These last couple of weeks I have been busy busy busy and I decided to throw my hat into the ring with Sewing Pattern Review's Vintage Contest. I was actually working on doing my studio opening when I decided to take a break and run myself into a frazzle with this contest. I love just about anything vintage and when I saw this contest I knew it was something that I really wanted to do. Needless to say, I went back and forth trying to figure out if I should do it, or should I just let it pass me by, but I also knew that If I didn't go in at this point, I would not be doing anything vintage any time soon.
So, I entered the contest and I have a little something for you to look at while I take a breath and start up again. My pattern of choice was Vintage Simplicity 2087
From looking at this pattern you can tell why I chose this one. It has something that just appealed to me from the moment I put my eyes on it. I loved the sleeves first and foremost. I thought it was kind of interesting how they billowed from the shoulders and the waist just accentuated the sleeves dramatic showing. Enough about my little fantasy rant.
Here's my review and a few pictures. The model is my Mother and boy getting her to cotton up to the camera is a chore... LOL.
Anne Laurie purse from the 1960s. I know it doesn't necessarily go with the 40s theme, but it was vintage so I went with it and she pulled it out on me at the last minute. I fell in love with it.
Pattern Description: Vintage Misses dress with the front sleeves cut as one into the bodice and a back sleeve seam. It has shoulder tucks to make a draped sleeve. The skirt is gathered in the front with pockets. The neckline is shaped in the front or it can be a high neckline.
Pattern Sizing:The pattern size was a 14. It was altered to roughly an 18.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I kind of think it did. I don't know why I kept trying to add pleats to the skirt.?
Were the instructions easy to follow? Well, the instructions were all but useless. I could not see a need for bias tape on the sleeves when I was using a soft lightweight fabric. I believe if I had made the tape from the fabric I might wouldn't have resisted the bias tape to hem the sleeve. There were several suggestions within the instructions that just didn't go with how I sew today. I also believe that a heavier fabric would have made a difference in the usage of bias tape.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the idea of sewing something from yesterday. Vintage patterns have a way of really connecting me to the past. It make me work harder, but the over all feeling is so great. I can't say that there was anything that I didn't like. I just enjoyed the whole process.
Fabric Used: A lightweight poly/crepe with a poly lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Wooh,,, I had a size 14 pattern which was from c. 1943 or somewhere thereabouts. I figured I would have to size up about 2" from the beginning.
Bodice- The first alterations was the neckline. I nor my mother liked how high the neckline was and we couldn't see how today's woman would be able to put on a whole dress without a longer zipper. So, I lowered the neckline by 1" and took the 9" zipper to a 22" and utilized the back seam. My mother's shoulders were too wide for the waistline once I joined all the pieces together (muslin). I thought about all the small alterations that I was doing to the neckline and realized that the pattern was not as long in the front as today's patterns (15"). When I measured my mother's direct front she was 17" and that was why the muslin looked so high in the front. So, I added 2,5" to the bodice front.
Bodice Back- With the back panels I had to lengthen them as well and move the back darts. I moved the darts to meet with the seam on the skirt back. The pattern didn't exactly call for this, but it was more appealing to my eye that they should match. Then I add 1" at the shoulders the true up the shoulder opening.
Sleeves- The sleeves were kind of easy, but crazy. There were pleat indentions that I was intent on following to a T, but quickly found out that nothing was going to match with the way that I had them altered at first. So, I added the 1" that I had at the shoulders to the front and back sleeve sections and found that that made the sleeves more pleasing to me. I also stopped trying to make the pleats go all the way around the sleeve. I was trying to make the pleats appear as they were in the cover photo, but I don't think it could have been done without sewing the pleat all the way from the top to the bottom.
Skirt- Once I completed my bodice, I then began to grade the skirt. I didn't have to do much to it because my mother's waist was almost on point. I added 1" to all the skirt panels then went back and marked all of my seam allowances. This gave plenty of hip room to accommodate a zipper.
Hem- I hemmed with a 1" blind hem and turned under the lining by 1/2". This allowed the skirt to be really flowy.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I enjoyed the experience, but the vintage patterns are not the same as today's women or patterns. I'd like to think that I might would. My recommendation for this pattern is that if you like a challenge for OOD patterns and really want to test your skills, this pattern is an easy way to go. I do recommend it, but only if you are ready.
Conclusion: Overall, I really enjoyed this pattern and the experience of yesterday that I got while putting it together. I wouldn't take anything for the sizing alterations and body configurations that I take with me from this project. The changes that I made I believe exemplifies the body of the pattern and I think that I kept in line with the designer's intent for this pattern. I did a lot of research on the 1940s women's fashion before I began this project a few days ago and felt that this was the pattern for me. My belief is that vintage patterns have a real way of testing you and then it turns back around and gives you so much joy in your finished project from an authentic vintage pattern.
I had lots of fun with this pattern. If you haven't tried an authentic vintage pattern, try one and see if it doesn't give you a challenge. Until next time...
Lots Of Love