Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My First Vintage Dress - Simplicity 8498

Well, I've finally done it!  After months of drooling over and purchasing several vintage patterns I've finally made my first one.



Simplicity 8498, printed in 1969 ~ the year I was born!  I didn't know that (the year it was printed, not the year I was born) until I just looked this minute.  How appropriate for my first vintage pattern that it's one as old as me.

I first saw this pattern on the Sewaholic blog a while ago and fell in love with the simple yet unusual shaping.  It was actually pretty easy to track a copy down - I think I got it on Etsy - and it was pretty reasonably priced.

I decided to make mine in some teal jersey/ponte knit I had in my stash.  It's polyester, so a bit clingy without a slip, but it's not too bad.

I really like the little details, the darts at the back of the neck:



the elbow darts:



and of course, the gorgeous front shaping:



I've never used a pattern that incorporated elbow darts or back neck darts before, but they're lovely little details.

I only had to make minor changes, narrowing the shoulders about an inch, and taking the sleeve and side seams in about 5/8" each.  I also had to take a good inch off the sleeve head as my first attempt at setting in the sleeves resulted in some very unattractive gathering. 

I omitted the neck facing, as I really dislike these in general, and opted to use some bias binding to finish the neck.   The most suitable colour I had to hand was navy, so navy binding it was.



I was initially going to top stitch the binding in place, but decided on catch stitching it down, which gives a cleaner finish on the outside.

I'm very pleased with the fit of this, with only very simple adjustments needed.   It's not the sort of dress you'd want loads of, as the design is very distinctive, but I can definitely see a summer one being made, possibly sleeveless.

14 comments:

  1. Very nice! I made up the reprint version in a ponte knit a while back and it's still one of my favorite makes. It gets tons of wear, as I 'm sure this one will, too! Good idea on the bias binding instead of facing. I am constantly adjusting the facing on mine.

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    1. Thank you. I always try to use bias binding instead of facings if I can - they really annoy me!

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  2. Oh that's lovely, looks really cosy too. It's funny you didn't have to make many alterations - I've had my most successful fit with a 60s pattern. I got told by a dressmaker that I am a '60s shape', whatever that is!

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    1. Strange isn't it? The only alterations I needed was the same amount off the seams all the way down - no additional shaping etc. Perhaps I'm a '60's shape' as well... although I always think of 60's shapes as being tall and skinny!

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  3. That's really cute! I have the modern reissue of this pattern and your dress is making me want to put it in the pile of patterns I pulled out to make for spring!

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    1. Oh do! I'd love to see how the modern reprint makes up.

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  4. Looks lovely on you, and I really like all those little details.

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    1. Thank you. I think the little details really make the dress.

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  5. ooohhh that color looks so good on you!

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    1. Thank you, it is one of my favourite colours.

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  6. Triple excitements !!! This is why and thank you: 1. I have this pattern but have never taken it seriously before
    2. It also relates to the year of my birth, something else we share and 3. What a dress! It looks great in ponte knit, so easy to wear yet so stylish! Thank you for opening my eyes to its possibility!!

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    1. Thank you! It's a fab pattern, went together really easily. I do hope you make one, as I'm sure you'd do something fabulous with it.

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  7. Beautiful! And your hand-stitching details on the inside are perfection!! Those back neckline darts are totally authentic, I've seen them done a few times and they are a great little shaping detail that should be used more
    Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog too :)

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Thank you for your comment, I really do appreciate it!