Several of you sweetly asked about the dress I wore in the giveaway photos, and I thought I’d share a bit more about it! I always enjoy detail photos of vintage clothing, so I hope perhaps you might like this too. The dress is indeed 1950s vintage and I believe I got it years ago when my grandfather was liquidating his antiques business. It’s a beautiful, rich shade of ink blue, and the silhouette is one of my favorites from the era (modified princess-line dress). What makes it extra special, in my opinion, is the shoulder yoke that has a bow at the back! You know I can’t get enough of bows…
The dress is far from perfect–it has a few spots of sheen where someone over-enthusiastically ironed the fabric. It also shows that I think the previous wearer really loved wearing this dress: there is a small repair on one side of the bodice where a little patch has been neatly sewn from the inside. It’s nearly imperceptible from the outside (I had never noticed it until now!), but I like to think that perhaps the original owner was too in love with how pretty the dress was to let it languish in her closet with a hole! Finding little bits of history about older garments is one aspect that continually draws me to vintage. Not to mention creating such a tidy mend like this takes some serious seamstress skills!
Now for some “geeky” details about the dress: It sports an interesting shoulder/sleeve seam–I believe it would fall into the category of a saddle shoulder, with the shaping (but I may be wrong–I don’t have any of my pattern drafting books handy to reference!). The sleeves are also seamed along the top and underarm–typical of this style. The front is not darted, as it appears, but has modified release-darts (meaning the top does not come to a sharp point, but opens up to allow for a shallow tuck). I think my favorite part of the dress is the waist shaping–it’s so flattering! As I mentioned, the silhouette is a modified princess-line. The center front panel runs from the yoke to hem, while all the other panels stop at the high hip and are joined to the skirt piece that is part of the front panel. In the back they all stop at the high hip and are joined to the skirt, which is essentially a half-circle shape. While this may sound bulky and potentially unflattering, it helps reduce some excess flare at the hips and allows for the skirt to be as full as required without distorting the bodice and waist areas.
I hope you enjoyed this little “vintage details” post! I have to admit as I was taking photos for this post, I couldn’t help but daydream a bit about copying this dress to make in a more day wear friendly fabric–maybe after the holidays I’ll have time? Until then, at least perhaps I can wear this for Christmas Day!