Almost two years ago, I got excited by a vintage pattern that was far too large for me: Anne Adams 4882. I set it on the back burner of my brain, thinking I'd try grading it down someday.
Combining my new sloper with the nice pattern illustrations for Anne Adams, I was finally ready to make myself this dress! This won't be a comprehensive project diary, just a highlight reel.
I started with my sloper's bodice pieces, folded the darts closed, and drew the style lines on there: the notched belt on the front and the plain one on the back. Cutting away the belt, I re-opened the darts on the top bodice pieces and turned them into gathers. The front was a bit more complicated than just a gather, though, because there was also a horizontal dart into the armscye, and the piece below that was slashed and spread. Ummm... how about some pictures?
In each of these, you can see the notched bottom where the notched belt will fit and the dart into the armscye that is then extended to create gathers over the bosom. The exact angle of the neckline differs, as well as the amount of gathering, but I was sizing the original down quite a lot to fit me. You can also see that the belt in the original artwork seems taller than what I've made: I have a short torso, and feared that a taller belt would look disproportionate, leaving little bodice to play with.
The more I do this sort of thing, the more I enjoy it. There are elements of engineering, and puzzle-making, and puzzle-doing, and detective-work, and living history that I quite enjoy.
To get the facing piece, I just traced the bodice piece. I used nice woven interfacing in its construction.
I made no changes to the sleeve pattern: it's a fitted sleeve, no gathers or pleats, with an elbow dart.
I made the skirt longer than the pattern called for (four inches below my knee), because I've been wanting a few longer skirts. My friend's been watching (so I've been passively watching!) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. It's basically 1950's/60's dress envy. Of course, by lengthening and flaring it as much as I did, I was straying farther from the original pattern, which (as you may recall) was not a fabric hog.
I bound the buttonholes because I need to practice that, and because I wanted to do the binding fabric on the bias for the look of it. You can't see it unless it's un-buttoned, but I love knowing it's there. The trick with using fabric on the bias when you don't want bias-drape is to interface it so it's stiff. I did the same thing with the faux belt: the bias-cut pieces are flat-lined with stiffer cotton cut on grain so the belt still functions and holds its shape.
Anyway, behold my bound buttonholes... not as crisp as I'd like, but I am getting better!
I am delighted with the way this dress fits, the constant swing and movement of the skirt, and the interesting seamlines!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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