Thursday, July 3, 2014

1940s "Swing" Dress

I'm not sure what got me in the mood to sew again. Maybe it was haunting Sensibility.com's Sewing Forum for a couple days. Maybe it was thinking about finishing up that tumbling blocks quilt in honor of my husband's and my 10 year anniversary. I started it when we got engaged. (Yikes!) Well, whatever the reason, I've started sewing again. I seem to go in phases with my hobbies and I was worried that I haven't sewn in a long time. I have a huge stack of sewing to do for historical costumes and a quilt or two, it's really not funny.

I started working on this 1940s "Swing" dress by Sensibility Patterns a few months ago, but after a very confusing 3rd step I stopped. Picking it up again, step 3 was just as confusing! After begging for help on the sewing forum, throwing my fabric around in a huff, saying a few prayers of desperation, and even talking to my engineering husband about it - I finally figured it out! I think all of those steps helped, but once I got over that hurdle I finished the dress mock-up in no time. Phew! Why did it have to be so painful? It's not really that difficult of a pattern. Silly me! At least it wasn't like those trouser pockets that I had to rip out 3 or 4 times EACH. Yeah, this was not as bad. :-)

Here's the mock-up in white muslin and it's missing the sleeves. I made the silly mistake of cutting out the sleeves wrong, so I just skipped it since I'm fairly confident with sleeves.
the whole dress (minus sleeves)

Close up of the shoulders - they were part of my frustration!

Waist detail


 Here is the fabric I'm going to be making the actual dress from. It's a dove-gray pinstripe rayon suiting. It's such a pretty color and I really could pair it with a lot of different colors since it's a nice cool neutral! I thought it would look nice with red. I think one of my 1940s hats is red.

I haven't worked with rayon before, but I wanted to purposely buy a rayon since it was available during the war as an alternative to the less available natural fibers.

Laying the pattern pieces out on our bed.
Our house is under construction, so there's not a lot
of room to spread fabric out safely.
So, I've got the gray fabric pieces cut out in chunks - I haven't gone back to cut out the pieces to my size yet. That's the next step. Woohoo!

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