now, what does that Vittadini cardigan have to do with construction of a Vintage Dress?
I'll tell you.
I knit that sweater for a friend who is part of my sewing circle of friends (not a sewing circle as they existed in the 50's, but rather my sphere of friends....yada yada you know). Anyway, she is a professional dressmaker. We agreed that since it is nearly impossible to pay someone for handknitting something that took over 100 hours, that she would pay me X amount And make a dress for me. However, I helped with the dress, so I feel fully qualified to write a review on the construction.
Re-issues of a Pattern Lines older patterns has become quite popular. They are, however, grading the patterns up to todays block. If that block works for you, then you are in luck. And it does, with some minor alterations, generally work for me from Vogue.
It is still a very wise thing to muslin these.
I did the alterations on this pattern - adding through the hips again (you know, it wouldn't hurt me to get on a bike and start a running program and lose some of these hips). We discovered in the muslin process though, that this armscye opening didn't work for me. It is cut very high, the curve looking more like a HotPatterns crotch curve than a traditional armscye curve as we know it.
I ended up redrawing the curve with a French curve ruler. Works much better on me.
It took 2.5 yds of a 60" wide wool crepe that has been in my stash for several years. Helen chose to underline with china silk. In the final analysis, I respect Helen's opinion and work, but I'm sticking to my silk organza. I think washed silk organza (washing to take out some of the crispness) might have been a better choice. This dress, per the pattern, is underlined and not lined, and we decided to keep it that way.
Helen did not love putting this together. In fact, she claims I've put her off Vintage patterns for life.
- Except for the side seams, the seams are all lapped and topstitched.
- I talked her into forgoing the use of the serger in favor of stitching then pinking the seams, same as the last two vintage dresses I've reviewed here.
- The directions call for shoulder pads. Maybe the women weren't competitive swimmers back when this was designed, and didn't have these big square shoulders I have, but there isn't room in there for a shoulder pad. However, looking at the way the sleeve top is collapsing, I think I'm going to stitch some sleeve heads in there.
- There is a side opening zipper (a back opening just would have ruined the lines of the garment), and then the neckline is held together with a brooch - I'm still deciding if I have one that is appropriate or if I need to go shopping ;)all in all, it makes this The hardest garment to get into and out of. Bar none. I don't dare do my hair until this dress is On.
- Those aren't badly stitched darts in the bodice, but actually are tiny tucks.
- I've been spending quality time at the ironing board pressing this baby, and still am having difficulty getting that midriff section to lay flat above the skirt pleat. I think it may have to do with the shape of the wool on the underlining. It may never press totally flat.
- the sleeves are shaped with some really pretty elbow tucks - again, not darts.
Last fall I became enamoured of all the woolen dresses that were shown on the runways. I'm hooked. I've got lots of wool downstairs in my stash (did you see those bolts behind the dress form?) and will be looking for more perfect matches between wool and patterns.
And I've loved my little foray into Vintage Sewing. But right now it's time to come back to the present and get finishing some more of those UFO's and work on my SWAP sewing