I found this quirky fabric at Joann when I was shopping for notions. Of course, I had to walk down the fabric aisles *just to look* and ended up falling in love with these pink birds!
When I brought this fabric up to the gal at the cutting counter, she asked what I was making. I could tell she was expecting me to say something like curtains, or maybe a pillow. I told her I was making a dress from a vintage pattern and she looked confused.
So I guess I should just get this out of the way up front: I like cotton. I like florals. I like birds. And, I like Scarlett O’Hara and the Von Trapp children in dresses and playsuits made from curtains.
I don’t think there is anything like a cotton dress for comfort and I love that I don’t feel like I am going to catch on fire while cooking on a gas stove. (Synthetics can be a little worrisome that way, especially when one likes statement sleeves as much as I do!)
So, back to the dress. The pattern is a vintage pattern – Simplicity 9754. It is from 1971.
(If you haven’t noticed already, most of my fave patterns are from 1968 to 1972. They are my favorite years for fashion, hands down.)
I got so excited to cut this pattern and I was trying to fit it into a few minutes while the baby was occupied with toys – so – bam – I started to cut.
When I finished and was admiring the fabric I realized – darn – I forgot to prewash my fabric! That is the first time I’ve ever done that and I freaked out a little bit. The confused lady at the counter had measured out the very last of this fabric for me and I reeeeeaaaallly wanted a bird dress.
So, I made it anyway.
It turns out it’s totally fine to wash cold and hang to dry. No shrinking whatsoever. Phew!
I chose the length of View 1 with the ruffled bib of View 3. This was my first bib ruffle and it took me a little while to wrangle it into place.
Since finishing this dress, I have been living in it. It’s perfectly comfy for running errands and going on adventures.
Pattern – Vintage Simplicity 9754
Pattern Size – Size 12 / Bust 34
My Measurements – Upper Bust 34″ / Full Bust 36″ / Waist 29″
Pattern Alterations – I didn’t change any of the width measurements for this pattern. Even though the envelope stated the pattern was for a smaller waist and hip, it worked just fine for me due to the tent dress shape.
The sleeves were originally supposed to be longer, but I wanted them shorter. I cut off some length and drafted a sleeve band to finish them.
Notes – I usually don’t check the length measurements for vintage mini dress patterns because, even though I am kinda tall at 5′ 8″, I usually find I have to hem some length to make them shorter. Unlike most vintage minis, this dress was exactly the length I wanted it to be. (Thank goodness it didn’t shrink!)
I will definitely be making this again and next time I hope to experiment with taking a little width off and maybe making the sash to tie around the waist as is shown in View 3. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for more of this pattern to come!
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