My first project in 2017 was a fun and simple one. I badly needed some winter-appropriate additions to my wardrobe, so as soon as the holidays were over I got out some black and raspberry gingham rayon and a pattern from around 1946 to make myself a dress.
This dress is super simple, with two neck options. The only bit of special trim are the front bodice darts which are stitched on the outside - unusual for vintage patterns. It also has a peplum, which is supposed to be sewn in at the waist, but when I first saw it, I thought - why not make it detachable and have two different looks for the same dress?
It ended up being very easy to make the peplum detachable. Instead of sewing into the waist seam, I sewed it into a belt, which I then folded over and top stitched. I'd intended on sewing it to a narrow belt, but that changed when the dress turned out to have a super high waistline, almost an empire waist. Not what I expected! I've gotten so used to adjusting patterns for my short torso that I automatically take a pinch out of the pattern pieces when cutting them out. Usually it ends up a better fit. This one was so short that I'm wondering if I would have needed to adjust it at all! (I know, I know...a muslin would have told me...)
But because of that, I had to use a wide belt in order to meet the waist seam. Even still, I like it. Just tie it on and it has a smart jacket look, suitable for a town dress.
And I can untie it and wear the dress with a belt for a different look.
I made my own additions to the neck edge also. I used the option of View B, but faced it with black velvet, folded the points down instead of leaving them plain, and added a self covered button.
Some simple black accessories and a brooch were the only additions needed. I paired it with one of my favorite 1940s hats.
Other than the fit not being perfect, I'm happy with it. It's a great addition to my wardrobe, and was quite easy to put together which made for a quick project. Its versatility means it will probably get more wear during the fall and winter.
It feels like a new classic!