Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A modern take on a vintage frock - Simplicity 3774

I've been sitting on this awesome vintage pattern for a few months now.
It was given to me by my husband's Nana. One of only a handful of vintage patterns that survived being thrown out!! This dress, complete with puffed sleeves, was made in the early 60's for my mother in law and aunty. I made the version without puffed sleeves (of course) and I am so in love with the result.
What do you think? Pretty cute right.

Clearly, I modified the pattern quite significantly to modernise the look. Here's the first muslin of the bodice. While I'm not wearing it for you, it sits very high on the chest. A little too high for my liking.
So I modified the bodice by folding it where I wanted it to sit, then re-drew the pattern with this change, waist modifications and a slight change to the darts. So with that in mind, it's really not too much like the original pattern, except for the full skirt.
I also fully lined the bodice, treating the two layers of fabric as one. I loved that in referring to my Reader Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (I have a version from the 70's), I learnt about stitching the fabric and lining together along the darts to get ensure the fabric sits together. So clever! I also fully lined the skirt and installed an invisible zipper.

I intentionally chose a black fabric for my first full skirted dress. It's so far from my usual style, I didn't want a bold fabric to draw attention to me. I'm also terribly aware that my friends all know that I sew and some of my bolder fabric choices scream 'different', or worse, 'handmade!'
I'm still getting used to the full skirt. It does poof quite a bit.

The fabric is a lovely, soft voile by Anna Maria Horner (yep again!! it's almost all gone now though!)
Now, I know you're all dying to know if I trimmed the skirt lining with lace, right?
 Well, yes I did!


  1. This dress certainly doesn't scream "handmade" (not that there is anything wrong with that!). Go let those friends buy their dresses for $150 at Country Road. This frock is gorgeous!

  2. It's just lovely! Cute fabric and I love the full skirt. I don't think anything you make is recognisable as handmade except that I might recognise the fabric!

  3. This turn out beautifully!

    Please know you can show this or any other project you do on my new Crafty Links blog!

  4. Lovely - it fits like a glove. Keep the handmade coming I say!!!

    BTW - it makes me almost cry when I think of all the vintage patterns and fabric my mother got rid of over the years.............


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