Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vintage Simplicity 7500 Bonus Basic Pattern from 1967

Back in February I purchased Simplicity 7500 pattern circa 1967, which is a bonus basic pattern composed of a bodice, optional long/short sleeves and a-line/straight skirt. I was hoping to use this pattern as a sloper for myself after a few adjustments here and there. Of course in my world nothing really goes the way I want it. Of course it’s not the patterns fault. I’ve mentioned this time and time again how my choice in fabric always comes back to bite me in the arse! Fabric Mart was having a 75% Sale on their stretch rayon a few months back so I purchased several yards. The prints were lovely and for $2.50/yard I was sold! Of course when Mom took a look at them she shook her head and stated that although the fabric and print looked nice that I would still have a hard time sewing it. Of course Mom never explained why, but shook her head at me as her way of saying “you’ll see!” First, I am not a mind reader and second I love a challenge. Especially if that challenge is to prove my mom wrong and to wow her with my sewing skills. I think you may already guess where this is going. Read below to find out more.
Front View
Pattern Review (The Pros): The pattern wasn’t complicated and consisted of a bodice that zipped down the center back, skirt and optional sleeves. I liked how the pattern was designed with lots of options where you can mix and match the pieces.

Back View
The Cons: Be warned that you will be sewing darts in your sleep after your done sewing this dress because this pattern requires twelve of them. The bodice itself contains eight darts. This was a pain for me since IMHO marking darts is the second most tedious sewing task second to sewing them. Especially if you are marking darts on fabric that doesn’t take well to chalk or disappearing ink. I guess having twelve darts can be a pro too since you have many places where you can adjust the patter to fit you.

Another gripe about the pattern is that the pattern has almost no ease to it. I’ve sewed several vintage patterns from the 60s and 70s and found that size 16 patterns and some size 14 patterns had a lot of ease added to them. Since the pattern was identified as a basic pattern I assumed that it had the same design ease added to it. I’ve read before that slopers are designed to be skin tight and that you are suppose to add wearing ease and seam allowance to them to make it wearable. I wasn’t expecting to do that with a basic pattern, but perhaps I should. Another assumption gone wrong. So if you are using this pattern than I suggest making a muslin (i.e. mock up) and start by adding a ½ inch to the side seams.
Side View
Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes, with exception that my front bodice darts don’t line up exactly with my front skirt darts. I must have sewn my front darts a little bit too big, but you can’t tell with print. At least the back bodice and skirt darts match up.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes, because the pattern was tight on me I had to sew my side seams at ½ inch instead of the recommended 5/8. I shortened the skirt and ended up making it a mini skirt instead of the intended knee length skirt. After wearing it the other day I feel that the dress is a bit tight around the midsection and tad short.

Pattern Level: Beginner to intermediate. I’ve previously warned that there are lots of darts to sew so you really need to be precise. Especially when you are trying to line up your bodice and skirt darts, which might be tough for a beginner.

What could I have done better? Not use the stretch rayon fabric. Okay it’s really not the fabrics fault. I wasn’t prepared with all the fraying and shedding the rayon fabric did while I was trying to sew it. I spent two days trying to sew the fabric pieces together because it frayed, moved around and then frayed some more. I mean I pinned the fabric together-it frayed, I ironed the fabric-it frayed, I sewed the fabric together-it frayed, I looked at the fabric and it frayed. I was so frustrated that I wanted to cry. I let the dress sit there for three weeks because I dreaded sewing the hem because of all the fraying. I didn’t want to mess it up so in the end I begged my mom to hem it. Boo hoo! The experienced novice ran to her mommy crying and begged her to finish the dress! Later on I found out that you can apply this liquid called “Fray Block” to the fabric to stop it from fraying. Too little too late there!

Would you sew this pattern again? I will definitely try again with lots of adjustments because the basic pattern looks very versatile and I would love to make other pieces of clothing using the pattern. Also since I am a glutton for punishment I might use another stretch rayon fabric, but with fabric block applied to prevent fraying.

Pattern: Simplicity 7500 circa 1967 purchased from Dawns Divine Finds on Etsy.

Fabric: Stretch rayon from Fabric Mart.

Techniques: Darts and invisible zipper.