'll have to keep that in mind for future projects. ;)

  10. *sigh* How many times can I swoon over the fabric of your dresses? And this pattern is too, too sweet! I'd love to see the lace version of this, and honestly, if I could get my grubby mitts on a copy of this pattern I totally would. It's perfection! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. Thank you so much, Bonita!! I have to admit, I've never seen a fabric of yours that I didn't LOVE. Especially the fabric that the hairtie is made out of. LOVE IT.
      I hope you can find a copy of the pattern! The lace version would indeed be gorgeous.

  11. Such a delightful dress Esther! And my, you are getting good at altering patterns!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. Aww, thank you, Brigid!! That is high praise coming from the pattern-altering-expert! :)

  12. This draws is so soft, feminine, and sweet looking! I love that you issued a blouse pattern for the top of the dress. I am just now getting very interested in vintage dress sewing so this is very inspirational for me! Thank you!! You look so lovely ibn your stripe dress!

    1. Thank you so much, Gina!! I can't wait to see what you come up with in the line of vintage dresses; they're SO much fun to make. :)


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