So, 1942 -- I remember it well! Well, not really; my connection to it is mainly through Hollywood movies (actually, that's my connection to most things). For much of the world there was a war on, and that's how many of us still define the period: The WWII Years.
Hats were popular, but fashion was relatively subdued: many textiles became scarce for the home sewer, who had to limit herself to what was available. And the mood was more somber than that of the late Thirties, fashion-wise. Plus everything was in black and white.
Hollywood pattern #910 is very typical of women's clothes of the period: a one-piece dress with a simple four-panel skirt, attached bodice, gathered yokes, and padded shoulders. Demure and modest (there's that word again!), with the hemline just below the knee. Nothing fancy; just something you'd read a letter in.
Of all the vintage dress patterns I've worked with up to now, this was the most fragile. I'm not sure it had ever been used, but the tissue paper had aged badly -- it was very discolored and ripped easily. It should probably be traced.
This is one of those patterns that's unprinted but rather has little holes and "V" cuts that signal where seams line up or where a dart goes.
Piece "E" is the front yoke.
The instructions are detailed but brief. It's not a complicated dress.
So I cut this very shifty fabric yesterday and hung on my dress form overnight. Then I started sewing, beginning with the skirt.
I tried hard to get the grain lined up correctly. You can see already that while the two front skirt panels match nicely grain-wise....
...the back skirt panels do not, the piece on the right coming into the seam at an angle.
I have so much of this fabric that I may just cut those back skirt panels again. It's really hard to keep the grain straight with this fabric and obviously the skirt just hangs anyway. Am I being too much of a perfectionist?
I try to learn as much as I can from each project I undertake, and I don't want to learn that grain really does make a huge difference, even on a droopy four-panel skirt. Also, while it's not readily visible, I can see that mismatch plainly.
The front bow, which I'd like to include, can be sewed, untied, to either side of the front yoke. I'm a little reluctant to do this because I'm not sure how this fabric is going to look tied in a bow. It's certainly not going to look crisp like this:
So maybe I'll experiment; I have some black cotton sateen that would make a much sharper-looking bow than this droopy rayon blend. Thoughts?
I have some non-sewing related things to take care of today so I'm not sure how far I'm going to get on this.
Wise readers, how much of a perfectionist are you when you sew? Will you go back and start over if something goes awry or just live with it? Where do you draw the line? Should I just leave the skirt back panels as-is (as-are?)
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!