Monday, March 14, 2011

1965 Simplicity Bouffant Dress

I previously mentioned how I was working on this Simplicity pattern for a Bouffant dress circa 1965. I managed to cut out the pattern pieces last week and started sewing the pieces together on Saturday and finished the dress Sunday night. So here is the finished product made from cotton shirting that I purchased from last year. Had to cut my head off in this picture since I wasn't able to get my makeup on in time.

1965 Simplicity 6008 Bouffant Dress

Pattern Review (The Pros): This bodice was made up of three main pieces and three facings. Hooray I love it when you don't have that many pieces to cut. Two of the main pieces were for the bodice and the other long rectangular piece made up the skirt.

The Cons: I chose a 36 bust this time around to see if the bodice would fit me better since I always seem to have trouble with a 38 bust. I often have to take out a lot from the bust line and the shoulder seams always seem to be off, which make me look broad shouldered. Not a good combination. Thankfully the size 36 fit great on my bust line, but I forgot the waist line difference. I have a thick waist and obviously women from the 1960's must've had very svelte figures compared to mine. I ended up having to remove the back darts, change the front bust darts from 1 inch to 0.5 inches and change the seam allowance from 5/8 to 3/8 to get the waist to fit. Phew. A lot of changes for a seemingly simple pattern.

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes. With the exception that I shortened the skirt to knee length. Okay I originally made the skirt above the knee, but the dress started looking very costumey at that length so I added another strip of fabric on the bottom to lengthen the skirt to knee length. Of course my choice of fabric didn't help.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes, read above.

Pattern Level: Intermediate. This pattern required a lot of work for a supposedly Jiffy pattern. I made this pattern an intermediate because if it wasn't for my past tailoring/over tailoring mistakes I probably wouldn't have been able to make the dress wearable. I don't know if it was dumb luck that removing the back darts and re-sewing the front darts resulted in a dress that was somewhat wearable and still retained its intended shape. Sort of. Of course if you have a perfect body size to fit this pattern than it should be an easy pattern to make.

What could I have done better? I probably should have chosen a better fabric pattern. I really have the worst fabric choices for the stuff I make. Maybe I should rename my blog to the "Girl Who Makes The Worst Fabric Choices" or something. When I tried on the dress in its unhemmed state (hem went past my knees) I looked like I was wearing a civil war costume or perhaps something from Little House on the Prairie. Since I wasn't going for that look I shortened the skirt to a mini version. Didn't work either. I looked like I was wearing a sexy baby doll costume. Thankfully the knee length version of this dress was something I wouldn't be too embarassed to be seen in.

Would you sew this pattern again? No, probably not. I didn't like the cap sleeves of the finished dress. The cap sleeves was just an extended shoulder and it didn't really look flattering on me. Also the gathered skirt was way to gathered that it puffed out a lot around my waist. Reason why I was wearing the giant belt. Actually all I need are some gladiator sandals and I can pass myself off as a Spartan! Hahaha. I know that the design of the dress is suppose to be pouffy, but I was hoping to get the dress to look like this one from IROIRO's blog.

Dress from IROIRO's Blog.

Maybe she didn't use such a big rectangle of cloth for the skirt like I did. Or perhaps that design looks better on skinny girls. We shall see. I am undaunted! I will make something similar and hopefully flattering. On a positive note I just received this pattern from Historically Patterns this past weekend so it might be an option. The pattern is for a long sleeve dress with an eight gore flared skirt. Not gathered so perhaps this might be a more flattering option for me.

Simplicity 4673 from the 1960's

I also have this pattern that I've been meaning to cut out and use. I purchased this pattern from Dawns Divine Finds on Etsy and it is a Simplicity Basic Pattern. I could use the short sleeve bodice and attach a gathered or maybe a pleated skirt to it.

Simplicity 7500 Basic Pattern

Lots of options with the above pattern. I could probably make the dress that I have been coveting on IROIRO's blog or like this one from the Grograin Blog.

The Engagement Frock from Grosgrain.

I believe she might still be having a giveaway for this dress. Sadly I am too large for it, but I can dream. Onto my next project: the Smock Dress! Wish me luck. I'm sure I'm going to need it.

Pattern: Simplicity 6008 circa 1965 purchased from Historically Patterns on Etsy.
Fabric: 100% cotton shirting from 
Trim: Stretch lace purchased from Porcelynne on Etsy.
Techniques: Facings, darts, gathering, trim application and bias tape.