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.
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!