Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Reneeb4930 brought a box of amazing vintage patterns to PR Weekend Montreal and gave them all away! It was so incredible. I was lucky enough to receive this one, among others. I am definitely more of a 30s/40s gal than a 60s/70s gal, but something about the simplicity (ha! no pun intended) of this 1967 pattern spoke to me. I really like the funnel neck, and it has an interesting construction--princess panels with no side seams. The fewer pieces the better for houndstooth (which we all know is just another way of saying "matching plaids").
You may recall my fail of a coatdress in black and white houndstooth last year. I was really disappointed in that one. Cidell came to my rescue with some very similar houndstooth wool, which was in turn causing her frustration because there wasn't enough for the project she wanted. I did warn her when it was done that she was going to be mad for giving me the fabric, but she graciously took these awesome photos anyway on our recent trip to NYC.
The pattern had been meticulously cut out, although it had been jaggedly chopped off above the marked hem line (odd). I wasn't going to make it the full length anyway so it was no problem. I think the cutter-outer was a similar pear shape to me, because this one size pattern (size 12, which was 34/25.5/36 in 1967) had been cut along the lines at the bust and then beyond the lines to add some width at the waist and hips. I continued that trend, though I ended up with too much of an A line and had to redo all the seams taking out width toward the hem.
There's not much to say about the actual construction of this simple dress. It is meant to be underlined, basically, with the neckline finished with a facing. My fabric was too thick to use a facing, so I just lined the normal way, reinforcing the funnel neckline of the dress with medium-weight interfacing so it would stand up. I would have done well to carry the interfacing a few inches beyond the funnel neck, because it sags a little at the chest under the weight of my tiny brooches, but it's not an emergency. I hand-stitched the lining to the seam allowances along the zipper edges.
I decided to do an exposed zip to modernize the dress a little. Also because the fabric is too thick for an invisible zip and I have become crap at installing regular zips through lack of practice. I think next time I have to do one I will just hand-pick it. I had this one with black tape and brass teeth in my zipper drawer that was perfect, as I knew I wanted to use brass buttons for trim. It is longer than I would have preferred--I think it would look better with a waist length zip like I did on Butterick 5382, but stashers can't be choosers. I have absolutely no idea what project I had in mind when I bought this zipper.
Because I was doing a coat dress, I lengthened the sleeve to just below the elbow. I never do sleeves that length, but it seemed to go with the style. I cut the front half-belt on the bias to add visual interest, and added sleeve belts as well. They are just sewn onto the dress using the brass buttons as a decorative detail. I realize just how clumsy I am when wearing this dress because the buttons are forever knocking against things and making very sonorous announcements of their presence!
The pattern envelope does not lie when it shows a pin as the only possible jewelry to adorn this dress. A necklace looks hideous with the funnel neck. I don't wear a lot of gold in general so I only had three brooches in my collection (I need to show my brooch holder sometime--a very easy project) that went with the buttons. Love the little grouping!
I just love this dress! Cidell almost got the last laugh when I realized I couldn't pull my coat's sleeves over the dress. That would make it a very niche item that could be worn only when it is cold enough for a heavy wool coat dress but not cold enough to require outerwear. I was afraid I was going to have to make a special cocoon coat that would go only with this dress, and I do not have a cocoon coat on my sewing list. Luckily, I found a coat in my closet that works with it, though it's a heavy coat so I can only wear it when it is cold enough for a heavy wool coat dress but not cold enough to require outerwear or when it is very cold indeed, such as during Snowmageddon.
Though this dress is very retro, I think it is still very wearable. The silhouette of this DVF is much sleeker and more modern than this shift, but the funnel neck is quite similar. Simplicity 2568 is a similar look, though with a cut-on sleeve.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.