I present to you The Monthly Stitch’s Frocktober challenge. The challenge was left a little open ended without a true definition of “frock” but when I hear “frock” I think fancy party dress.
This pattern, Advance 7973 from the 1950’s has been on top of my sewing queue since I picked up this fabric the first week of August but it kept getting shoved aside for other things.
The pattern is size 14, bust 32. I always have to take out about 1-1/4″ between the shoulder and bust apex but with princess seams it’s nearly impossible to do this on the flat pattern and still have everything line up. I traced the pattern as-is. I made a muslin from the hips up taking 1/4″ seams instead of 5/8″ based on the assumption that the 32″ pattern was too small for my 37″ bust. To my surprise, the bodice length was perfect -I suppose because it’s a much smaller pattern size than I usually require. The width was way too big with the 1/4″ seams so I went back and took standard 5/8″ seams throughout. It came out to a near perfect fit straight out of the envelope.
Near perfect because it’s a tiny bit tight across my back, as you can see here, and the armscye feels a little snug but it looks decent and is quite wearable so long as I don’t plan any heavy lifting in my party frock.
The fabric is actually from a thrifted twin sheet set. The label says it’s 100% poly but the hand is more like cotton. It’s my favorite color and the polka dots scream ’50’s to me. I thought it was a perfect match for this pattern. This dress only took the top flat sheet so I have tons left over in the fitted sheet and pillowcase for another project or two.
The skirt is very full and twirly. Enjoy the photo of me trying to show you without slipping on the wet slate. I actually shortened it by about 12″ but not proportionally so. I just chopped off the traced pattern at the desired length instead of scoring and folding in many sections to retain the original hem width. I figured for all intents and purposes in my life this was full enough. The hem as I made it measures 3-1/2 yards while the original pattern hem width is a whopping 4-5/8 yards! I usually hand stitch my hems with vintage hem facing or stretch lace but I didn’t have enough of an appropriate color and I really wanted to get this dress done NOW so I just serged the raw edge, turned it under, and top stitched around it. Not the most couture finish but it works.
The reason I wanted to get it done NOW is because I had to layer it up with my favorite cardigan to wear it on what will probably be our last warmish day until April. Once those warm temps return to the Northern Hemisphere though, I will break out this dress for the slightest celebration. Happy Friday party anyone?
P.S. – Don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Entries close at 7 AM EST Friday!
P.P.S. – Join the Frocktoberfest at The Monthly Stitch for some fab frocks from around the globe.