Sunday, November 22, 2009
Vintage Simplicity 4709 and more photos of Socialite Dress
Here is the review from Pattern Review for my vintage dress.
This is a vintage simplicity pattern. There is no date on the envelope, but I'm guessing mid-1950s.
This was a half size, 18 1/2. I did some modifications to make it work.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Close. Some changes were purposeful. See below. But the skirt on the pattern photo looks much fuller than mine.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Not too bad. Since it was a vintage pattern, it wasn't super thorough, but easy enough to figure out.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was really easy to put together except for the zipper. It only has four pattern pieces and no facings or interfacings. The zipper is half on the bodice, half on the skirt, but on the side. The instructions had me fully attaching the bodice to the skirt, and then attaching the zipper above and below the seam, "breaking the stitch at the waistline." That did not make any sense to me. How are you supposed to use a zipper with a band of fabric through the middle? I left the waist seam open at the zipper, attaching the edges of the seam to the zipper tape so the zipper opening is above and below the waist seam. Everything else was a piece o' cake.
I used some inexpensive quilting fabric from JoAnn's. I originally ordered fabric from Fashion Fabric Club for this project, but it's been over three weeks since I placed the order and I got tired on waiting.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I moved the bust darts down an inch, thanks to Gertie's blog for Burda Style about essential alterations for vintage patterns. I also narrowed the shoulder straps an inch and a half and changed the front soft pleats to darts.
Since this was a half size (for more robust, petite ladies), I added some length to the bodice (since I am somewhat robust, but not petite). I read somewhere that half sizes are meant for ladies 5'2" to 5'3" and usually need between 1 and 4 inches of length added to the bodice for a regular sizing. Since I'm 5'6" I added 3 inches. During the baste fitting I realized that was way too much. I ended up taking off an inch and a half. I probably could have removed another half inch.
I had also added a couple inches to the waist, using one of my well-fitting skirts as a proxy. That wasn't needed either, I took 1 1/2 back off, and put a seam down the back so I could make a much needed swayback adjustment. And finally I took about 6 inches off the bottom.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
If I made it again, I would make the bodice more narrow, more fitted, and the skirt fuller.
I really like the dress. It's not perfect, but my husband says it's his favorite of all the things I've made, so it must not be too terrible. ;) Pardon my deer in the headlights look.
And here a photos of me wearing the socialite dress.