Friday, June 6, 2014

The Vintage Raglan Sleeve Dress

McCalls 7969 circa 1965

Pattern Description:  Five section dress, with raglan sleeves, has low pleat and zipper in back.  Short sleeved dress has two piece faced & interfaced collar and optional partial lining.

Pattern Sizing:  10-18, bust measurement 31"-38".  I used size 12 (bust 32").

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  It started out looking like the drawing, but it seemed too staid that way.  I added some interest with a contrasting lace collar.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  They seem less streamlined than they can be.  For instance, the bodice is sewn first (much like a tube); then the sleeves are constructed and then sewn onto the bodice like a set-in sleeve (even though it's a raglan sleeve).  Instead, I sewed the raglan shoulder seams first and then sewed the side seams and sleeve seams flat.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I like the combination of raglan sleeves and princess seams with bust darts.  I love that the muslin fit me pretty well right out of the envelope.  Normally I have to make several changes to fit my forward shoulder/hollow chest.  The muslin actually fits better than the dress, for some reason.

Fabric Used:  Royal blue linen look poly-rayon suiting.  Collar is made of lace and organdy.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The only changes I had to make were to shorten the sleeves and tapered the width by a couple of inches at the hem; I shortened the dress at the hem by five inches, and I lowered the bust dart by an inch.  Easy.

Would you sew it again?  No, but only because I have too many other patterns to sew first.

Would you recommend it to others?  Yes!

Conclusion:  This was my first attempt at sewing a vintage pattern.  It's so nice to have a single size and actual seam lines for tracing.  I was able to add my preferred 1/2" seam allowances instead of the 5/8" standard, and I used 1/4" inch for enclosed seams (such as the collar and neck edges).  The dress came together pretty fast, and I enjoyed the process.

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