Monday, June 08, 2009

Vintage Pattern -- Dress and Jacket

I'm finally getting around to using the fabric that I wrote about in a previous post. Yes, and I've decided on the pattern: Simplicity 4689. This vintage girls dress pattern is copyrighted 1954. It's been a long time--20 years, maybe--since I've sewn anything from a pattern this old, and already I can tell that I'll need to make a few changes.

Please help me decide: Should I add a band of green to the bottom of the dress? Or leave it off? I drew some sketches, but I still can't make up my mind.

Today I was hoping to sew, but my oboe was calling my name. After rehearsal at church yesterday afternoon I realized how much more I need to be practicing. I practiced my oboe but didn't get any sewing done.

I did managed to get the green bolero jacket cut out and interfaced. I used interfacing from Sew Exciting (I love this stuff!), but I think I needed a lighter weight for this almost-sheer fabric. I can see the interfacing showing through to the right side of the fabric. At this point there's not much I can do to change anything; I don't have enough fabric to re-cut the jacket, and I'm hesitant to try peeling off the interfacing and replacing it with something else. So it will remain as it. Somebody reassure me that it'll be okay.

I made a mistake with the interfacing on the jacket front---
I fused the interfacing to the side seams instead of the front. Oops!

In the picture below, the fabric on the left is interfaced, and the fabric on the right is not. You can see the web of the interfacing on the left-hand fabric showing through.

One change that I've not yet thought my way through is how to eliminate the handsewing on the jacket. You see, the instructions say to turn the lined jacket through the armholes and then sew the armhole openings closed by hand. Ick. My slipstitching isn't the best and I'd like to avoid it. I'm going to look at a few of my reference books and find another way to do this...perhaps "bagging" the jacket or something else. Any ideas? What complicates this is that the armholes are not true armholes but just the top part of the side seam left open. If you understand what I'm saying, and you know of a good method for this, please let me know. :)

Okay, I'll be posting as I progress along on this dress.
Thanks for reading.



  1. I like it with the band. I made a dress similar to that for a client several months ago. You can see what it looks like with the band.

    But I love the colors you have chosen and think it will be lovely either way.

  2. Cute. I like it with the band. You could bind those armholes and topstitch the binding by machine if you don't want to hand stitch it down.

  3. I would do a decorative topstitch. Maybe two rows or even with ribbon.

  4. Goosegirl: Thanks for the link. I like the band on your dress!

    Summerset: Now why did I not think of binding the armholes? I love the idea! I don't mind hand stitching the binding down, I just didn't like the idea of turning the seam allowances to the inside and slip stitching them closed.

    JaimeNicole: A decorative topstitch would also be lovely. Hmmm...decisions....

  5. I kind of like it with the band around the hemline... but then again, it's cute without it too.

  6. Definitely with the band around the bottom.

  7. Cute pattern! I say add the band...will tie in the color with the jacket.

    You are a pretty good artist. All sorts of hidden talents my friend :)d

  8. That outfit is going to be utterly adorable. I would not worry about the interfacing. It is going to be super cute. Great work!

  9. I vote for the band. It will help to distribute the colors.
    By the way, I have followed your blog for about a year. This is my first comment.
    I love to view the items that you have made!!

  10. Thank you all for your imput! I'm leaning towards adding the green band to the dress hem, but I won't decide until I can visualize it better once the dress is about finished. I appreciate all the comments!

  11. Ok, i'm going against the crowd and say no band.

    but either way, it'll still be super cute!

  12. Lol, Rachel! You are too funny. :) Love you, girl!

  13. The dress sketches and green jacket are so nice. I love those colors.

    One way to do the interfacing is to press it to the facing or lining instead of the garment fabrics.

    Another thing I noticed in your photos here is how wonderful those pattern instructions are in your vintage pattern! Brings back memories.

    You do a great job on your sewing projects. You're in my blog favorites.

  14. Ruth....I am so glad you like my line of interfacing so much. I do wish you had contacted me before you used Pro-Weft with the green fabric.

    I would have advised you to use our Pro-Sheer Elegance instead!

    We have interfacing that will work with ANY weight of please don't forget to test ANY interfacing on a scrap of your fabric before committing an entire garment to it :)