Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1940s Cocktail Dress: Pattern Review Part I

While waiting for the fabric to arrive to start the eighteenth-century blue ensemble, I started another project. Either I'm feeling very industrious or very scattered lately. Regardless--it's a 1940s cocktail dress, and will be made of a lovely eggplant-ish colored crepe. For now, I've just cut out the pattern, which I found at the Vintage Pattern Lending Library.


And so far, I am super impressed. Ok, so I haven't actually sewn anything yet, but this is based on the quality of the pattern alone. First off, the pattern and instructions (reprinted and transcribed from an original 1940s pattern) came in a heavy-duty ziploc. This is huge. Do you know how many tattered, ripped, shredding paper envelopes I have in my pattern file? So it's a huge boon to have a built-in storage bag. Score.

And the pattern itself--I can tell already--very clear markings and easy to read. Plus, it's a high-quality paper, rather than the onion skin you usually get patterns printed on. As I tend to use patterns over and over, a heavier paper is also a huge score.

Given that I paid the same for this pattern as I would have for, say, a Vintage Vogue pattern bought at the local JoAnn's, the quality is astounding.

I'll update once I make the dress to let you know how the sewing part went--but rest assured, cutting out the pattern went awesome.

I'm still on the fence about which version of the dress I'll be making--I'll be doing the short sleeves, for sure, but can't decide if I'll do the little bow (small black dress in picture) or the front-cascading ruffles (blue dress in picture). Thoughts?

I'm pretty excited about this project--I've been wanting to make some 40s clothes since I started my 1940s-set manuscript last winter. As I'm starting another 1940s-set manuscript, it was high time--I like dressing like my characters! (Sorry, should have preceded this paragraph with a large, flashing "Nerd Alert.")

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

ooo nice pattern choice. Can't wait to see the final dress.

Connie said...

Love the pattern. I'm eager to hear how it sews. One of the things that drives me crazy with modern patterns is that occasionally I'll run into a pattern that was translated into English from some other language and words are missing. Like verbs.

Miss Rosemary said...

OOOOO I'm excited to see how this turns out. I love this time period (as we both know ;) ) and I love seeing what you create. It's going to be great!

Rowenna said...

Thanks, Anon! I'm looking forward to wearing this one :)

Connie--thanks! Wow...missing verbs. Not good!

Miss R--Thanks! I'm excited, too! I'm so used to making clothes that are really costume-y--this, I could wear "normally"!

Caroline said...

Oh, I wish I could sew! Then I could make my own 1950s inspired clothing and not drool over the stuff at ModCloth that I can't afford. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

The Dreamstress said...

I love the neckline! I prefer the front cascade, but I'm sure either would look gorgeous!

The Dreamstress said...

I love the neckline! I prefer the front cascade, but I'm sure either would look gorgeous!

Isis said...

Cute dress!

Rowenna said...

Caroline--sewing your own helps a little, but I still find myself coveting things in stores...there's not enough time in the day to make everything I want :)

Dreamstress--the neckline is my favorite part! I think I may do a plain skirt for now, but do a long-sleeved version with the cascade later on.

Isis--thanks! I'm looking forward to sewing!

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