1940s Cocktail Dress--Perfect for Dancing!
The final piece looks amazing! With the darts fitting the back and the shoulder pads, the silhouette is really authentic—which you’d expect from a reproduction! If you're not too confident about vintage sewing, this is a great place to start--between the step-by-step instructions and the clearly marked pattern, it was very hard to go wrong.
First off, the pattern and instructions came in a heavy-duty ziploc, printed on high-quality paper. Very clear markings and easy to read.
Given that I paid the same for this pattern as I would have for, say, a Vintage Vogue pattern bought at the local JoAnn's, the quality is astounding.
I chose to make the short-sleeved version, with the side-bow using an eggplant-colored polyester crepe. I finished this project in several sessions, but it could easily be done in one day's worth of sewing.
The one major change I made: The original calls for the gathers at the front neckline to be pulled into a circle--so you'll have a little dot of skin peeking through both sides. I wasn't too fond of that, for some reason, so made the gathered circle slightly smaller, pulled it closed, and added vintage-esque post earrings (a bit of hot glue daubed on the inside ensures they won't fall off).
I had hardly any issues with the dress. The only thing that went majorly wrong was that, inexplicably, the self-belt was about two inches too short. The dress waist fit fine, even a touch loose, but the belt was way shorter than the dress waist--either I cut wrong, sewed something goofy, or the pattern is just a touch off. No biggie--I just added an extension that goes under the bow-floof so it's not even visible.
Also, with the thin fabric, I wish I'd added some interfacing to the front and back facings. They have a tendency to flip a bit more than they should, probably because the fabric is very thin and flimsy.
Highly, highly recommended!
Reviewed by: Rowenna from Indiana.