Saturday, July 24, 2010

Simplicity 3833 1960's Repro

I've had S3833 done for over a week now. I've worn it to work to road test it, and let me just say- I love this dress.
I used a coral colored linen that I bought on the dollar table at Walmart ages ago when they used to actually get nice stuff from time to time. It was a dream to sew. I'd love to have some of it in a dozen different colors.

The pattern was well drafted and easy to sew. The bust darts are unique and give the dress its shape as well as character. I've had this pattern for some time and I'd put off sewing it because I wasn't sure how to go about doing an FBA on it. I shouldn't have worried- it was easy. I really only needed length, not width, so I just slashed across the pattern from CF to the side seam, right through the tip of the dart. As you can see below, I also slashed through the dart leaving a hinge. I spread the pattern 1/2" and let the dart open. I ended up with an extra 1/16" or so at the CF of the under bust seam, but that tiny bit was easily eased in. The FBA lowered the dart points slightly, so I just extended them about 1/4" or so to compensate.

I pretty much made a straight size 16. After basting the shoulders and side seams, I took it in another 1/4" at the shoulders and from the lower hip to the underarm. I could maybe have made a 14 with a larger FBA, but I'm happy with the fit on this one. I trimmed the armholes about 1/4" from the shoulder tapering to nothing at the notches to mimic a 14 through the shoulders. Although this is a multi-size pattern, the front bodice is printed individually for each size, so I couldn't just jump from size to size. When I make it again I'll trim another 1/8" to 1/4" to narrow the shoulders a tiny bit more.
The dress is very simple and the fabric is too, so I decided to dress it up with a little extra topstitching.

The pattern called for one row on either side of the CF seam at 3/8", and one row under the bust. I did 2 rows on either side of CF spaced at 1/4" and 2 rows under the bust, also at 1/4".

I also topstitched the hem- it was fast, easy, and it echoed the topstitching on the rest of the dress.

I also decided to trim the hem allowance off and use a bias facing on the hem in a coordinating cotton stripe. No one will see it, but I thought it was cute and fun.

Here is the back which is shaped with 2 simple darts. I added 1" of length through the waist to get the darts to end in the right place and to keep the narrowest part of the back shaping in the right place. I used an invisible zipper and finished off the neckline with the facing provided in the pattern. I chose to use self bias binding on the armholes instead of facings. And as you can see in the photo above, everything is serged to keep things neat on the inside.

I just love the shape, the simplicity and the comfort of this dress. I definitely want to make more. I wish I had the original pattern so I could compare the two. It's my understanding that these repro patterns are "updated" with more modern shaping/fitting. This one includes small darts at the back neck which really help with the fit in the back. I understand that darts like that are quite common on vintage patterns.

I got several really nice compliments when I wore this to work. I'm not 100% satisfied with my styling- I'd love to find some jewelry and shoes that are more "mod" looking, but this will do for now. Oh, and my little friend in the photos is Lily, the Princess's kitten.
I'm so happy to have this finished and I'm going to have a ball wearing it. I'm thinking about making another one in a print. Now that I have the fitting worked out, it should go quickly and easily.

In other sewing news, I have my skirt basted together for my Sew-as-You-Go, and my blouse pattern is traced and ready to cut. I don't know if I'll have them done by the end of the month, but I'm sure going to try. The August issue of Burda Style will be arriving any day now and I'm sure I'll get distracted!

Happy sewing!


Goosegirl said...

Beautiful and it looks wonderful on you. That fabric is really nice! I may have to give this dress another try, but sleeveless this time, like yours.

michal said...

It looks really great! the fit is so good!

MushyWear said...

A beautiful fit and fabulous color. Such a nice look on you! The topstitching really adds an expert finish to the dress.

gwensews said...

That's a gorgeous dress! I love the 60s patterns, being of that era. Your top-stitching detail is a very nice touch.

angie.a said...

I love this so much!!! The topstitching is awesome! Where'd you ever find serger thread to match?? I'm so bad about changing serger threads.

Myra said...

Awesome! You should try the vintage instead of repro for the mod dresses, I just finished one and the fit was amazing.

What-I-Found said...

I especially like the's well done and adds a touch of class.
A the color is lovely!