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Topic: Vintage dress knock-off  (Read 16198 times)
Tags for this thread: dress , 1940s , tutorial , pattern , drafting , vintage  Add new tag
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retretretretretret
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« on: February 08, 2010 07:23:35 PM »

So I wanted to copy this dress:
 

 
I had never tried to copy anything before, so I read up on pattern drafting here : http://vintagesewing.info/1940s/42-mpd/mpd-01.html It's... so awesome. I can't tell you. If you're a beginner, go there. First chapter's all you need.
 
I don't have a dress form, so I fitted my slopers on myself which was a MOTHER of a hassle but worked out in the end. This is crazy crazy useful no matter what kind of dress or shirt or whatever you want to make. You'll want to test them with something cheap first. Here are said slopers:
 

 
I used tissue paper to alter it according to the design. Newspaper would work too. I extended the top a little below the waist. I also just cut it in pieces rather than having 2 darts. Make sure you don't forget to plan for the lap where the buttons will be. I don't think the buttons on that dress are functional but I wanted mine to be. Here is the resulting pattern:
 

 
Be aware of the grain of your fabric before and while cutting and for the love of god, don't forget your seam allowances!
 
I sort of half-assedly drafted the sleeve because I figured it didn't take much fabric so it wouldn't be a big deal to start over if I had to, but chapter 4 from the '42 book explains how to do it if you wanted to be more precise.

For the skirt part, I followed the method for a semicircular skirt in chapter 8.
 

 
To finish the neckline, I cut out these pieces
 

 
to sew right sides together and fold under.
 
I pinned the corresponding pieces together like so:
 

 
When I'd sewn over it, I cut notches into the seam allowance so it would lay flat.
 

 
I pressed the seam open, then pressed the pieces wrong sides together.
 

 
I did the same thing for the sleeves.
 

 
The wrong side of this fabric is kind of silky so I didn't bother lining the dress, but other types of material might require you to.
 
I marked the spots for buttons with tacks
 

 
then I folded and ironed the seam allowance under the lap
 

 
then top-stitched along both edges.
 
To put the top together, I lined up the nothes, pinned it, sewed, pressed open the seam, pressed it to the side then zigzagged the seam allowance, sewed the darts on the back, lined up the shoulder edges on the front and back pieces, pinned, sewed, then pinned and sewed on the sleeves.
 

 
Then I sewed the skirt pieces to the front and back. With that done, I sewed up the side of the dress, hemmed it and I was done! Rather than sewing in a ribbon or whatever is supposed to be at the waist, I'll just wear it with that belt. Piping or something would probably work, though.
 

 
No sweat  Wink

It's a little hard to get in and out of it. I might put in a zipper on the side.

Tell me what you think and show me if you make one too!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012 06:23:22 PM by retretretretretret » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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craftmoxie81
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010 08:25:16 PM »

wow, this is awesome! i wish i had your skills  Smiley i'm still struggling with commercial patterns... i'm hoping to eventually be able to do what you are doing! the dress looks fantastic! great job  Cheesy
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KayKay84
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010 10:15:22 PM »

I love your dress and thank you so much for the detailed description of how you did it! That is so helpful for someone like me who is always wondering how those gorgeous dresses come together!
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retretretretretret
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010 12:15:08 AM »

wow, thanks! and it's no problem; ideas are free. but you guys should seriously follow that link to Modern Pattern Design, i swear you'll become pros in like 10 minutes!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010 12:26:27 AM by retretretretretret » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010 12:50:42 AM »

uuummmmmm..... are you lying to us and really are a seamstress Huh hahah This is AMAZING!! it looks just like the picture! I really need to read into this vintage sewing site. I am a visual person so I might have issues but this will be good for altering patterns!! You are an inspiration!!! and you have a gift!
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TeenageRebelOfTheWeek
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010 02:50:40 AM »

I must say, you would have to do a double take between your frock and the o.g. one! Cheesy Good stuff! I love the colour and the cut of it. Very cute! -x-
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010 06:59:02 AM »

Very impressive that you took on this difficult task!  Good job!   Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010 07:39:22 AM »

well done!!! i love to knock off items. 
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StacyCK
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010 08:06:01 AM »

Great job - I'm impressed with your drafting of it.  It looks well fitted on you.
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Nurumla
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010 09:39:53 AM »

You did a fantastic job!  That looks great Smiley.
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