Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Cotton Formal for Clara: Vintage Simplicity 1848


One last dress for the "go-abroady trunk" as Clara packs up for college. She bought herself some very nice cotton sateen and even more very nice dotted Swiss, and picked out this vintage pattern.


I'm not going to lie--I felt somewhat daunted. I'd never used boning before, the pattern was too small, and what is going on with those pleats over the bust anyway? We made a toile of the bodice--it hardly needed any modification--and forged ahead.

I took my time and hand-basted the pleats down (when do I ever do that?) and it all came out surprisingly well. Very surprising, in fact, when I read that I would be threading my shoulder straps through slots in the front trim I had no idea I had constructed, but indeed had made successfully. Whew!



I did put the boning in on the wrong side of the lining, darn it. So I made yet another iteration of the bodice and snuck it in as an interlining. So yes, it's fully lined (twice) instead of being faced as the pattern directs.


We used the Swiss dot wrong side out in the bodice (just a suggestion of dots) and then textured side out in the skirt. The underskirt is sateen, all seventeen miles of it.

I made my first *real* waist stay with its own closure, and my first hanging loops so that dress can be comfy in the closet. Good thing I had a deadline, or I never would have finished all those details, I'm telling you.


But just look . . . .

32 comments:

Matushka Anna said...

Gorgeous!!!

Anonymous said...

VERY STUNNING DRESS! I am so proud of your patience and accomplishments over the last couple of months, with making all the beautiful garments for your girls! WHEW!

Good job, Anna!

Maria Ricci

Eileen said...

Absolutely elegant!!

Polly said...

Beautiful!!! I love how you admit that the deadline forced your hand. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Clara is a lucky girl. I think I went to college with a few shorts and tee shirts. She's going to be the best dressed girl on campus!! I love her beautiful clothes.

Debbie B said...

Lovely and so sweet and the dress is beautiful, too! I love the vintage patterns. That one is a keeper! Best wishes as you send her on a great adventure!

Amanda said...

It is absolutely beautiful. She wears it well. I hope she enjoys new experiences this fall.

Lilian said...

O my goodness - that's stunning! And the butterfly obviously concurs.

Pam said...

A lovely dress that is so becoming! Bon Voyage to Clara! I hope college is a happy adventure for her.

Unknown said...

So very beautiful!

Barbara said...

that is a gorgeous dress!

Hana - Marmota said...

It's gorgeous. Stunning. I'm running out of words to describe its awesomeness.
And I love that it's white cotton.

Kelley Highway said...

Chokes me up to see her adorned in white. You did a lovely job, and she is lovely in it. And how fun to learn new skills. Her smile says it all.

lisa said...

what a beautiful dress! just lovely! I always love the dresses you make, but this one seems particularly beautiful!

Lisa said...

I also love the white cotton - good for her in thinking of cotton as a possibility for an evening dress.

Good work! And to Clara, 'cause I don't know when she's going - God bless you, Clara; your family aren't the only ones who will miss you!

Lisateresa

Jen said...

Simply lovely!! Gorgeous enough to be a simple wedding dress for someone even! I LOVE dotted swiss!

Best wishes to Clara as she "floats" off to new adventures!

Margo said...

haha - I like your wry commentary and WOW that is gorgeous!!! I feel like you've achieved some kind of pinnacle - is there anything challenging left to sew?

Margo said...

I looked at the pattern and then at the finished dress again (marveling): is she going to wear a crinoline under it? That would be dramatic and unique indeed among the slinky cocktail dresses favored for evening now!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I am in awe, beautiful dress and beautiful young woman.

Not to mention talented Mama.

Mary Ellen Barrett said...

Heavenly

Miss Suzy said...

Breathtaking.

Where will Clara be wearing this beautiful creation?

Rose said...

That is an amazing dress and Clara looks beautiful. It seems not so many years ago that you took up sewing seriously Anna -- Easter dresses wasn't it? Take a bow, that is stunning construction, I am not a sewer yet I can see that.

Holly said...

We're going to miss her, too. :(

Heather said...

Simply lovely ... Clara, and the dress, of course.

Anonymous said...

Really, really nice, Anna. But yes, isn't boning a tricky thing to work with? I certainly thought so. I made a strapless formal for one of my daughters, & that bodice gave me more grief! It did turn out alright in the end...but I'm not sure I want to try it again very soon!

Brenda

Kate said...

It is stunning!

Janel said...

wow wow wow. No other words. Splendid job!

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

love it! always dreamed of dotted swiss for myself :) never made one, but did an Easter dress for my oldest daughter when she was little.

hannahjiejie said...

One of my favorite dresses yet! I love the long skirt.

Rebecca said...

Dotted swiss is always nice, and that is a very crisp, elegant dress!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Quietly elegant! She looks lovely wearing it!
V

Fiona said...

Clara looks just beautiful, and congratulations to you Anna on sewing such a stunning and complicated dress.

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