Hi there, friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas [if you celebrate] and I wish you a prosperous new year! I intended to share my Christmas dress — which is made from the same pattern as this dress — but something yucky got on it at some point and stained it around the neckline. I discovered this on Christmas morning when I was getting ready to press it to wear that day. I had already worn it once to a holiday tea and for our Christmas picture, so at least it had an outing. It is rayon crepe and has soutache braid around the neckline and I did it kind of hurriedly and I wasn’t 100% happy with the trim, so I think I will take it off and resew the trim, covering up whatever marks ending up on the dress. For now, I will share my newest dress and my second iteration of this vintage pattern.
I used a vintage 1939 New York pattern for this dress. It’s in a very rare 52″ bust size that I had to actually re-size to a smaller size. I’m not much of a pattern tracer and didn’t feel like grading it down, so I just laid out the pattern pieces as-is and cut them. This is an unprinted pattern with a 1/2″ seam allowance, so I first basted the pieces together and then took the seams in accordingly until they fit. By the NY size chart, I’m a bust 50″, so I’m only one size down from this pattern size.
I used a lovely ivory rayon/wool gabardine from my stash for this dress. I bought this fabric several years ago from Fabric Mart with the intention to make a suit and I am notoriously bad at following through with the suit and blazer projects in my sewing queue, so I decided that I would make a dress with it. I actually have enough yardage to make another dress with it, and I might, or I might use it for something else or simply keep it in my stash until the perfect project comes about.
This dress is unlined and I didn’t do any fancy seam finishes other than the self fabric neck binding. I used my serger instead, which was a breathe of fresh air after all of the historical sewing I’ve been doing this fall/winter. I used stay tape on the neckline to keep the v-neck shape. The skirt has seven gores and the bodice has darts, gathers and tucks to give it it’s shape. I intended to make this into a long-sleeve dress and had measured out a long sleeve, but I accidentally cut into a 3/4 sleeve, and that’s what it became.
I made a self fabric belt using a vintage bakelite clasp buckle. I used belting for this belt. This belt is one piece of fabric sewn together and then turned. I then slipped the belting inside, closed up the edges and sewed the buckles on. I didn’t use the belt pattern included with the pattern. I make belts a lot of different ways — depending on how I feel, what kind of buckle I’m using, the fabric, and what materials I have on hand (more on how I make belts here). I had used this buckle on another dress and decided to take it off that dress and utilize it for this one. I really like how the red pops on the ivory.
I call this dress my “1939 World’s Fair Dress” as this is a New York pattern from 1939, and in 1939 the World’s Fair was held in New York. I gathered together a vintage 1939 World’s Fair silk scarf and a vintage pin and worked my outfit around that. I will probably add a bracelet to my set and perhaps some other items to complete my 1939 World’s Fair accessories. (You can’t see it and I failed to take a photo of it — but the scarf is held closed around my neck with a vintage black bakelite dress clip)
I am really enjoying designs from the late 1930’s and am planning on sewing more patterns from that time period in the near future. In fact, I will be cutting out another dress from 1939 (Vogue 9294) later today.
I really lack cold weather dresses in my wardrobe, so I’m making an effort to sew at least five this winter. I’ve already made two, so I’m well on my way to complete that goal. The other impetus in sewing these dresses is that I wanted more dresses to coordinate with my fabulous new Royal Vintage Aspen boots. I had a need for vintage inspired winter boots and then these were released and I fell head over heels in love. I was also watching Remember the Night the other day and saw Barbara Stanwyck wearing similar boots with a gorgeous fur coat, and now I need a faux fur coat. 😉
I really love this dress pattern paired with this gabardine. My first version is rayon crepe and I think the skirt gores and design elements are better suited for a fabric with a little more substance. The pattern recommendations are: rayons, begaline, silk and cotton prints, satin – crepe, heavy sheer crepe, faille, chiffons, challis, thin wools, and cottons — so you as you can see the weight and drape of the fabric suggestions are all over the place.
I wore this outfit out almost exactly like this after I took these photos the other day (sans tights as it wasn’t too cold and I felt they looked too white against the ivory dress) and although I generally feel a bit strange about wearing hats when I’m not at a costuming event, I kept the hat on as I felt it looked good and completed my outfit. I didn’t really get an extra looks (I don’t know why I care….), and have since decided that if a hat pairs well with my outfit, I’m going to go ahead and wear it. I actually have quite a few vintage hats in my collection and I rarely ever wear them, so I’m going to. I’m also going to wear any other hair accessories that I think pair well. 2019 is going to be about me being “extra”, which is it what I’m calling adding more accessories to my outfit or going out in silk velvet during the day, which is what I did the other day. 🙂 You only live once.
- Dress: vintage 1939 New York Pattern 1547 in rayon/wool gabardine, made by me
- Boots: Royal Vintage Aspen booties
- Purse: vintage 1940’s crocheted corde shell purse
- Scarf: vintage 1939 World’s Fair silk scarf
- Hat: vintage 1950’s/60’s wool
- Pin: vintage 1939 World’s Fair pin
- Earrings: vintage 1950’s/60’s pearl and gold grape clusters of my grandma’s
- Lipstick: Besame 1939 Tango Red (affiliate link)