Thursday, February 21, 2013

50s mail order dress

You might recall this pattern from my last post which I purchased on Ebay for a ridiculously small price. I found some lovely green floral fabric at Spotlight for $3.20/m and decided to have a crack at it. Without making a toile (muslin) first. Big mistake!


It came together very easily. The dress is constructed in a really cool way, with two side skirt panels that join to the bodice, and the back and front skirts cut in one piece with the back and front bodices. The fiddliest, most time consuming part was the facings. I hate facings and always avoid them by lining my bodices, but that would not have been possible here- I'd have to line the whole dress and that would have used 6 metres of fabric.

I couldn't really get an idea of the fit until it was about 95% complete, and it was a total disaster. It could not have fit any worse. I didn't take any before pics, but here it is on Jane. It doesn't look so bad from the front (bitch has more in the boob department than I do) but you can see how much it's gaping at the back.


It was obvious that the entire bodice needed almost two inches of length removed from just under the bust, but there was no way of doing that so I did the best I could, which involved taking 1/2 an inch from the shoulder seams, 1/4 inch from each side seam, and making the bust darts slightly deeper. The fit is far from ideal but it looks great from the waist down. You can't really see the waist tie due to the busy-ness of the print, but it's super cute.


I usually steer clear of wrap dresses because I have a very small bust but this one appeals to me due to it wrapping up from the back. 

I will definitely make another one of these, and I'm confident that I can get the fit pretty close to perfect  next time!


  1. You're right. Super cute, and it looks great on you. Honestly, the women in my workplace dress SO badly, I'd be bowled over if one of them showed up wearing your dress.

  2. Thanks for stopping by!
    I cause such a stir at work with the clothes I wear and they're not even that outrageous. Everyone else just looks SO BORING!

  3. It looks great! I love dresses that wrap in the back.