The 1940’s was a great era for drapey, fluid dresses. Body hugging but classic. Revealing in all the right places. Who wouldn’t want a dress like that?
Simplicity has reissued a dress like that, #8249. Second I saw this pattern it went flying into my shopping cart. Easy purchase decision! I love the gathers on the bust, hip and front skirt panel. Gathers on a dress are tricky, you don’t want them to add unnecessary bulk. Let’s see what we can do with this pattern!
I found a lovely poly interlock fabric (under 4 yards $10.98!) and the bolt had just enough for the dress (View B). I was a bit nervous wondering how it will drape and if I would like the slight stretch the fabric has. It has a slight sheen to it which is probably due to the polyester. knew I wanted View B with the short sleeves from View A as it’s already in the mid 80’s Fahrenheit here in Texas. Long sleeves are good for maybe 2 months out of the year!
Of course since I plan this waaaay in advance *insert sarcasm here*, I decided to sew this the night before I wanted to wear it for work. No toile, no drafting, no measure twice-cut once. This is living dangerously in my sewing world 🙂
After I cut out the pattern pieces, I looked at the pattern instructions and diagrams and froze. My pieces were flipped. Reversed. I could’ve sworn I followed the cutting diagram, which ones pattern side up, which ones pattern side down. I didn’t have enough fabric to start over, so I took a deep breath and keep on. Just reversed.
You can tell in the bodice photo above. See how the gathered front is left over right? Pattern envelope and instructions are right over left. Sigh. But I kept calm and kept sewing! I finished it in about 5 hours (and I cooked dinner so actual sewing time was less). I omitted the interfacing to the facing pieces for the bodice, I felt that the thickness of the knit fabric didn’t need interfacing.
I hand hemmed the sleeves and skirt hem and hand sewed the invisible zipper but not with the invisible technique but with hand-pick stitches.
I call it my mirror dress and I do love how it turned out. No one will ever know (except you all!) that the design is reversed. And I can live with that 🙂
I’m actually surprised how nice the fabric drapes. The one thing I think I’ll do differently next time I make this dress is to use a solid color fabric. Good think about this knit fabric is that I did not have to whip stitch my edges to prevent unraveling. The knit doesn’t unravel easily!
Even though I love the watercolor-like floral print, I think the floral pattern distracts from the tailored details like the front wrapped gathers. Maybe not? What do you think? I chose the size 12 with no alterations, and it fits wonderfully.
I think my favorite part of this dress are the sleeves. They remind me of an upside down rose bud. I wish I had loosened my tension with the hand hemming of the sleeves but I’ll do better next time 🙂
The little yellow clutch is a thrift store find, with little plastic lemons, shells and velvet bows.
Back zipper view with my hand sewing skills in training since I don’t have a zipper foot for my sewing machine. With the hand-picked stitch I’ve actually come to love hand sewing zippers!
I did add the optional shoulder pads for that 1940’s look. I used Dritz brand and for the life of me don’t remember what I paid for them. I love the look of shoulder pads in my reproduction dresses. It just finishes the look in my eyes.
So even though I had a major hiccup with the reversal of the bodice and skirt, I’m very happy with the end result 🙂