Good morning, friends! I’m super excited to share this dress with you! It’s a continuation of my foray into 1940’s styles, this time another Decades of Style 1940’s Dorothy Lara Dress.
This is the second time I’ve made this dress. The first one was in silk and this version is in silk cotton. It’s made in much the same way as my first dress, with the exception that I didn’t line it.
I graded this up one size to about a size 48″ bust. The only other alteration to this pattern being about an inch added to the length of the skirt.
This dress has gathers that are sewn down to resemble faux smocking in a peasant dress style. It’s a tedious process, but results in a beautiful effect. I finished the seams with Hug Snug rayon seam binding which I also used like hem tape.
I love the raglan sleeves on this dress and the gathers on the bust. Combined, they make this dress super comfortable and more modest, which is my preference.
The star of this show is the fabric. This is fabric I designed using my stipend at My Fabric Designs. I’ve never designed fabric before, nor have I considered it, but I thought it was a good opportunity to try it out. For my first fabric, I chose to make a dizzy hearts design. It’s inspired by a red/white hearts silk cotton fabric that I saw once at Britex in San Francisco, which was unfortunately sold out the next time I stopped in.
I chose the silk cotton fabric from MFD. This silk cotton fabric is a bit different from others that I’ve sewn with, which are more of a voile or batiste weight. This fabric is a bit more like a satin, with a sheen on the right side and matte on the wrong side. I had meant for this fabric to be more of a red color, but it turned out to be kind of tangerine or watermelon. Due to the sheen, the fabric appears as if it changes colors as well. It was super easy to design this fabric after watching the tutorials. I’ve ordered a color sheet, so next time my fabric will come out the color I expect to be.
I was super impressed by the quality of this fabric. I took a swatch of the fabric prior to pre-washing it to compare it to the fabric after I washed it. I washed this on cold water in the delicate cycle and then dried on low in the dryer. The swatch on the right is unwashed fabric with the washed fabric on the left. It looks and feels pretty much the same. The fabric is a little sheer and [for me] requires a slip to add opacity.
Regardless of what color the fabric is, I really love how it pairs with this pattern. It drapes beautifully, which is perfect for the gathers on the dress. With the faux smocking and rayon seam binding, this dress used A LOT of thread. It took almost an entire spool of thread to make this.
I used a vintage fan of my grandparents’ for a photo prop. They acquired the fan when they lived in Spain in the 1960’s, so it dates back to the mid-century. I’ve been wanting to take some photos with it, so I figured that it was a good time to take it out. I’m planning another Dorothy Lara dress in yellow polka dot silk crepe de chine, so the fan may make another appearance. I do have a collection of vintage 1940’s hats, but they’re a bit dressy for this type of pattern. If I make a suit or a fancy dress, you can bet one of my hats will be accessorizing my outfit.
I’ve already worn this dress and it’s comfortable to wear. I’m happy to have a more casual version of this pattern as my other one is a bit dressier, so I’ve only worn it once. What a shame, huh? I need to remember to take her for a spin out more often as well!
Note: I received this fabric at no charge from My Fabric Designs. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
- Dress: Decades of Style 1940’s Dorothy Lara Dress in custom designed silk cotton, made by me
- Shoes: J. Crew
- Earrings: BaubleBar
- Fan: Vintage