Sew for Victory, the 1940s-themed sew-along challenge that Rochelle is running for the second year, has been going strong! And I’m finished up with my project. (Speaking of which, did you see Rochelle’s adorable Tula Pink meets Wearing History blouse yesterday??)
A couple of weeks ago you got to see my Sew for Victory wearable muslin, and today I’m sharing my finished dress. Now, this is nowhere near as complicated of a project as I took on last year, which was a battle jacket. Believe me, I wasn’t even going to try and top that one! I sewed a day dress, and a similar style to what I’ve been sewing a lot all year. To remind you, here’s the pattern again, McCall 6116 from 1945.
So to add an element of ‘challenge’, I decided I wanted to try to sew it out of skimpy yardage in my stash. Two yards of a lightweight polka dot cotton, to be exact. Yep, my goal was to try and fit two bodice fronts, a bodice back, two skirt pieces, a waistband, and pockets out of two yards of 44″ wide fabric.
I laid the fabric out in one layer on my sewing area (i.e. the basement) floor and then moved pattern pieces around in various ways until I was absolutely certain I’d be able to fit everything. And remarkably, I could! I even fit two patch pockets and two inseam pocket pieces… err, why both? Because I had a patch pocket fail and got so pissed that I scrapped them and went with an inseam pocket. The only thing I couldn’t fit was the inner waistband, which I cut out of some plain white cotton.
And while I like the wearable muslin, I really adore the final dress! I made three changes (well, other than the unplanned omission of the aforementioned patch pockets that made me pissy): I overlapped the bodice fronts by about 1/4 inch more for a slightly improved fit, I added a waistband, and I used the skirt pieces from Simplicity 1523 from 1946 (also used here and here), which look much more like the original skirt but minus the placket.
For the buttons, I used some vintage butterscotch-colored ones from my stash. I really love them!
The almost amber hue of the buttons called for pairing the dress with amber and butterscotch Bakelite with my earrings, necklace and bangles.
Oh by the way, want to know how much fabric I had left after cutting out my pieces? Yep, a tight squeeze indeed!
Yellow was my favorite color as a little kid. I remember having a bright sunny yellow dress that I loved so much. And now I love my grown-up version, too!
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting another wonderful Sew for Victory!
1940s dress – made by me
Bakelite earrings and bangles – misc.
Bakelite necklace – Delicious Bling
shoes – Swedish Hasbeens
Wow what a show stopper!!! That turned out fantastic!
Lady Stitcher says
Wow, gorgeous! Love the sunny yellow too, great colour!
Helen Mae says
Gorgeous! Hopefully I can eventually learn to sew like that.
LOVE this version!!
Draped in Cloudlets says
So pretty and summery 🙂
Girl that dress is the coolest, its sharp and neat , even the bright colour makes it look very authentic 40s, im really digging that waistband placket aswell, it really pulls in the waist and i cant wait to testing it out for moi ^=^
Besides how cute this dress is – the first thing I noticed was the fit of it. Your fitting skills are superb Tasha, I don’t think this could be fitted any better than it currently is. 😀 Cheers!
Aww, thanks Liz! Everything always fits you so well so I really appreciate it. Due to the nice fit I’m likely to take the pattern and want to make a bunch more. lol It feels great to finally have a few items in my pockets that I feel fit almost exactly the way I want them to! 😉
Paige @ Lux Per Diem says
Yellow Looks wonderful on you! Did you change the sleeves from the original pattern? I really like that style.
I did, I mentioned it in my wearable muslin post. I re-drafted the sleeves to be kimono sleeve as I find I wear that style much more often than set-in sleeves when it comes to dress!
Man, I wish I looked that good in yellow 🙂 you look gorgeous! Great fit 🙂
Thanks Lauren! I don’t think yellow is really a good color on me because I have a yellow undertone to my skin, but I do it anywaayyyy! ;P
Two of my favourite things … sunshine yellow and polka dots. A dress you can only smile in. It’s perfect!
Thank you! 🙂
Oh, I so love yellow too. I would love to wear yellow dresses, somehow the colour makes me happy, but when I do I look like I am about to die,… or worse… like I did a couple of days ago. *grin*
The dress is gorgeous. And you look amazing in it. Nice work!
I’ve look everywhere for a tutorial on how to add a waistband to a dress pattern, and either I’m googling it wrong, or no one has done one……. (Hint, hint)
I LOVE this, Tasha! You are a ray of sunshine. It’s impressive that you were able to squeeze this out of two yards. I really like the little addition the waistband brings to the dress. I haven’t sewn a dress with one incorporated, but I think I have a couple in my stash that I might start working on. ;-D I really like how it draws attention to the smallest portion of the waist and provides a break between the bodice and the skirt. I feel like, sometimes, gathering the skirt into a fitted bodice creates excess bulk right at my waist and interferes with the slimming effect. Gorgeous project!
Thanks, Michelle! Yeah, I didn’t think the 2 yards would happen and it wasn’t easy, but it sure does make me look at 2 yards of fabric in a different way now!
I really do love the dress with a waistband, for all the reasons you mentioned! When I try on one of the dresses I’ve sewn without, I feel slightly less in love with them, so I think there’s a lot of dresses with waistbands in my future!
Mikhaela from Polka Dot Overload blog says
WOW! I love absolutely everything about this dress–the color, the dots, the fit, the vintage buttons and that you squeezed it out of two yards!
This is so adorable! It is perfection in the sunny yellow polka dots and looks fantastic on you.
Fabulous dress, and I love the cheerfulness of the yellow! I still need to start (and finish!) my SFV project, so thanks for inspiring me with your under 2 yard (!) dress!
Good luck!! 😀
Juliana @ Urban Simplicity says
This.is.fantastic. I’ve been on a yellow kick myself (oh, how I wish I could wear it as a solid color! But alas and alack, it washes me out) and this sunny dress is just so fun! I love the butterscotch accents. Perfect!
I have to say, I’ve been pondering my ideal dress pattern, and I think this might be it–I’ve been collecting images of patterns that appeal to me, and they all have elements of this dress: kimono sleeves, inset waistband, slim a-line skirt with slight gathers, button down front, scoop or square neck, no collar.
Your various posts about all the dresses and sewing goals for this year have really helped me to narrow my focus!
Thanks Juliana! I kind of fell into deciding all my dream dress bits too as I’ve been going along sewing so many. Like I did one thing, then another, and slowly it all started coming together, realizing the elements I love the best. Oh ahe nice thing is that there’s lots of vintage patterns that have waistbands, plus the Sewaholic Cambie does too, and it has a lovely vintage feel!
The dress is GORGEOUS. I have some training to do if I want to sew that kind of dresses.
That dress is adorable! Your green polish looks wonderful with it.
Rochelle New says
Tasha this is beautiful!! The yellow absolutely suits you and I love the contrast against your dark hair. I dare say this dress fits you the best out of all the ones you’ve made so far this year. Well I know you’ve been sewing variations of the same dress, so maybe it’s just this particular combination of bodice/waistband/skirt that looks so incredible on you! Also loving the buttons!! They remind me of Werther’s Orignals lol mmmmmm! Another gorgeous dress to add to your closet, ma’am. Well done.
I love it! So simple and fun. Yellow suits you so well 🙂
I’m definitely going to need something like this myself. 🙂
Great choice and very well done!
*sigh* One of these days I’ll join a sew-along!
Super sweet! Yellow is a perfect grown up color for you too 😉 great job! Thanks for sharing your lovely makes.
Catherine Beck says
This dress is absolutely stunning. I absolutely love the colour, you id such a great job, especially with the limited fabric. Your definitely making me want to improve my sewing skills so I can make something a bit more complicated like this. xxx
This is so summery, and such a “happy” dress. No wonder you love it! Yellow was my favourite colour as a child too. The buttons and everything about it are just perfect!
Miss Beta says
Uau! This dress is perfection! So amazing well made. The color is fantastic and the buttons are so nice and you made it to fit perfectly! Seriously… I´m really impressed 🙂
Yellow can be a difficult color to wear. You really pull it off! Love the buttons, makes the dress color look rich.
Another perfectly sewn amazing dress! Love the sunny yellow color!
Lovely! I adore the polka dots and the little sleeves are just perfect. I’m a little bit sad that I wasn’t able to participate in Sew for Victory.. Maybe with one week left I’ll surprise myself and whip something up.
This is great! You did this with 2 yards of fabric. Amazing!
BTW, you also make me want to go out and find this pattern:) Lovely fit!
I love this dress! You need to wear more yellow!
This is really lovely. The color is awesome. Well done!
Bellis Winter says
“you are the sunshine of … my day “hihihihihi, such a beautiful color and dress !!! Finally a “simple” dress can assure you a perfect outfit with your talent
Hmmmm, I think I might just have to try & create something similar because this is so so SO cute!! The addition of the waistband is a good call- so much more comfy than a seam across the waist!
And how satisfying is it just having scraps of fabric left?! Right up there with the perfect about of thread on the spool or bobbin 🙂
oops… *amount* of thread 😛
Looks fab 🙂
Jessica Cangiano says
Wonderfully pretty dress! I a good wardrobe dose of sunshine like this, don’t you? Wearing yellow just makes one feel so upbeat and happy.
Your dress is gorgeous! I love the sunshine yellow fabric and big buttons, it’s so bright and cheery .
I want to buy this , its so Pretty 🙂
Dress+ bracelets <3
This is absolutely my favorite dress you have ever made. It is awesome. Words fail me. I really really love it. You look great and you did a great job with the dress.
Wow, this is so pretty and so flattering! I love this shade of yellow on you! Really nice work!
Super Summery! I too love me a bit of yellow, think I may have to get some yellow polka dots in my life soon!
I am so impressed that you got all your pieces cut from that fabric. It is a super dress, so sunshiny!
Karrie Smith says
I LOVE it!!!! You look so beautiful!!! It makes me inspired to get working on the first dress I’m making.
Super gorgeous dress! I just love the yellow!
I love the dress! Yellow dresses are the best. And the buttons are perfect.
I love this so much words cannot express. If I had this pattern and thought of all those hacks I’d make an entire wardrobe of them. And sunny yellow? Divine.