I finally pulled out and made up a piece of fabric that has been in my stash from back when I first started making vintage clothing and found the print on the Red Tag rack at JoAnn. I like it so much stitched up that I only wish now I'd gotten more of it!
The dress has long been on my to make list, and I realized after looking at the illustrations more closely that it was a princess style dress with triple front darts. So I jumped it up to the top of my sewing queue and made it out of the little-over-3-yards of this cotton print.
The bonus of a princess style dress is that it can be worn without a belt - perfect for a house dress!
I do love the front darts, and with a dress like this it's easy to adjust for size since instead of folding the pattern pieces to make the torso shorter, I just nip in the waist a little higher up.
I did make some changes to the dress. I did not do the neck band quite like the photo (crossing it instead of looping it back and tied it with a ribbon), and made it of a contrasting fabric - a fine-ribbed cotton beige corduroy. The darts and the neck shirring are the only fancy elements of the dress - it's just enough to keep it from being too plain, but not too challenging to whip up in a few hours - especially since there are only 4 pattern pieces to make the entire dress.
Then I can pair it with a belt and gloves to jump it up from house dress to a run-to-the-store or receiving-calls dress.
I made it longer than specified and raised the neck opening V. But the major modification I did to this dress was, besides sizing it up a few inches, I added some seam allowance and cut the neck band in half to allow me to use the back center seam for a long zipper. That makes a dress so much easier to put on and off, and I was glad I did that extra bit of work instead of a side zipper.
In case you wanted to know, turning a 1 in. belt made of corduroy takes a looooong time and is hard on the fingernails!
Then to take the dress all the way up to an about-town or church dress, I switched out accessories and put on the matching corduroy bolero I made. I usually don't like non-fitted styles on me, but the cropped, loose look over top of a fitted dress is so 1930s...and I can always overlap and pin it at the waist if I want it fitted.
The bolero was easy to put together with just a few darts for shaping. I used the sleeves from another pattern and fiddled with the facing a little bit. Because it matches the neck band it makes a nice layered matching look, which I like, but each of them can be worn separately and I definitely can use a beige outerwear garment in my wardrobe.
I also got to wear my new 1930s hat, and some vintage style blue fabric laced Aerosoles heels. I do love the notched back hem of the bolero and it is quite warm, actually. (Pardon the very not Art Deco background...)
Unlike many of my sewing projects which get an outing once or a couple times a year, I've already found myself wearing this dress on its own a lot as a nicer everyday dress. It's flattering and comfortable. Another version from this pattern is definitely on my to do list!