Outfits · Uncategorized · Vintage Finds

Simplicity 1940’s “Mirror” Wrap Dress

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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!

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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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.

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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.

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Side gather view

The little yellow clutch is a thrift store find, with little plastic lemons, shells and velvet bows.

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Back zipper view with my hand sewing skills in training ย 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!

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Optional shoulder pads for that 1940’s look

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.

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One more look at the gathers, somewhat hidden by the flowers
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“Mirror” Dress

So even though I had a major hiccup with the reversal of the bodice and skirt, I’m very happy with the end result ๐Ÿ™‚

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