I had first used this 1957 Vintage Vogue pattern (V2903) to make a Queen of Hearts costume for my sister. I finally had the time and cash to attempt a more wearable version.
This pattern takes 6 metres of fabric, that is a lot, especially when you have a very small working space. I used a quilting fabric because of the beautiful design, which reminds me of Delftware plate motif.
Delftware (Wikimedia Image)
Being quite short, I ended up using only around 5m, as I cut the length a foot shorter, even before hemming. If like me, you find cutting the pattern a most tiresome activity, ready your forearm muscles for this beast. It is 8 large, long pieces, plus facings. Nevertheless, it is really quite a simple sew.
One down side of this pattern is the sleeves, as I learnt first time around. They were designed for a Vogue model, and are only suitable for sitting at a dinner table or standing in front of the sink, no reaching or waving allowed (a lady in the 1950s probably wouldn’t engage in such uncouth behaviour). Needless to say, I left the sleeves off this incarnation.
1950s Delftware Dress
I added the embellishments of ribbon trim and a button as it is otherwise quite plain. I also wear a tutu/petticoat under-skirt underneath to fluff it out to a truer 1950s style. I didn’t iron in the pleats of this dress, because I quite like the looser flowing feel.
All things considered, I would use this pattern again.
(this post was prepared pre-flood, enjoy!)
My first attempt on this Vintage Vogue pattern ended up looking something like a pasty blue pillow case. The second incarnation was far more successful. Granted I didn’t add the collar, disregarded the skirt pattern, and raised the waistline about 4 inches, but an axe with three new blades and 5 new handles is still the same axe.
I had to stitch and restitch the skirt three times because I wasn’t using the recommended fabric. My second attempt included some tulle to support a full skirt. It wasn’t so much a throwback to On the Town as it was bulbous and unflattering. I pulled out the tulle to allow the gathered cotton to fall more naturally. The gathering was, however, too dense for the light fabric, so there was little improvement. Normally I would have given up, but the fabric was just too beautiful to turn into another pot holder.
After my fourth attempt the skirt sat flat with just two pleats at the front and some tapering down the back. It was as much a pencil skirt as my hips would allow. After two insertions of the zipper and restitching darts 5 times, the end result is something reminiscent of an Elvis Presley Hawaii movie circa 1962. This is actually kind of great being I am recently in possession of several of these gems.
Lesson learned about patterns:
Use recommended fabric
Pay attention to where the waistlines are designed to sit
Making items bigger with the assumption you can always take it in, can make things worse