Monday, September 15, 2014

· Yellow 1940s Housedress ·

*Note: I have had this dress done since Thursday, but I've had a horrible cold/flu ever since, so I haven't been able to take pictures of it on me. Thelma Lou graciously volunteered to take my place. ;-)
 The Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge for today is "Something Yellow." So of course, when I saw that, I naturally thought of my yellow flowery fabric. Buuut, what would I make out of it? Since the deadline is 1945, I was at a loss for what to make. Most of our patterns are from the 1950s, and the few we have from 1945 or earlier are not much to write home about. So I thought and thought, and then it came to me; I would use my new old Hollywood Pattern that I just got as inspiration for my dress!

The original pattern has accent panels on the sides, which I liked, but since I wanted this to be an everyday dress, I figured a solid yellow panel would be impractical. I got the idea to sew ricrac on in the same shape as the panels, to create the illusion of a separate panel.

I got this fabric a few months back at our local fabric shop on clearance for about $4 a yard. I didn't love it at the time, but I just wanted something inexpensive for a housedress. Now that it is made up, I actually do love it!

I used the Vogue V9000 bodice front and back for the top of the dress, and then just cut the skirt to flare out to the full width of the fabric. Then I drew the vertical darts on, making the widest part of the dart at the waistline, tapering it back in at the bottom. I cut the neck a little higher (1/2"?) because I wasn't adding a collar. I actually cut the sleeves like the pattern piece and cut them shorter when I tried it on later.
I put a little piece of interfacing on the inside of the dress where the ties would be placed. The ties were then zig-zagged on, and the ricrac was sewed over them, hiding the seam.

The ricrac was sewed on following the shape so that it would stay flat. That was the hardest part of the dress just because it took FOREVER. It was definitely worth it though because it lies flat even after washing.

All in all, this dress was a great success, and it has given me confidence in "inventing" my own patterns! (And, I've tested it's comfort by laying around in it for four days. It's comfy, I promise!)

The Challenge: Yellow
Fabric: 5 yards cotton. (Probably less would do just fine, but I had 5)
Pattern: Self-drafted, based on vintage Hollywood pattern 1801, using Vogue V9000
Year: 1944
Notions: 5 yards ricrac, 16 buttons, thread
How historically accurate is it? 95%.  I serged a couple edges.
Hours to complete: 12-15
First worn: Friday, and ever since then around home!
Total cost: $35. 
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