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!