I'm on a roll! I made a 50s frock from Simplicity 3505, view 2, a pattern I had been given and was going to sell, but after another look, thought the simple lines would be great for a day dress. I have far too many ‘going out’ dresses.
I thought the red 50s border fabric I bought from Etsy over a year ago would be perfect, so made a toile (muslin) of the bodice to check fit and was pleased it fitted great, and was also pleasantly surprised at how little ease the pattern had, pattern was for 26” waist and finished waist measurement was 26 ½ (breathe in). Only problem was that I didn’t have enough fabric needed for the skirt, so I redrafted my own pleated skirt with these instructions, using 200cm of fabric (plus seam allowance).
I debated if to line it but decided against that as it would involve cutting, marking and sewing up practically another dress, so I’ve resolved (again) to make a waist slip, with just one hem ruffle that I can wear under all my full-skirted dresses instead.
I used a centre back invisible zip, which was not my intention but as I only realised after I had constructed the dress that a lapped or centred zip would have had to be inserted BEFORE I pleated the skirt section, then it was my only choice. I like invisible zips, but they are a bit fiddly without a zipper foot (which I don’t have) and they are expensive. Ideally, I would have inserted it into the side seam, but the skirt was only one piece of fabric with a centre back seam. I pinked the seam edges, ‘cos I’m lazy and figured I could get away with it with cotton. I usually line things to avoid finishing a seam edge, which is probably far more time consuming but that’s how much I hate it!
I love the dress, there were no problems, no seam ripping, it went together beautifully and, along with the 70s top, has helped to reignite my sewing enthusiasm. The only negative is the square neckline, it gapes a bit and doesn’t lay right, I’m annoyed I didn’t tweak it in my toile and I will fold out a diagonal section at each corner (in the paper pattern) to tighten the neck for when I make it again.
(Sorry about the photo quality, some were taken with a camera phone so are fairly low resolution.)