Wednesday, April 13, 2011

McCall 6527, Vintage 1946 Cherry Blossom Dress

McCall 6527 Thumbnail

I made this dress in February to be ready for cherry blossom season. This project is a total hat trick: I made it during the stash contest, it was sewn during the vintage sew along (although I didn't join), *and* it's a PR Weekend Montreal souvenir as both the pattern and fabric came from the giveaway tables. The pattern was one that Reneeb4930 and I *think* the fabric was from lmg/Maria. The fabric is a batik rayon that may actually be real batik, as there is no discernible right or wrong side to the print.

Pattern Piece This is a single size pattern. It appears to have been printed in sizes 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 40, and 42. Though it sounds like there should be a huge difference between 20 and 40, the measurements increase in the same increments as it does in the sizes between 12 and 20, so it seems rather harsh to call it double the size!

This size 16 pattern is a 34 bust, 28 waist, and 37 hip with a finished length from back neck of 43, which is close enough to my measurements (32/27/37). I pinched some width out of the bust dart when cutting, but that was all. As with other vintage patterns I've made, though the pattern envelope depicts a nipped-in, impossibly tiny waist, the pattern is actually drafted with a lot of ease. I added some "pleats" along the waist seam in front and back to take in the extra width after it was done. I love how helpful the pattern tissue is! You don't really need directions because all the info is right there.

Interfacing Finish for Facing For a neat finish on facings, Beth of Sunny Gal Studios described a method of sewing the interfacing to the lower edge of the facing, right sides together, then flipping and fusing, for a neatly finished edge. Love! These are certainly good looking facings. I probably should have sewn the shoulder seams of the facings and interfacing and then done the stitching around the outer edge all at once, but I was concerned about not being able to press the shoulder seam of the interfacing portion. I will try it that way next time.

To keep the facings from flopping around, I hand-tacked them to the shoulder seams, the back neck darts, and underneath the overlay on the bodice.

Shoulder Pad Pieces I am not someone who sews vintage patterns to go back in time. I use modern methods and drastically shortened the skirt (43 inches would drag on the floor at my height, and mid-calf looks horrible on me). Where possible I used French seams, but at the zipper (not snaps) opening, I serged the raw edges.

One vintage touch I decided to try, though, was the shoulder pad. In the past I have left the shoulder pad off projects like this. The shoulders generally end up a little loose as the patterns were designed with extra ease at the shoulder to allow for the pad height. The shoulder pad is made of 3 pattern pieces and then stuffed with several progressively smaller triangles of batting or felt. In my case, I used fleece. Although it is a little fussy to sew, the pattern create a pad that is already shaped, and just has to be stuffed. I feel very fancy with my matching shoulder pads.

Front I had been planning to cut this with long sleeves, but didn't have enough fabric. So I had to wait months to wear it after finishing. I comforted myself with calling it my Cherry Blossom Dress and planning to wear it to this year's bloom. Well, the day I was planning to go it snowed!!!! Kite Day was rescheduled for April 10, so we went over the weekend. The blossoms were almost gone but I did manage to get a few of them in the background. Luckily, I didn't miss them entirely because I had gone after work a couple weeks ago to see the blossoms at peak bloom. You can see my blossom photos here.

As is often my problem, the details of this dress disappear into the print in two dimensional photographs (I think they're more obvious in person). I tried to get some detail shots, although even they didn't turn out great; they're in the photo album. The pattern review is here

37 comments:

Mary said...

Perfect dress for Cherry Blossom festival in DC. You look really great in this style!

Reethi said...

So pretty! This is a great color combination on you!

KID, MD said...

This is so great! I love the draped bodice and skirt details.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

This lovely dress is proof that one womans trash is another's treasure. Lovely, lovely dress!

Lisa said...

Beautiful !

Audrey said...

Just gorgeous. The colors in the print are perfect for you and the style is very flattering.

NancyDaQ said...

I love that dress on you!

Big in Japan said...

It's not only a hat trick but a game stealer because it looks so great! The best looking thing at my cherry blossom picnic was the beautifully presented (as well as delicious) two-level lunchbox from a local tofu-specialty restaurant.

Lindsay T said...

Adoring this on you.

Jackie said...

Very pretty dress!

McVal said...

That is adorable! You mentioned that the front floppy panel gets lost in the pattern. what if you made the front left side of it a variation of the pattern. Maybe with the blossoms with stripes behind it. But if it's from your stash, you probably don't have that... Or some trim on the floppy part hem.
As it stands tho, it's so sweet!

Lynn said...

Great dress! Looks nice on you!

Clio said...

Why don't they make dresses or patterns with such yummy flourishes anymore? This is so sassy and fun on you.

Uta said...

I'm loving the combination of soft pink and black at the moment - and it's perfectly embodied in this dress! (I hope you wear it more often than just cherry blossom season!)

Irene said...

So, so pretty!

Louise said...

That's fabulous, I love it.

Connie said...

How pretty! What a nice "Montreal" souviner!

Adelaide B said...

This dress looks great. I love pink and black together.

Pammie said...

Gorgeous!!!

Little Hunting Creek said...

What a pretty dress! I love the fabric - it's perfect for the pattern

Shannon said...

This looks great on you! Great job!

justlikeaboughtone said...

So pretty. You look amazing in that.

AllisonC said...

Love the outdoor photoshoot! I love the dress on you too, it is amazing how modern these vintage dresses still look, though now I type that actually what I probably mean is look how inspired by vintage RTW is these days. Whatever, it is a great dress!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best projects yet... My favorite

Nichole McCormick said...

Having just come back from a week in DC/Baltimore, I'm loving that you took these photos with actual cherry blossoms. Bravo. Job well done as always!

meli88a said...

This is gorgeous and oh so au courant despite being a 67 year old design!

Lisa Laree said...

I believe I have a dress made from that very fabric! I got it from Timmel Fabrics ages ago; it *is* authentic Batik Butik; wonderful stuff! So glad to see your dress made from it...cute!!

Maureen O'Danu said...

That is a beautiful, beautiful pattern, and you did a great job with it. In my fantasies, I'm always sewing nifty things like that, but in reality, I'm usually too busy knitting and writing my blogs.... Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Your dress is wonderful and very flattering.

MushyWear said...

I love the unique detail at the neck and the extra ruffle on the front of the skirt. Also, that fabric is gorgeous. You look awesome in this ensemble.

Anonymous said...

The dress is lovely, lovely; it would be even more flattering with a lighter colored hose and strapless shoes to elongate the line of your legs.

Sheri said...

You look adorable! Love the headband look for you.

Victoria said...

What a pretty dress--it's so feminine! You look absolutely lovely:)

fangaroni said...

This dress is so lovely! Perfect to wear to cherry blossoms! I wanted to say thanks so much for always documenting your steps and explaining your sewing process, it is invaluable for a less experienced sewer like myself! Also, we share the same measurements, so it is great to see what patterns are flattering! Your pattern picks have inspired me to make some purchases during this online BMV sale going on haha

KarenP said...

So pretty - I love everything about it!

Isabelle said...

What a lovely dress! The print is gorgeous.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

I am catching up on my blog reading - and I love this dress, so pretty on you, and I like the headband accent. I think you look great in vintage styles, not everyone can wear them, but perfect dress on you.