September 26, 2013

1954 Vintage Simplicity 4637

1954 vintage Simplicity 4637. Junior Misses' and Misses' One-Piece Dress, Bodice has low cut neckline and short kimono sleeves. Skirt is gathered at waist. View 1 has bias trim on neck and skirt with bows accenting left side.
I was concerned that my pattern was too small so I graded it out. Now I feel that I may have made it too big. A side seam alteration is in the near future removing 2 inches in the bodice and gathering the full skirt in.

My fabric is a deep purple suiting (from the stash) I did not want to line the dress just add the facing as the pattern was drafted. 
I used bias binding to finish the sleeve edges. 
I chose a vintage metal placket zipper to really give it the vintage treatment. I also hand picked it. 

Like most side zippers of the era the skirt has a side seam facing (vivid purple fabric) in the skirt where the zip ends. It is formed from a scrap fabric sewn (right sides together) to the skirt to form a placket for the zip when slashed and turned in to the wrong side concealing the raw edges.

I did serge my edges and seams thus modernizing my construction. I also added a grosgrain ribbon stay to my gathered waistline to prevent stretching which in the end proved fruitless as I have to remove it to alter my waistline.  
My favorite feature to the vintage frock was the bias trim treatment. I hand cut my bias to the perimeter of the neckline and skirt hem, FYI that is a lot of bias. The bias was double folded and stitched to the outside of the garment. 
then the folded edge of the bias was turned down and slip stitched to enclose the raw edge of the bias trim. 
 I formed bows with bias tubing and attached them to the left side of the dress,


  1. Beautiful dress and beautiful job. Love that bias trim.

  2. Oo, that bias trim (and the dress as a whole) looks fantastic! I've been having problems with zippers that pull at the fabric, no matter how carefully I pin and baste. Did the facing help with that? Do you know why exactly they have you put in the facing?

    1. Thank you Lisa. The zipper does not pull. The zipper facing is a common 1950's full skirt construction method. The skirt is made of three rectangles sewn together and then gathered at the waistline. the skirt seam lines do not meet at the side seams of the bodice (there is a skirt seam down the center back and two on the skirt front at the princess line ((where the bow is placed on this dress)). Therefor the zipper is applied in the seam allowance of the bodice side seam and a placket opening must be formed with the facing so the zipper can be used. Like any placket, it is tedious at best. Bygone construction methods like this are among the myriad reasons I adore vintage patterns, you can then translate the practices into modern sewing yielding beautiful construction. In the post, I added a pic from the construction sheet of the pattern for visual reference.

  3. Really like your dress and it suits you perfectly!

  4. I love this so much I can't even compose a coherent sentence.


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Happy sewing!

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