I’ve been a bad blogger…but not a bad sewer. Promise! I’ve been spending all my spare time working on my 1951 dress that had to be finished no later than last Friday – which I managed to accomplish…after more than a few late nights, and much more swearing.
I made a mock-up of the bodice, which worked well, but was a little small around the waist. So I made a few adjustments to my traced off patterns, and began on my fashion fabric. I started work on the bodice at first, then realised that missing skirt pattern parts were more complicated than I thought. Not only is the front side of the skirt gathered, there is another panel at the front that is joined to side front in pleats – aarrggh! Luckily Dajarra the Super-Nerd came to the rescue. We took a photo of the pattern instructions, and projected them onto the wall. We then compared the projected image to an actual pattern piece to check for scale, etc. and thankfully they were drawn more-or-less to scale. We then traced the skirt pieces onto newspaper taped to the wall, and voila! A complete, accurate pattern.
All went well after that, until I tried the bodice on and it was waaayy too big, so a few more adjustments were made and it looked a little better, but still not quite right. I thought the bodice might sit better with the skirt sewn on, so on it went and the dress looked like a huge, floral potato sack. It was horrible and I began hating it. After cracking the sads and a good nights sleep, I decided it would be best if I unpicked almost the entire thing and started basically from the beginning again. Much better. Until I couldn’t get the blasted thing off without help. All I can say is that women in the 50s had much, much smaller arms than me. I decided to change the sleeves to a cap style (which I like better, anyway), and did a bit of “creative” (read: lazy) re-drafting in the underarm area and all was well.
Here I am, modelling it for my Mum at the lovely old house my grandparent’s party was held at. After all the problems I had making it, I’m quite happy with the way it turned out and I received lots of compliments at the party.
Update: someone asked for a picture of the pattern packet – here it is:
My exciting weekend didn’t end there, however. My gran who was a talented seamstress gifted me her overlocker (!), as well as some other bits and pieces, including an amazing wooden, pull-out sewing caddy that I remember from when I was little. It was full of old zippers as well, which is awesome! And when we got home from the party Dajarra presented me with a dressmaker’s mannequin as an anniversary gift. I am very spoiled indeed!
Now I just need to get over my slight fear of overlockers and learn how to use it!