Friday, March 13, 2015

VSFLO • 1940s Princess Frock

Last week, we went to a couple of antique stores in a nearby town, and in the upstairs (which I didn't even know existed), there was a little cache of vintage sewing patterns! We found 7 kids' patterns, and 5 ladies' patterns. One of the patterns even features some designs for a little boy!
It was a good day!

This particular pattern is a mail-order, with the original envelope included (one cent postage, of course!). The design is a "princess frock" featuring a gathered waist, optional ruffles at the neckline and a sash in the back. The pictures just don't do this little dress justice. It is cuter than...well, anything when you see it in person.

I used the leftover fabric from my green shirtdress, lengthening the dress by about 6". I also omitted the ruffles at the neckline, because it seemed to be quite cute enough without them!

I had always wanted to put these little pearl buttons on this fabric, but there were not enough for my dress. There was the perfect number of them for this little dress, though, so they got to be paired with it after all!

The directions say to face the neckline with bias, but since I had some scraps left, I decided to go ahead and use ordinary facings instead.

It was so fun to put a teeny-tiny zipper in a teeny-tiny dress! The pattern gave the option of either a placket opening with snaps or a zipper. Very easy choice. Any time I can skip sewing on snaps, the happier I am!

It always seems funny to me to read the instructions in a vintage pattern. This particular one had three steps. Make the dress, Make the sleeves, and Finishing, with a few vague instructions under each category. It is so different from today's patterns, which spell out every little detail! When everyone knew how to sew, as women did in that era, I suppose there was no need for very tedious instructions. And to think, I used to complain about the instructions in modern patterns! 

Since I am keeping this dress for my own (Lord willing!) future use, I'm just going to serge the bottom edge and leave it un-hemmed. It seems like a better idea than hemming it to a possibly incorrect length, and having to redo it later on.

I am so glad we found the patterns, because it has really motivated me to start sewing kiddo clothes! I already have the next little outfit planned! :)
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  1. So cute! I think that's a sweet idea to start making little things for future little ones, I'd never even thought of that!

    1. Thank you, Theresa!! It is so much fun - you should try it! :)

  2. PRECIOUSNESS! So, so sweet. What a terrific find. I have quite a collection (hoard) of vintage children's patterns. I need to make more of them for my nieces & nephews. :)

    I know exactly what you mean about the instructions on vintage patterns. I love how they'll just say "Make darts" for instance. Instead of an entire paragraph devoted to the explanation of dart making. ^_^

    Too, too cute! Great job, Esther! :)

    Michelle ^_^

    1. Aww, thanks, Miss Michelle! That is a great idea to make them for nephews and nieces - I don't have any nephews, but I do have a couple of little nieces that would make great recipients. Thanks for the idea!! :)
      Don't you just love the paragraph-long dart explanations? (NOT!) I even backstitch at the point just to get back at the pattern companies. ;)

  3. That dress is adorable Esther! I have three 1960's girls patterns that are the cutest things ever! I have never made them up yet, just because I think I will want to wait to see what my (hopefully) little girls will want their dresses to be like. But I do like your idea of sewing kid's clothes now and saving them... perhaps I'll do that too, when I have some spare fabric and time. :)


    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. Thank you, Brigid! Those 1960s patterns sound adorable!
      I know, time is the big problem! I find it's best to just start a pint-sized project and then go back to it from time to time when you've got a few minutes. It's quite addictive, actually! :)

  4. Nothing is as cute or as fun to sew as little girls' dresses. :) I have been blessed to make many such items over the past few years, for the sweet girls at church as well as custom orders through my shop. This one is darling....have fun making others! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.


    1. Thank you, Sarah A.! They are immensely fun to sew and SO cute! :)

  5. Congratulations on you terrific find! I love it when I find unexpected "treasures" while out antiquing. : ) This dress is so sweet and pretty! I really like the details of vintage patterns- extra darts, gathers, trim! So fun! I am sure that someday you will have a little daughter who will love wearing this dress!
    Psalm 37:4

    1. Thank you, Sarah!! The details of those old patterns are indeed beautiful.
      Thank you so much for the verse - I needed that!! You are a blessing! :)

  6. How wonderfully lovely! This dress is really sweet. That pattern and colour palette telegraph a subtle farm/country vibe to me that I can never get enough of. Many happy congrats on finding this array of yesteryear patterns at the antiques store.

    ♥ Jessica


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