Late 50's / Early 60's Dress Pattern - "Simplicity 4980"

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014


To kick back into sewing after a little absence I decided, as I had a week off, that I’d try something a little more testing than usual and went for this lovely pattern with a hidden collar and a soft pleat. I had some blue cotton in my stash so cracked on with cutting the pattern pieces out that weren’t already cut and pining them out.
It wasn’t until everything was cut out that I suddenly realized that some pieces were missing - namely, the collar interfacing pieces. I was very grateful that this was all as they’re pretty easy to knock up, so I cut out the extra bits and ensured they were the correct size.
It took me three days to finish the dress. I have no idea why I chose something difficult, I have only made a collar on a dress once before and it was wonky and nowhere near and confusing as this one. My dyslexic/dyspraxic brain and vintage pattern instructions do not mix and I spent a night sewing things the wrong way round and mulling over instructions before putting them to one side only to have a full on EUREKA moment at half 11 at night when it finally clicked in my somewhat befuddled brain. And thus the next day the collar was finished!
Then followed the sleeves (easy peasy – although my life would be drastically improved by the purchase of a sleeve roll... a rolled up towel isn’t quite cutting the mustard).
And then came the soft pleated skirt. Again, after only doing two pleats on any dress before, this was trial and error and basting and re-basting (me and my seam ripper are now very firm friends). Thankfully when I attached it to the bodice it was perfect and I wasn’t again pulling my hair out.
There is a side zip closing, which is new on me too but I managed to get it right the second time around. I had to alter it the first time because I had somehow managed to make the bodice wonky and it didn’t meet where it should have done (ah, hello seam ripper, my old chum!)
When I did finish and hem it up I was very proud of what I’d achieved, this has by far been the most technically challenging dress I’ve made and it was perfect for the vow renewal that we attended on Sunday.
I added a vintage brooch and my Great Nana Wilde’s 60s paste bracelet for the perfect accompaniment. I even got to wear my gorgeous blue Kiss Me Deadly stockings for the first time (if you don’t know about KMD you should!) but enough about my undercrackers...
*Originally posted on September 2013

Materials: blue cotton

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  • Late 50's / Early 60's Dress Pattern - "Simplicity 4980"

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