Ever since I saw this vintage 1960s pattern on Etsy, I knew I had add it to my ever growing vintage pattern collection. I had to wait for a while until it was up for sale in my size, but when it was, I was quick to press the button and buy it before someone else could snatch it! I really like the sleeveless version of this dress and that is the one that I have made. I think it is so timeless and classy and I love the funnel neck with the darts. I have seen a return of the funnel neck and other 60s features for tops, dresses and coats in the last year or so on runways and in fashion magazines, which is great for me, because I have a lot of vintage 60s patterns to get through! So I hope the fashion sticks around for a while longer!
The fabric I used is one out of my stash – it is also vintage, although not quite as vintage as the pattern. I bought it about 20 years ago when we still lived in Germany and it has been lying around waiting for the right garment to come along. It is a beautiful almost navy blue cotton and viscose blend and has a wonderful weave in the fabric. Most vintage patterns recommend underlining to give the garment more body and for this one, I used a navy silk organza for the underlining (it is difficult to get an exact colour match) and for the lining, an almost navy silk dupioni that matches the fabric perfectly.
It takes a lot more time and effort to underline a garment but it is definitely worth it. I have started to underline almost everything I make now because of the shape and flow the garment gets from it. Luckily for me, this dress has a beautiful fit without any pattern adjusting. So most of the time spent on it was cutting out three fabrics, sewing two of them together by hand, then transferring all the markings for the darts in the neck and waist area and then also sewing them by hand before going over it by machine. Once I had sewn the dress together and tried it on, it was as if it was made for me! It fit absolutely perfectly – and thank goodness for that because I am not one to make a muslin before sewing anything. I get so excited about a new project, that I just throw myself into it!
When it came to the zip, it had to be an invisible one (also difficult to find an exact colour match for the fabric – either too light or too dark) because I thought it would hide itself and let the darts around the neck and waist stand out like they should without distraction. Once the dress and the lining were made up, I was afraid that it might be too bulky around the waist when I put them together because of all the darts but it looks great. I didn’t want to leave the dress unlined because it looked too messy with all the darts on the inside. So the lining gives it a beautiful finish and a nice feel. For the belt I used a plastic tortoise shell buckle from Jimmy Button. I think it suits the dress very well.
I definitely think that I will use this pattern again for a top and possibly for a dress in another colour. I might even give the long sleeve version a go for a winter dress.