Antique pattern find

Several months ago, before the world turned topsy-turvy, I was looking around a local antique shop, rifling through the vintage sewing area, when I stumbled upon a stack of patterns. I didn’t have much hope of finding one in my size that I liked (I don’t typically go for the fashions post 60s), but that is just what happened. Buried beneath a stack of vintage patterns with this 1965 dress pattern.

I snagged this Simplicity dress pattern for $3, and all the pattern pieces were there (which isn’t always the case). This 1965 dress pattern is in a size 18 1/2, from the half-size slenderette range Simplicity did in the 1950s and 60s. (I’ve since learned that this range is unique in that it included half-sizes and was tailored for petites.)

In addition to this good-fortune, still attached to some of the pattern pieces was this fabric. Obviously I’m not sure this fabric is also from the 60s, but given the print (hello paisley!) I think it’s possible.

Mock-up

Like any good seamstress, I made a mock-up. I used 45″ unbleached muslin, sewing all seams and hems, with the exception of the back closure since I didn’t want to waste a zipper and snaps on something I won’t wear but will probably reuse for other mock-ups.

For this project I chose view 2 (the black and white checked version) which features a superficial ribbon and bow detail around the waist and down the front seam. You can see on the mock-up that the front seam doesn’t line up with the side seam. That’s on purpose! The ribbon will lay on top of the seam. The skirt, a pencil shape, has slightly more ease that a typical pencil skirt.

This bodice is pretty standard; two bust darts and two front darts to give shape. One thing I noticed, and will be changing when I make the actual dress, are the placement of the bust darts. They are pretty low compared to modern patterns and sat lower than my own bust-line. The sleeves are the shorter option of version 1, but are slightly longer on my arms. Not sure if I will adjust this or not.

The sleeves are gathered at the top, just enough to fit the arm-hole. The collar called for a layer of interfacing, which I used in this mock-up, but might skip in for the final dress as it appears too rigid. The sleeves were actually easy to set-in on this dress, though the collar (my all-time sewing nemesis) was a bit challenging.

The try-on

Aside from the adjustment needed to the bust-darts, this 1965 dress mock-up fit surprisingly well, much better than modern patterns. Since it is a petite pattern, the length was perfect and the proportions accurate. I will definitely by looking for more Simplicity slenerette patterns in the future.

Final Dress

With a MoodFabrics gift card I got during Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!), I purchased this beautiful cotton print. It has a little stretch to it, and I love the bold floral print that reminds me of Dolce and Gabbana. Not sure yet if I will attempt to match the pattern when I cut out the pieces (probably not?).

 

Now to get myself to actually cut into this beautiful fabric! Fingers crossed I don’t make any mistakes.

How about you? Attempted any sewing projects or otherwise during the lockdown? Let me know!

Have you read my last post about my first published story? You can here!