Thursday, June 20, 2013

Decades of Style 1944 House Dress

Dear readers,

Since having minor foot surgery and staying home for two weeks - this second week I have been sewing my head off - I've completed this reproduction dress, a pair of knitted fingerless mitts, and a quick shirt.

First, my completed Decades of Style 1944 House Dress.  I bought the fabric online from Gorgeous Fabrics last year .  (Note to self:  I am going to start attaching tags to my fabric with date and source).  The colors of this dress were inspired by a Rose Bowl game here in Pasadena - actually the BCS Championship in Pasadena (Univ. of Alabama v. Univ. of Texas).  I thought I am going to make a dress to wear with my brother to the next Alabama championship - it's only taken me over three years.

Please note I couldn't get the color quite right . I tried to lighten then darken it.   I also chose not to attach black pockets - J. thought it would drive the dress into costume territory (not that this is necessarily a bad thing).
I used this transparent print that I underlined with batiste (rather than voile) - it was the only fabric I could find in black locally (without driving to Mood).  The batiste seemed heavier than I originally desired  - I could barely fell-stitch the lining or attach the snaps.  

A fashion savvy friend of mine suggested avoiding the fabric, below - my original choice - so I need to send him a picture - he was right - this had the wrong hand for the pattern.  
As usual, I kept getting photo-bombed by my Kerry Blue Terrier, Pixie.   I also wanted to make this pattern since I bought it at Sew LA.   I made a toile, first, and made the adjustments.  Then I underlined all the pieces and serged the edges.  I changed my serger thread to maxi-lock - and guess what?  Perfect serging!  Just as I was about to purchase a Babylock evolution.  Blast!
 Oh Pixie!! You little sweetie!
I made several style decisions in sewing this the dress - I made a border for the collar from Gertie's Tutorial - using rickrack edging - and used the same technique on the sleeve.  I am very happy with how it came out.   

I also used the square collar directions that came in the package - I probably would NOT do that again.   Especially with the thin fabric I was using - it was very wonky.  Next time I am rethinking construction of the collar.  I also made my own sleeves after reading reviews of the pattern.  I also chose to hem the pattern right below the knee.  

The back is a perfect fit - and super comfy.
 This collar looks a lot better in pictures than in reality, below:
 The dress on my PGM dressform, below:
My final thought is that this pattern is drafted ridiculously well.  I made only minor changes overall.  Apparently, it has been redrafted from the original pattern in today's sizes by Decades of Styles - which I love.  It took me a week to make this dress after the toile.  True, I was post-surgery, but I have read that other bloggers have sewn it up in less than four hours.  I don't see that - even without underlining - but I do tend to dawdle with my sewing.   This dress I really focused on construction techniques - and I still wasn't 100 percent happy with the execution.  Yes, I would definitely make this again, most likely with vintage-insprired fabric.
XOXO, P.
P.S.  I missed my opportunity posing like the original with a broom - I must do a derivative post now:)

6 comments:

  1. Loving the fabric you chose for this, and Pixie is such a pretty dog! I've never seen one of her type, but she's lovely!

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    1. Thanks Debs! It tooks a while to decide which fabric out of my stash to use. I love Kerry Blue Terriers - very spirited with lots of energy (like me) - we love them - non-shedding and fun, lively personalities!

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  2. Awesome dress - and so University of Alabama! (I'm sure you'll get another chance to wear it to a National Championship.) That collar looks very complicated, and the rickrack is such a nice touch. Hey, you are totally invited to my girl's sewing weekend, since you're a former Gulf Coast resident. Maybe I could get some sewing celebrities to participate someday so it would really be worth flying out here....

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    1. Thanks for the invite! I'll have to get back to you on the timing of the weekend. I have to be in Seattle area the week of August 19th, and then going to ASG last August in DC - although I would LOVE to come if I can make the timing work out. I have tons of time off I haven't taken. Thanks for the nice words on the dress (although I did graduate from Auburn so I'm a little guilty).

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  3. So cute!! I love this style and your fabric is perfect.

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    1. Thanks - this really was a labor of love!

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