I decided to start with the Swedish vintage pattern, STIL 2857. I can’t seem find a lot of information of this mysterious pattern company and the pattern has no date on it, but tucked with the pattern pieces was a leaflet advertising the Husqvarna 2000 sewing machine as the newest new of sewing technology, so I guess it must be from the early 60’s. The picture on the pattern envelope has an early 60’s look to it as well.
I’ll be making the view A, pictured on the pattern envelope in the blue gingham. Despite my hesitation in about using the floral cotton/viscose blend I decided to go with it. I love viscose: it feels so soft and cool against your skin. Pity we’re having the coldest summer in years! Still, I can always sew this dress and hope for the weather to warm up.
There are many things I love about this design: the pussy bow, the fabric-covered belt and buttons, bound buttonholes (yay!) and the patch pockets. A simple dress with lovely details. Construction-wise I might take a few shortcuts though and use iron-on interfacing instead of the sew on one. Also while a hand-sewn zipper would be all neat and period-appropriate I’ll probably put in a lapped zipper by machine. We’ll see. It’d be cool to make a vintage dress with the proper techniques some day, but perhaps for a more special occasion.
I was expecting a long afternoon tracing patterns from messy multi-size sheets, but to my surprise the pattern pieces were already cut out and included seam allowances (which are marked annoyingly vaguely on the pattern instructions). Lucky the pattern pieces happened to be my size! Only the waist seems to be a tad too small, so I might have to let out from the darts a bit… (Unless I sew that corset first to get the proper silhouette. Unlikely!) The darts, pocket placing and the alternative neckline are marked with punched holes.
Choosing a buckle took some thinking. I have happily hoarded heaps of vintage belt buckles (some of them are my grandmother’s old) and they all seemed to match with this dress. I think I’ll go for the delicate curly one on the bottom though; I’ve been wanting to use it for something for such a long time.
Now it’s time to make the final decision about whether to use sew-in interfacing or “cheat” with fusibles, and then I’m all set for sewing!