When Tanya announced her Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge (#dresslikeyourgrandma) I immediately emailed my mom and my aunt for some photos. I was ok with any era, but what I got was mainly 1940s photos, which worked for me since I like 40’s clothing. But there were a couple of challenges. First, main of the photos were washed out or lacked details. Second, I don’t want to sew something that I’m only going to wear for photos for this blog post!
In the end I went with separates rather than a dress. For the shirt I used the Wearing History Smooth Sailing Blouse, which I modified to raise the front yoke. I overlaid the front and back yokes with a single piece of navy point d’esprit lace. I wasn’t sure if point d’esprit was around in the 40’s but found out it was after I researched it! I wish the Smooth Sailing Blouse pattern was available in the larger size range. I did an FBA to make it fit my bust but neck was tiny so I also had to enlarge that and the collar. I went way overboard and had to fix it. It ended up being okay, but I’m not sure I’ll wear the blouse again.
The skirt is a self drafted 3/4 circle skirt that I made from Telio Rayon Twill. This fabric is yummy but stretches on the bias like crazy! I put in a lapped zipper in the center back. The belt is made from some leftover navy ponte that I topstitched. I can definitely see myself wearing this skirt again.
You can see everyone’s makes on the Dress Like Your Grandma Pinterest board.
I’ve had Burda 7494 in my stash for years. I’ve always loved this pattern with the slight cap sleeve and the peter pan collar. The problem was that it only went up to a Size 20 and I was sewing a larger size at the time. Then I took the Palmer/Pletsch Fitting class at Fabric Depot and I learned that I was a Size 18 (with an FBA). Rejoice!
When my friend Alexis asked me to be the godmother to her daughter, I volunteered to sew a baptism gown (post on that soon!). So of course I also needed to make myself a new dress! I was so excited to finally use this pattern.
This pattern is offered in sizes 8-20. I used size 18.
The primary adjustment I did was a 2.5″ FBA to the princess seams in the front. I also did a 3/4″ broad back adjustment. I also added width to the skirt to match the width of the adjusted bodice. I also followed Julia Bobbines’ advice and swapped out the pleated skirt back pieces for the darted skirt lining.
I had purchased some luscious bemberg lining but since the dress fabric was stretch and the lining was not, I chose to omit it. I also chose not to use the peter pan collar. When I tried the dress on with the collar, it just looked a little too sweet for me.
FABRIC & FINISHES
I had a difficult time finding the right fabric for this dress, since I was looking for a stretch floral print. I ended up picking up this floral stretch twill from Fabric Depot. Up close the dark blue almost looks like denim. I liked using a heavier fabric because it allowed me to omit the skirt lining. I also like that it helps smooth out some lumps and bumps that you get when wearing such a fitted style.
I used bias tape to bind the neck and armholes. All seams were finished with the serger.
I think this dress is pretty versatile thanks to the fabric. With heels and jewelry it looks pretty fancy. Not quite cocktail dress but I’d definitely wear it to a daytime wedding. However with a cardigan and flats it’s also suitable for work or more casual wear. For the baptism I mixed it up a bit and wore a cardigan and heels. 🙂
WHAT I LOVE:
- The bodice is very flattering
- The slight cap sleeves
- The tapered skirt
WHAT I DON’T LOVE:
- The pleating in the front is not the most flattering. It accentuates my tummy.
- The pleating also sticks out a little which makes it look like there should be pockets there. This would actually be okay with me if there were pockets, because I love pockets!
WOULD I MAKE IT AGAIN?
Yes. I think this dress is super cute and I kind of want one just like the pattern photo! It’s a black dress with small white polka dots and I adore polka dots!!