Sunday, 2 October 2016

#VintagePledge - Simplicity 1777 finished

There's good news and bad news. The good news is that Simplicity 1777 is finished, I'm really pleased with it, and it's received lots of compliments (including, "That's a very pretty dress", from a male colleague, which is a first).

The bad news is that when I started to make a dress with ¾-length sleeves, with the intention of it being suitable for autumn wear, I hadn't really considered how thin the fabric is. I was less-than-toasty in it, even in a well-heated office, so it may not get much more wear this year.

Oh well, it will keep. After all, a 1943 dress is hardly going to go 'out of style'!

Getting suitable buttons was surprisingly tricky. I found some red ones which were a perfect match, but they were so perfect that they almost blended into the fabric. Then on the button stall in the local market, which has come up trumps for me before, I found some buttons in the exact shade of blue. Unfortunately they were a bit small, and square, which didn't seem entirely right for the period.

Possible button choices

The solution? Combine the two! Most buttons from the 1930s and 1940s seem to have been a single colour, but some multi-colour ones did exist.

Celluloid buttons from the 1930s

Because the blue buttons have four holes and the red only two, I made a couple of fake stitches on the blue first, before sewing through both buttons. The end result looks like four-hole buttons, sewn on.

The completed two-tone buttons

The sleeves and skirt were finished by my usual and totally non-period method of overlocking the raw edge, turning under a single layer, and hand sewing the hem.

And here's the finished dress. (Try to ignore the henna tattoo! This was to do with an event I attended with the Ya Raqs girls, at which I finally got to wear my Ottoman costume - hopefully I'll have some pictures to post soon.)

So that gets me up to three of my four pledged vintage makes for the year. I'm starting my studies next week, which will limit my sewing time, but I do have one final project in the pipeline . . .


  1. Oh that turned out beautifully and I love how you've done the buttons! Have you tried wearing a slip underneath, as that may help with keeping warmer? Layering of thinner layers was often done back then to keep warm. You could even get some thermals with long sleeves! My mum does that in the winter!! xx

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Cate, I'll give it a try. It's too nice a dress to leave in the wardrobe until spring.