A New 1950s Dress for Me

I managed to sew something…or…*finish* something, I should say. Yippee!

A simple dress with a figure-skimming, yet relaxed, fit.

I needed a quick-and-easy project to get me excited about costuming again. 20th century vintage is more like normal clothing, in my book, so I don’t consider it “costuming,” but it’s a wonderful thing to be able to just throw a simple, yet smart, frock together, and wear it out of the house that same afternoon.

I used Advance 6643, the same pattern I made the Sailor Dress from last year, but this time I left the Florentine collar off. I made some notes on the pattern, to drop the waist and shoulders 1/8″ on all seam allowances, to accommodate my long waist, so I made these changes this time too.

Advance 6643

Oddly, after stitching the whole thing together, including the armhole and neckline facings, I put the dress on and ended up taking the shoulders UP by at least an inch on all seam allowances! I have no earthly idea why, but that’s what was needed to get the dress to fit well through the bodice. Weird.

The fabric was a gift from Vintage Dancer. It’s bold, and I love it.

Even with the weird adjustment, it was a fast project, using fabrics entirely from The Stash, and now I have a new vintage dress that fits me-without-a-girdle-thank-goodness. Simples!

What I like best about this pattern is that it is very basic, almost a sloper. I can use this pattern to design all sorts of other dresses from, with various necklines and sleeves. I already have a seed on an idea for a Game-of-Thrones-1950s-Style dress, built on this same basic dress pattern….but that’s for another post. 🙂


  • Eleonora Amalia

    May 12, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Yay for the 50's-a-like poses! And DAT HAT! I can't really imagine GoT mixed with 1950's though. I was pretty close to sewing some Westeros stuff last week – the original Iron Throne stopped by in our hometown and that seemed a perfect occasion for some sassy photos, but they took it away before I even started designing the dress. Duh.

    • Lauren Stowell

      May 12, 2014 at 7:52 PM

      Ooo, cool! Haha, GoT + 1950s – I dunno, it may or may not work. I have some bright-ass-fuschia-linen-stuff that I kindof like, but kindof don't, and I thought it would be cool to do some embroidery, like the birds on one of Cersei's gowns, or the suns on Oberyn's robe thing, on this basic 1950s shift, and see if anybody got the reference. It would be ironic, right? hahaha

    • Eleonora Amalia

      May 12, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      Ooh, yeah it might work, but the idea sounds crazy anyway! Still the craziest projects seem to turn out the best I suppose. Well, if you decide to do it, I can't wait to see! (And I just imagined GoT as a 1950's TV show OH GAAWD hahahaha all those funny close-ups and ladies being so dramatic)

    • Lauren Stowell

      May 13, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      Thanks! It's handy to have a random red belt around.

      Yep, new hair cut and color – not even remotely historical in any way. Bring on the wigs!

  • Tessa Payer

    May 13, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Such a pretty dress, and I love the idea of a Game of Thrones/1950s dress (probably because I love GoT 😀 )

  • fixitfaerie

    May 13, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Very smart outfit you put together. Looks fab on you. Do I detect blond hair under the back of the hat? Thanks for sharing.


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