As promised, progress photos on the 1940 dress, done up in brown floral cotton shirting, and using a vintage 1940 Simplicity pattern belonging to my grandmother.
The wonderful thing about vintage patterns is that they very often have either darts or gathers, and these can be let out or removed altogether to allow the difference between my grandmother’s measurements and my own. Little tweaks here and there will get the thing to fit without grading the pattern at all! There are some problems with this – one is that I need to add at least 1″ to the shoulder seams, in future patterns, and possibly to the waist, because the tininess isn’t just around the waist and bust, but neck-to-waist as well.
I’ve altered some things, and gone about the construction my own way. For one, I’m not doing a side zipper – they are the devil’s work, and since this dress has buttons up the front, might as well make them functional! I’m also sure I didn’t do the sleeves according to spec, and I will never, so long as I live, put in shoulderpads. Luckily for me, the extra space that would have been there in a size 30-26-33 lady isn’t there in my modern bigger body. Yay!
My regret – not finding magenta piping. The brown floral is so busy that you lose the details, and a bit of piping would have been just perfect around the belt waist, trimming the cuffs of the sleeves, up the front placket. Instead, I will finish the dress, so I can wear it, and keep my eye out for magenta ribbon that I can couch on in the future. I do have lovely magenta buttons what will help break up the space, but after working on James’ 18th c. suit, everything seems to be under-trimmed, lol!
The dress isn’t quite finished – I need to attach the skirt, do all the interior seam finishing, and work out the buttons and buttonholes on the front, as well as put in the hem. Another day’s work, but then I’ll have Vintage Summer Dress #1!