Monday, February 28, 2011

Planning my 1941 Shirt Dress

I've skipped my 1920s dress for now, since I realized I didn't buy enough black fabric for the slip.  Oops! 

Oh well, that actually makes me happy because it means I get to start thinking about my 1940s dress that I will get to wear in a play in June! I will be making a dress from this Hollywood 1387 Pattern:

1940s shirt dress
I will be making the long-sleeved version on the right.

I will also be attempting to make this Vintage Vogue 7464 hat:

I've heard the hat is virtually impossible to make due to the fact that the envelope's instructions are unclear AND there is no picture of the back included in the pattern. The good news is there are other hats included in the pattern that are easier to make. So, I have a backup plan. BTW, I have no idea what color hat fabric to buy to match the final brown pinstripe dress fabric below.

I will be making a muslin first out of this pretty green rayon fabric because I just couldn't resist the color, and at $2 a yard, I figured I could deal with the transparency of it.. it IS just a mock-up after all.  I decided to make a full-scale muslin because the perfection of this dress is absolutely important to me, and since I have never sewn a real vintage dress before, I figured I'd better practice first.
I can't tell you how much I love this color.

The final dress will actually be made out of this lightweight pinstriped wool: 
It's got a little blue pinstripe!

And yes, I do know that the muslin will hang differently because of the difference in fabrics, but like I said... I just couldn't resist the gorgeous green, and since I'm in a funk lately and need some cheering up, WHAT I SAY GOES!  :-)

So, my first problem in sewing this gown is the craziness of unmarked vintage patterns.  What's with all these holes?!!!  Ugh. I've got a lot of learning to do, so I've been pouring over all the unmarked pattern tip pages like this and this.

The first thing I need to do is trace all the pattern pieces onto sturdier paper. I've read that this will help me since I will be able to write all over the pieces.  Works for me.

I'm tracing the itty bitty pieces first.

Also, I've been researching everything about the 1940s including these 1941 Sears Catalog pictures below which are VERY similar to my gown!

FYI, I am STILL looking for a pretty pink satin bra like the one below, however, we all know how that went last time, so I'm feeling a little discouraged. I guess if all else fails, I can get one of the WhatKatieDid Harlow bullet bras, though I don't like them nearly as much.  So... if you see one, let me know!!

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