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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sew For Victory - Finished Dress

I have finished my Sew For Victory dress.   Slightly rushed as I needed to finish it before the Easter holidays - unless I could persuade the kids that watching Mum sew on their Easter break was a really, really exciting way to spend the day!

The dress is Simplicity 1587, a 1940's reproduction pattern.  There were quite a few processes in this pattern (lots of pleats and gathers), and as I was making it I was wondering whether a 1940's seamstress would have considered it the norm to have so many fiddly bits to do, whereas if I come across a pattern with bust AND waist darts I give a little sigh!

I'm afraid I hadn't read Rochelle's post before cutting out the fabric.  It appears polyester was not available in the 1940's and I think this fabric is polyester with a capital P.  I have to say though I have been punished enough by this fabric.  It was like sewing a sponge!  It would not hold a crease, any attempt at ironing seams flat either did nothing or resulted in black marks if I even attempted to turn the iron up a little bit, and I managed to snag the fabric when putting it on my dress form, Merle, due to an errant pin.

Construction photo of the front bodice pleats - no amount of pins was too much for this fabric.

Still, the fabric does drape beautifully!

The button is an odd one found in my charity shop button tin - so I've no idea whether it is modern or vintage but the chances are it is pretty old.

Final bloggy pose showing my attempt at the 1940's hair and makeup.  Think I may tone it down for the school run........!


  1. Hello Hoffi,

    Just seen your pics on Flickr... Congratulations - wonderful finish! The neckline is particularly pretty.

    Yes, no shortage of darts, tucks, gathers, curved seams etc in old patterns, and you have done them all!

    Nice to see another Sew for Victory participant so close to home. The brick wall, paving slabs and roof tiles all gave it away.

    Love from the Other Side of the Severn Bridge,

    1. Hiya,

      Yes, the joy of the generic British housing estate!

      I think this is the first 1940's pattern I have attempted - but I think it may be quite addictive! Enjoy your sewing. x

  2. I am in love with that bust design and despite the spongey fabric you look like you nailed it. Love your hair like that too!

    1. It was a really interesting bodice construction - I'm tempted to make another one in cotton to see how it looks in a less drapey fabric. Not sure it would work though!

  3. You look gorgeous!!
    I love the gather detailing on the dress, and the color is perfect!
    Sounds like you struggled with pressing just like I did with my poly dress, but the drape makes it all worth it :D

    1. I was really pleased with the drape but I'm sure I singed the fabric trying to control it!

  4. Great colour that goes with this style. You've sewn this poly really well.

  5. Rhagorol a da iawn Hoffi! I have this pattern and I will definitely be having a go after seeing your version. The bodice is fab and the colour great. I'm doing Simplicity retro for my challenge too, they are excellent patterns aren't they. Love the hair and make- up too!

  6. LOVE IT!!!! What a great dress. From the colour of the fabric to the pattern, to the fitting...It´s perfect! And of course the hair do!