Now that it’s turning into summer, my unfinished-basement sewing area (which is a chilly torture chamber in winter) is starting to feel gooood. So I decided to make myself a few more dresses while I’ve got the creative juices flowing.

First up, a 1944 housedress pattern (I’ve been yearning for a housedress for the longest time).

I fell in love with the diamond shaped pockets, like, instantly. I made this up in one of the prints from the new DS Quilts (DS = Denyse Shmidt, dunno why JoAnn’s is being all coy about it) line from JoAnn’s.

Nine buttonholes and a LOT of rick-rack later, here I am, all ready to start a scrap metal drive for Victory:

As you can see, the tops of those cunning diamond-shaped pockets flop over all the time. I knew they would. Before I wear it again, I’m going to put a vertical buttonhole near the top of each diamond and then the pockets will button closed. They sure are handy – I keep my cell phone in one pocket and my MP3 player in the other, which I am sure is what Simplicity’s designers had in mind back in 1944.

My second project was a dress for my sister’s upcoming wedding. My sister sews vintage dresses at a rate that puts me to shame (and I’ve pestered her many a time to join this site), so the least I could do was make one for her wedding. I actually started with this pattern (undated, but probably early 60s?) and then altered the heck out of it.

I used the short sleeve version (she’s getting married in the desert, in the summer – thanks for nothing, sis!) and moved the zipper from center back to side so I wouldn’t have to worry about matching a GIANT print. I scooped out the neckline, too, only I scooped it out too much and it showed my bra straps six ways to Sunday. So I made little inserts out of the few precious bits of fabric I had left and then sewed bows over them, because duh, bows are fun. I replaced the original skirt, which was pleated in the front and fitted in the back, with a nice full dirndl that used up most of the 4 yards I was able to scare up. Did I mention that I like to fall in love with prints long after they have gone out of production, and I had to hunt every dark corner of the internet to find enough yardage for a dress?

Here it is with the hat, the shoes, and the crinoline petticoat so you get the full effect. I think in the end it looks more Fifties than Sixties. I wish you could all know how unbelievably haughty I feel in this get-up.

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