My second dress of the summer is a vintage 1949 design from Vogue Patterns. I love how elegant the length of the skirt is and the vintage side-snap details. The fabric I’ve used is an inexpensive cut from Michael Levine fabrics in Los Angeles. I bought it on sale for only $4/yard. It’s completely see through so I underlined all of my pieces with a peach skin polyester from Joann’s. The fabrics layered over each other are beautiful. For more photos and construction details, read on.
The pattern I used was Vogue 8974.
I omitted the jacket and belt. My fashion fabric is striped but it’s hard to tell in the bright sun.
I planned to wear this dress without a bra so I took my bust measurement braless, which is 34″. This pattern includes multiple pattern pieces for every size bodice. I made a muslin using bodice size 10, which reflected a finished garment measurement of 34″.
When you’re trying to figure out what size to cut out, you really need to look at the final measurements printed on the pattern pieces themselves. If you just look at the size chart on the envelope you’ll end up cutting out the wrong size. The bodice size 10 also tells you that it will fit at the waist with 27.5″:
I have a 28″ waist but I figured I could fiddle with it a little bit during construction to make sure everything fit. My only complaint with this dress has to do with the French darts on the bodice. Unlike regular darts, French darts form seams on the front of your bodice. No matter what I did, my darts ended up looking wonky on the front of my dress.
Hopefully it won’t be too terribly noticeable to anybody other than myself.
The straps on the back of the dress criss-cross. The most interesting detail of this dress are the side seam snaps.
There are no zippers or buttons in this dress so you have to snap yourself in and out. I actually really love this detail. I bought a Dritz snap fastener plier tool to install the snaps and it was much easier than I thought it would be. My only complaint is that one of the socket holders (made out of plastic) broke, so now I have to see if Joann’s will allow me to exchange the whole thing. Does anybody else have a recommendation for a snap applicator that they like? I was pretty disappointed that my tool broke so quickly. If I can find a dependable tool I can see myself adding snaps to a lot of my garments.
To prepare your garment for the snaps the first thing you need to do is bind one of your exposed seams with single fold 1/2″ bias tape. For the remaining seam you will stitch on an extension piece.
Once the extension is stitched on you turn it toward the inside and slipstitch it in place to the seam allowance.
You can then apply the snaps to the bias bound edge and to the extension piece.
It ends up looking very neat and tidy. If you make a mistake when you’re inserting the snaps, don’t panic! They can be removed and it shouldn’t damage your fabric if you remove it correctly. I finished the hem using extra wide single fold bias tape.
Aside from an annoying fit issue in the bodice, I’d say the dress looks pretty damn good. I even managed to match up all of my stripes and form chevrons down the front.
I also bound my facing pieces with 1/2″ double fold bias tape:
I feel very glamorous in this dress. I would definitely make it again, but next time I’ll perfect the fit in the bodice.
I can’t believe August is already here. What’s left on your summer To-Sew list?