This is the first vintage pattern I have sewn and I have to say it was a wonderful experience. It has left me wanting to sew a few more vintage patterns that I have in my stash. Fashion trends and styling are like revolving doors. Making some of yesteryears patterns very relevant today.
This pattern only had one size being a size 10. On reading the sizing information it appeared I would need to sew a size 14. However, I have found that many commercial patterns have a ton of ease. To be 100% sure on the sizing I measured each bodice pattern piece at the under, over and mid bust to confirm if I did need to grade up two sizes or not.
After measuring the bodice pattern pieces, I figured out I only needed to add an additional 2cm in the bodice circumference and did not need to grade up the two full sizes. I did however, need to add depth to the bodice pieces given my bust size.
To do this I traced off each of the bodice pattern pieces and removed the seam allowance. I then cut each of the bodice pattern pieces through the middle and added 3.5cm length to each piece. Please see the images below. Although the back bodice piece is not shown I did the same thing to this piece as well.
To check my adjustment I sewed the bodice and top tier in a calico toile, including sewing in the zipper. On review of this toile I decided to change the front bodice darts into panels lines as the darts were quite pointy and I need to remove excess fabric from the bust point. It is much easier to achieve this curved shaping using a panel line instead of a dart.
I chose a large linen check from Potter & Co to sew the final version of this dress. I was looking out for a lovely linen gingham and in hindsight wish I had of stuck to my original plan. As much as I love this oversized check, the check looks a little weird in the top tier. The pattern pieces had a slight curve to them, curving the check on the body. This would not be as obvious on a smaller gingham fabrication. I might also be over analysing this on the garment.
When cutting out stripes and checks I always consider matching at seams. You do use more fabric doing this but for me it’s important to give the garment that beautiful finish.
I lined the front bodice and top tier with some left over white light weight linen that I had in my stash. I find lining gives a nicer finish along the top edge of the garment. I should have increased the length of the lining by another 20cm as the skirt of this dress is a little see through in the light.
The shoulder straps where converted to wide tie straps inspired by a beautiful Zimmerman Dress I saw on line.
Other than lining the bodice and top tier I followed the pattern instructions. They were very easy to follow. This style is actually quite simple to sew with the gatherers and an invisible zipper being the most challenging parts of this project.
This dress is part of my holiday wardrobe ear marked for those sunset drinks on the bow of the boat.