Hello dearies, and happy Autumn! The ephemeral days of Summer have flown by all too fast, haven’t they? It seems just yesterday we were saying goodbye to Spring, and yet what feels like a lifetime has been lived in between then and this day in which we welcome the pleasant breezes of Autumn’s entrance upon the year. Throughout all the business that is life, my sewing projects get tossed about hither and yon in regards to priority. I haven’t actually sewn too many dresses for myself this Summer, but I wanted to finish at least one more before Autumn arrived. So, my dears, I present to you the Last Dress of Summer.
Back in June, I purchased some rayon on Ebay for an absolute steal. The print reminded me of the 1930s, so I decided upon making a late 1930s/early 1940s dress from the material. After a wee bit of furtive deliberation, I finally settled upon drafting my own copy of Simplicity 2439, a late 1930s Street or Sports dress pattern. I made view 1, which is the sports dress version, as it was the easiest to draft. And a sleeveless dress is a much better idea considering the humid, hot weather that constitutes an Ohio Summer.
We serendipitously had the positively perfect buckle in our stash to complete my dress! I used Dolly Creates’ tutorial on how to make a belt with a removable buckle, so that just in case I ever make another dress that requires this lovely piece, I can remove it if need be, and then replace it when I need to.
The dress closes at the collar, over a shield (or vestee), with a hook and eye. Just in case you are wondering what the dress shield is, it is merely a rectangle of fabric that is blind-hemmed to the left side of the dress, extends beneath the two edges of the front of the dress, and is snapped on the right hand side all the way from the top to the waistline.
One of my favorite parts about drafting my own patterns is I can make them fit exactly how I want them to. In this case that meant making the collar a little bit looser in fit compared to the collars of standard patterns. I already expressed in this post how tight collars make me a bit uneasy, so I was quite happy to be able to make this customization as I drafted my pattern.
Dress Pattern: Hand-drafted, based off of Simplicity 2439 // Fabric: Rayon, bought on Ebay // Notions: 9″ Metal Zipper, hook and eye for collar, 5 snaps for shield, Canvas for belt interfacing, Batiste for Collar interfacing, Gutermann thread, Vintage buckle.
Constructing the front and back yoke was a bit of a brain-teaser. I could have sewn the front yokes to the front bodice pieces, and sewn the back yoke to the back bodice, and then sewn the bodice fronts and back together at the shoulder seams. BUT, that would have presented the problem of too much bulk at the intersection of yoke and shoulder seams, as well as the possibility of seams not matching up “just so”. Instead of this, I decided to sew the yoke pieces together at the shoulder seams, and the front and back bodice pieces together at the shoulder seams, and treat the yoke as one piece which was then topstitched to the whole bodice. I think this method worked quite nicely if you ask me, and is the method I will probably use whenever I make another version of this dress (I mentioned it in my Autumn/Winter Wardrobe Inspiration post if you were curious).
The dress has a hand-picked lapped application metal zipper (try saying that three times fast!). I also made thread carriers for my belt, as this dress requires a belt to be worn with it to help hold up the slightly blouson silhouette.
All of the seams were overcast by hand, and the hem is a simple 3″ eased hem sewn by hand with a blind-hem stitch. You would think hand-overcasting all of the seams would be tedious and add a lot of hours to the making of this dress, but I am actually quite happy that I took the extra step to finish my seams in this way. They are holding up quite well thus far, and they just look so neat and tidy (well, at least most of them do 😛 ).
So, what’s the verdict? I love this dress. 😀 It turned out exactly like the pattern I based my draft off of (score!), and it is so nice to wear, considering I don’t have the restriction of sleeves on my arms, but still have the modesty of cut on cap sleeves.
What have you sewn this Summer?
Have you ever drafted a pattern based off of a vintage illustration or pattern?
What’s your favorite method for finishing seams?
Brigid, the Middle Sister and Singer