Monday, January 12, 2015

• Little Black 1940s Dress •

This post marks a momentous occasion - I am finally several projects ahead of my blog! Although we haven't gotten pictures of them yet, it's a tremendous relief to have something already made to blog about rather than counting on my current project being finished in time.

I can't believe I am writing a post about my very own black dress! I bought this fabric early last year but never ended up actually making it into anything. I decided later on that Butterick 5281 would be just right, but still never was in the mood to "tackle" it. A couple of weeks ago, however, I finally was in the right mood! I was always somewhat frightened of this pattern for some reason, thinking that it simply must be terribly difficult. It isn't! In fact, (confession time), I already have another dress made from it that just needs to be hemmed. Long story short; it's a fun (and easy) pattern!

It probably does look slightly weird to have short-sleeved dress pictures out in the snow, but, well, sometimes you just have to have a picture! It was actually around 30 degrees, so it wasn't nearly as bad as the past week has been. The snow transforms the back yard into a more palatable backdrop than usual and it even snowed a teeny bit while we were out there!

Ordinarily I try to avoid that awful, slippery lining fabric like the plague, but for this dress it wasn't possible. Since the dress fabric is polyester, I knew that if I used cotton to line it, it would be too hot. Thankfully, the lining was not too painful to work with, and it really does feel so nice and slippery!
The main dress fabric was SO much fun to work with. It drapes beautifully, irons and sews easily and doesn't wrinkle. Three cheers for polyester!

I have been a bit lazy in the pin-curling department, but doing it again rejuvenated my love for it. Even though they're not perfect, there's just nothing like pin curls! I am happy to say that in only 11 1/2 hours or so, even though I have relatively thick hair, the curls are completely dry! That is a tremendous relief! 

I love all of the subtle but elegant details of this dress. The pleats on the shoulder, the decorative skirt seaming - it all adds up to a classic 1940s look.

I love my buttons. So much. Shiny pieces of happiness.
 I raised the neckline 1 1/2 inches, topstitched the part of the bodice that connects to the yoke, then stitched the bodice to the yoke about 2/3 of the way across, leaving enough of an opening to be able to slip over my head. Nicely enough, I didn't even have to sew on a hook and eye!

It is wonderful to finally have a black dress. While I am definitely a flowery-dress-kind-of-girl, a black dress is so versatile, and pretty much perfect for any occasion! I'm so glad I finally took the plunge and made it!

I'll leave you with a photo I took of the splendid drifts in our yard. It was SO. COLD. the day that I took snow photos, but once again, sometimes you just have to have them! I posted more pictures from that day on my photography blog.

• Photography by my mom •

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  1. You've done a lovely job! I love how the black fabric really allows you to see all the little lovely details. It looks like something you could pull straight from a rack at a vintage store rather than just a recreation.

    I am rather jealous of that snow too! Its so hot here :(

  2. Esther,

    This is such a classic dress! I have written down the pattern number, and hope to sew it myself sometime. ; ) I look forward to seeing all of your new creations. You are inspiring me to sew some new summer dresses!


    1. Thank you, Sarah!! The pattern is definitely a keeper! I'm sure you'll love it. :)
      Thanks for the lovely compliments!!

  3. So pretty and elegant - and those buttons, wow! There is no snow where I live right now but your photographs almost make me wish there was...

    1. Thank you so much, Draped in Cloudlets!! The buttons are just about my favorite part!
      Hope you get some snow soon! ;)

  4. Oh Esther, your dress is lovely! I have long admired that pattern, and the design looks lovely on you.

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  5. Esther, I'm impressed over and over with the amazingly classy things you create! This is such an elegant piece.

    1. Kira Anastasia, thank you so much!! I don't know quite what to say! Thank you!!-

  6. Your dress is beautiful - I love the buttons that are gorgeous. Your hat and shoes make the outfit complete.

  7. Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Miss Michelle!! If only I had a knit black sweater to go with it.... ;)


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