Sunday, 3 November 2013

Simplicity 1609 - Vintage 60's Jiffy Dress

I first spotted this pattern when I was perusing the Simplicity website early in the year and admired the vintage/retro appeal, the different neck options, and of course the fact it only has 2 main pattern pieces. Alas, however in Australia we don't receive the patterns until 6 months after they are released in the US (to match in with the seasons).
So I was delighted to finally buy it when I saw it in my local Spotlight.
This is a reprint of an actual 1960's "Jiffy" pattern. Jiffy because it's ideally supposed to come together in a jiffy! With only 2 main pieces (cut out on the fold so you end up with 4) and a one-piece facing (THIS WAS EPIC!). Then you can choose your neck detail, scalloped Peter Pan collar, bow or plain. The collar was what had originally caught my eye so I decided to go for that - plus I hadn't done a collar before so was keen for the challenge.
Supplies ^

I chose to make this out of Cotton Sateen - I love the feel, the sheen, the slight stretch and what a dream it is to sew with. (I DON'T however like how easily it wrinkles!!!!!!)
I chose a colour labeled seafoam green - I was originally going to do Fuschia and white but have been starting a lot of pinky projects lately so thought I'd try something different. I liked the green on the pattern envelope - yet I wouldn't be able to pull it off. The seafoam with it's more teal colour seemed like a happy compromise. I purchased white cotton sateen for the collar and was lucky enough to find a zip that damn near matched my dress fabric (although named peacock green) I then selected some buttons to match - they are little flowers with a rhinestone centre. I chose them because I liked that they complimented the scalloped style collar and the rhinestones added a bit of bling.
I have a tendency to get caught up in the sewing process and forget to take photos of some stages - So I'll try to paint a word picture for those times when a photo is omitted.
This was during the cutting out process of the pattern. I always use my floor for a more thorough overview. I cut a size 16 as I had read reviews saying that it's a traditional 60's fit that runs small and I wanted to be on the safe side. I had to take it in a bit at the end - so a 14 would have been fine. This shift-dress cut also works well on an ample bust - I was worried about this - but was pleasantly surprised.
This is the application of the fusible interfacing to the one-piece facing. I used to cut out interfacing using the pattern pieces but didn't like the result to now I apply directly to the facing then trim.
Ta Da!

This is the collar pieces cut out laying on some scrap seafoam sateen. To see if I was happy with the colour combo.
 This is me stitching the un-notched edge of the collar.
The instructions said to clip along the curves - so I followed the directions and clipped where instructed on the diagram - however when turned right side out the collar was not curved but all hexagonal looking with a sharp line meeting at each notched point. I didn't like it at all. I clipped some more - this helped but only made more, smaller hexagonal lines. So I had an Edward Scissorhands rage-blackout and just fringed the whole damn thing. BUT HEY! It worked! Lovely smooth curves!!! :)

This was the folded and ready to sew French darts. I sewed all my darts and then joined the front pieces.

Stitched on the collar.
Pinned at stitched the facing. Then the really cool part - you poke the back pieces through the shoulder part and voila! It's all done! Faced, finished and looking pretty. I pressed. At this point all that was left was to stitch up the side seams and insert the zipper. I used an invisible zip because I prefer the look of them. I then tried the dress on and decided I didn't like the length. It was below the knees (and I'm not a short woman mind you!) and just looked very frumpy! So I cut 5 inches off the bottom - and then hemmed. I'm much happier with it this way. I then applied my little buttons to the front and then stood back and admired! (as I do whenever I finish a piece!)
Some finished shots below:

Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment.