Thursday, April 16, 2015

Modern Style: Simplicity 3673

Modern Style is the title I gave to my Pinterest board intended to help me build up my wardrobe, which is kind of funny as most of the patterns are either vintage reprints or designed in a retro look. But the board is for everyday 21st century life, so.

I started the board and the plan to revamp my dress in a retro style at a time when I thought I was going to have the perfect job for my skills and interests, and when that fell through I dropped the revamping. My part-time job didn't pay enough, and anyway you don't care too much about looking nice when you're icing cakes and bagging bread as quickly as possible - skirts, tights, and decent shoes are not what you want to wear in that situation. I did most of Simplicity 3673 while waiting to hear back on the job: I found out that I didn't get it before hemming it or putting in the zipper, so ... that's how it stayed for over a month. It wasn't until I got settled in and set up my sewing area and then worked for a couple of weeks so that I was a bit tired of the pieces I've been wearing for years that I went back to it.

Now that's a Photoshopped waist
I picked up the pattern in Joanns during one of those sales and went, "Ha, they're really trying to get the Mad Men fans with this one" - and then took it, because a high waistline is flattering for me. The dress is also plain enough that I was able to see myself both sewing and wearing it, even though this was before my realization that I wanted a vintage-inspired work wardrobe.

Here's my version, bathroom-style:

A friend on Facebook remarked that I looked like Belle, which I think is awesome
The fabric is a vintage wool suiting I picked up in the local sewing shop, lined in the bodice with light blue cotton lawn. The selvage is woven with "100% WOOL MADE IN ENGLAND" in yellow, which you only see inside the kick pleat.

The only changes I made were to change the gathering under the bust to pleats, since the wool is pretty heavy. For fit, I left the darts alone and took it in at the side seams of the skirt just a bit. I always cut out a 14 despite being between 16 and 18 by pattern company standards, which generally takes care of the ease issues.

The original pattern, ca. 1960, from PatternGate
Back when I was planning to overhaul my look, I decided that I needed proper underclothing to get a really authentic appearance. And while I often fail, I always want to get the most authentic appearance. So I bought a Rago girdle (I haaaaate the word girdle) from Secrets in Lace and two pairs of stockings, the Jana in grey and the Dana in black. It's all been sitting in the dresser because it's been too cold for sheer stockings and I found out the hard way that you don't want to wear tights over boned shapewear, but when I was fitting this dress, I made it to go over the Rago, and it doesn't look well at all without it. Not to sound too impressed with myself, but it does look pretty good with it, yeah?

(It lowers my waist to a borderline normal level, which I find really wonderful.)

I wore it with the Dana stockings, which are unshaped and pretty stretchy. Not as authentic as the shaped ones, but those are really baggy around my ankles. Even I must make allowances for looks over authenticity sometimes.

12 comments:

  1. It looks great on you! The solid fabric you picked looks nicer and more timeless than the vintage-style checks, IMHO.

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    1. Thank you! There is actually a very light check with tiny little pinstripes - it doesn't show in the picture because of the lighting, I think. Nice and subtle!

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  2. Great color, so cute over the white blouse. I love that you did a self belt!!
    Nancy N

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    1. It's supposed to have a little buckle on it - but I never got around to finding one!

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  3. I like the color! I have that pattern and have already made this for my daughter.
    Laurie

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    1. Thanks! I'd love to see your version.

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  4. Is that a Simplicity Retro pattern I *don't* have?! What what what. I must acquire it!! And it looks really cute on you.

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    1. I can't believe they discontinued it - it's such a nice pattern. You should look for it!

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  5. That's a really nice dress!
    Vintage style and modern life can clash sometimes... I have plenty of 1950's style clothes which I love and are generally comfortable... except when I just want to relax, sitting on the couch after dinner. No slumping in wasp waist looks! I guess that is even worse with shape wear added to the mix. I've decided that is what all those robes and house dresses are for ;)

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    1. Oh yes. I change into sweats or jeans literally the minute I get home. As good as it looks and as much as it's not actively restricting ... it's not loungey at all.

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