I know, the last time I was going on and on about dresses it was about little smocks and such. But you’ll be proud of me because one of these dresses (the above one, actually) is one that I started a year ago, so at least I’m making myself finish what I start!
My intention was to wear this number last Thanksgiving in Texas during our grand “series of fortunate events.” And while my husband’s family was planning most of the reception activity I was far too frazzled to focus on sewing this dress, especially when the sleeves stopped cooperating. I finally decided, a year later, to finish it or give it up which was enough motivation to figure out the sleeve issue (ones I drafted myself) and apply the finishing touches.
This is Du Barry 2506B. Hands down, one of my favorite patterns. The sleeves in real life were too puffy for me so that’s why I had to change them. The bow at the neckline was not quite as sweet as the one shown so I used this corally-colored satin ribbon instead. At first I thought, perhaps, it looked too much like a Girl Scout or pilgrim dress but in these photos I quite like it. The dark brown dotted swiss is really soft and so comfortable. I omitted the belt because it looks fine with out it but I can always make one later on.
The next dress is quite different:
I had to blow out the photos because the fabric is so dark; it’s a midnight blue rose-pattern lace. It’s the kind of lace that has a nice weight and drape and may be a cotton blend (similar to my wedding dress). I ended up using a slightly darker Petersham (grosgrain) ribbon and kept the look monochromatic.
This style is a departure from my normal look, at least in terms of the sleeves. I’ve seen them called “wingsleeves” before although I’m not sure if that’s the official term. Very popular in the 1940s and ’50s they always struck me as being a little bit masculine or angular and therefore was never that appealing. Over the last few years, however, quite a few vintage patterns with such sleeves have found their way into my stash and I might as well give them a try!
I reduced the width of the sleeves a little but besides that I didn’t have to do much to fit the dress. The pattern size is too small but even vintage patterns add in a lot of ease and I only had to let out the front darts a little. The tiny bows at the neckline are something a little extra I wanted to add. The belt is cut from the pattern; I sewed ribbon along both edges giving it a more finished look while providing extra body. It closes with a very strong snap and a couple of hooks and bars. I couldn’t decide how I wanted to finish the belt. I didn’t have enough fabric to make the belt long enough to accommodate a buckle but I couldn’t find any buttons currently in my stash to decorate it with. I think it looks OK plain, yes?
Another thing about this dress (that is quite obvious): it’s see through! I have some pale-colored slips but none would do. I also have a black one which is suitable enough but I hope to find a navy blue one someday!
I have at least one more holiday dress to share (another one that I started quite a while ago) that I’m finally going to finish. Stay tuned.