Monday, April 20, 2015

• Adventures in the 1930s •

Back in 1988, my mom bought a 1930s reproduction Simplicity pattern. Little did she know that almost three decades later, she and her future daughter would be sewing nothing but vintage repro patterns! :) Unfortunately, we couldn't find a single photo of her dress, but I do have a piece of the fabric in a scrap quilt of mine. At least I can envision how pretty it was!

Image c/o Vintage Patterns Wikia

The pattern features a gathered bodice with a yoke, flutter sleeves, an eight-gore skirt and an elasticized waist. I ended up making quite a few changes to the pattern; first of all, since I didn't want to use elastic, I cut the skirt much narrower at the waist in order to omit the 10" (!) of ease at the waist and added a side zipper. 

I also did not want flutter sleeves, so I gathered them onto a band and turned it under. It makes for the perfect amount of "puff!"

I originally intended this fabric for another dress, but upon laying out that pattern, I found that I didn't have enough material! I went back to JoAnn and found the precious 1 3/4 yards that I had left on the previous trip! I snatched it up immediately, of course!

As it turns out, the intended pattern for this fabric did not work out for me, so I eventually got the notion to try it in this pattern! It worked out quite well, as I am delighted with my new dress!!

I crocheted a collar from a 1930s pattern book to match. It was very easy to make, and the shape ended up being perfect with the shape of the yoke. I'll share that pattern book in Excerpts From the Past next if you would like! :)

The collar is held onto the dress by the keyhole button. Much easier than sewing on buttons and loops! 

All in all, I'm very excited to finally have a quintessentially 1930s dress! 
The pattern was an absolute cinch, and I love the design! That flounced my favorite.

There hasn't been much action in the sewing room this past week due to gardening, potato-planting and machine-knitting, but I'm looking forward to diving in again this week!!

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  1. Yay, the 1930s dress! I love that fabric! How neat that you made your own crochet collar!
    Great job, lovely Esther!

    Michelle ^_^
    Delightful Handwork

    1. Thank you, Michelle!! I love the fabric too - I had wanted it for so. long. And now I finally have it!! :)
      Thank you for the sweet comment, dear Michelle!!

  2. did a wonderful job creating this dress. It fits very, very nice and the collar adds that special touch of vintage :0) thank you so much for sharing it with us today... mari

  3. So pretty Esther! The fabric is really pretty too! And the flounce on the skirt :D

    1. Thank you, Theresa!! Isn't that flounce just great? ;)

  4. Oh the dress looks lovely Esther! I love the fabric that you chose. And yes please! Do share the 1930s pattern book! And did I read correctly: machine-knitting??? You are one lucky duck if you have a machine knitter. :D

    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. Thank you, Brigid!! You certainly did read correctly! I'll have to do a post about our knitting machines sometime soon! :)

  5. Lovely dress! My mom has the same pattern in her collection from my childhood. I don't think she ever sewed it for herself, though she must have planned to. I like the alterations you made to the sleeves and skirt, great ideas! Also the crocheted collar looks perfect. : )

  6. How terrifically lovely. This pattern instantly makes me think of my maternal grandma and her family. She (my grandma) was born in 1930, the youngest of nine children, and I can just imagine the abundance of similar, elegant fashions were in their home at the time (if only they'd held on to them for future generations).

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you, Jessica!! Wouldn't it be amazing to have the dresses that our grandmothers wore? Oh, how wonderful that would be!!

  7. That flounced skirt is stunning! And yay! Fabric buddies! I really love seeing the fabric working as a dress, I though the hand to it was really nice and yup, it looks great as a dress just like I thought it might! You can't even really tell it's quilting cotton. I know I'm going to be going back to the quilting cotton if I can make a dress as sweet as this one out of it. :D ♡ Oh, and that collar is simply lovely, I'd love to make my own if you would care to share the pattern.

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. Thank you, Bonita!! It's great to be fabric buddies!! :)
      I did in fact share the pattern book here,


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