I posted the fun stuff about my Sherbet Seersucker dress yesterday, here are all the construction details for Anne Adams 2653, and a few thoughts on the pattern, for anyone interested in 1930s sewing patterns and techniques.
Anne Adams 2653
It’s adorable, comfortable, practical, and goes together in a matter of hours – even with a lot of hand finishing.
Anne Adams 2653 in yellow seersucker
I used a size 34 bust (I have a natural 37″ bust, but find that size 34″ patterns from the 1930s generally fit me perfectly), and it fit perfectly, though I did have to use all the ease given at the side seams.
This is an ideal pattern for working with stripes. The pleating, pockets, pin-tucks, cap sleeves, and yoke all lend themselves to interesting stripe placements.
Horizontally striped pockets
I cut the main body of the dress with vertical stripes, set my pockets and cap sleeves with horizontal stripes, and did the same thing on the sleeves. I matched the stripe pattern where the bodice front met the yoke, and finished the insides of the sleeves with strips of fabric cut on the longways stripe, giving an interesting glimpse of the interior as I moved my arms.
Sleeve stripes and sleeve finishings
The bodice is really short. I mean, really, really, really short! I’m very high waisted, with a quite short torso, and the waistline in the bodice fell half an inch up on my ribcage. I ended up having to re-cut the main bodice pieces (and re-sew the pintucks – my favourite), adding 1.5″ to the bodice length, to get it to fall at my waist. Note to self and other sewers: add extra length to the bodice in this style of dress, because you can always cut it out later.
Stripe-matched pintucks in the bodice front
Changes I made:
Other than lengthening the bodice, the only other major change I made was to simplify the back fastening, switching it from two bound buttonholes which would close with a double connected button (time consuming, fiddly, and fiddly to wear) to a simple button and worked-loop closure.
Back fastening with button and worked loop
Changes I would make next time:
None but the lengthened bodice, the pattern is pretty much perfect as it is, and I’ve got plans for it in a number of other pieces of stash fabric.
And the inside?:
Zig zag to finish the main seams (yes, that is period accurate, though hand-whipstitch and pinking were more common), hand hemming, bias finished neckline.
The dress fastens at the proper left side with a continuous lap placket, a hook and hand-worked loop at the waist, and domes (snaps) for the rest of the placket. And yes, it stays closed, and stays flat and smooth.
Side opening placket
Hook, loop and domes to fasten the side placket
Update: I’ve located the new belt! Isn’t it pretty?
The belt, with vintage shell buckle and velvet ribbon
I wasn’t able to find an aqua buckle, but this vintage shell one tones in well, and picks up the lagoon blue of the buttons well, and the velvet ribbon (which I’ll also put on my hat) pulls the whole outfit together nicely.
Anne Adams 2653 now with belt
Just the Facts Ma’am:
The Challenge: Stripes
Fabric: 2 metres of 100% cotton seersucker, 145cm wide – $12pm
Pattern: Anne Adams 2653
Year: circa 1934
Notions: 6 aqua buttons, 1 yellow button, 1 hook, domes (snaps), thread, vintage shell belt buckle, lagoon blue velvet ribbon.
How historically accurate is it?: Perfectly. Period identical fabric, period sewing and construction techniques. The buttons are a modern plastic, but other than that it is 100% accurate.
Hours to complete: 6 – despite having to re-cut the bodice
First worn: Art Deco Weekend 2013 (but I still needed to make the proper belt)
Total cost: under $30 including notions
Well, I love bold stripes, but everything I’m making for the HSF ‘Stripes’ challenge has turned out to be quite subdued stripes; in this case, seersucker.
This dress started out with this pattern, Anne Adams 2653:
Anne Adams 2653
How cute is that!
A lovely and kind friend owns the pattern, and let me take a copy in trade for a copy of one of my patterns.
The pattern was perfect, but finding the right fabric for it turned in to an epic production. First I found what I thought was the perfect fabric: a geometric broderie anglaise that was both sweet and Art Deco-y. I bought four metres, rushed home, compared it to the pattern, and realised the broderie anglaise openwork would clash horribly with the pleats and neck yoke. Grrrrr! Next, I found the perfect blue and white striped cotton poplin in my stash but unfortunately I had less than half what the pattern said I would need in fabric – even if I did a contrast yoke, sleeves and pockets. Grrrrr! Then I realised I had a really cute blue and white polka dotted fabric, but I hate wearing polka dots to vintage events, because it seems so cliché. Grrrrr! Finally, I went fabric shopping, drove the friends I was shopping with crazy comparing robins egg blue linen and white linen and blue and white stripes before finding this yellow and white seersucker.
Then there was the drama of finding buttons to match. I’d originally pictured them in red, but on the seersucker they looked to primary and kindergarten-ish. Dark blue was too abrupt, yellow too matchy-matchy, white too subtle and boring. Then an epiphany: I had the amazing lagoon blue suede 30s/40s inspired platform sandals I’d let myself buy as an indulgence earlier in the summer. What about lagoon blue/aqua buttons?
A hunt through the Wellington haberdasheries revealed that aqua buttons are REALLY hard to find, but I persevered and unearthed these darling deco inspired beauties:
I’d originally been looking for darker, more subdued buttons, but the shop staff convinced me I should go all the way, and I like the way the motif on the buttons evokes stripes.
Unfortunately an aqua belt buckle was too big an ask, and I had to get creative with the belt.
I wore the not-quite-finished frock (I still needed to perfect the belt) to Art Deco weekend, and loved it, and got tons of compliments on it, and was extremely comfortable in it.
With the friend who gave me a copy of the pattern:
With a swing dancing friend who I insisted pose with me because his braces (suspenders) matched my shoes and buttons. I so overwhelmed him with excitement about his braces that he sold them to me just to get rid of me. I guess Mr D needs to do a photoshoot with me now
And then I found something awesomer than braces to match my outfit: a whole tent in lagoon blue and white! With striped deck chairs!
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a vintage car that was the perfect match:
Love this dress!
After Art Deco weekend the dress came home and sat in my closet while I turned the house upside down looking for the extra fabric in which to make the perfect belt. Luckily I located it just in time for this challenge, so tomorrow I’ll show you the finished, finished Sherbet Stripes frock and all the construction details.
Wow. I really never do know what you guys with think of a frock! I post the most saccharinely sweet 1850s dress, and you like it, because you like the period, and then I post a fringe covered 1850s dress that almost makes me like fringe (and that’s saying a lot), and your reaction….well! Elise called it “…what my spiritual ancestress would have worn in the 19th century to campaign for gay civil rights”, but the overall concensus was piñata. Poor piñata frock took a hit at (OK, I haven’t managed to add up the scores yet, but I know it’s under 7 out of 10).
Update: Oh wow. 7 out of 10 was way ambitious. The final tally: 4.5 out of 10. The piñata is busted.
This week I’m sticking with the rainbow stripes for our striped theme. This is Elizabeth Hawes’ 1937 “Alimony” dress, in all its circle skirted fuschia and teal and lime and lemon and ochre and mallard and pumpkin and gold and white striped glory.
To tone it down, and for chilly evenings, the dress gets worn with a muted burnouse inspired cape (yay! Burnouses! ) with a cleverly coordinated tassel.
“Alimony” dress worn with “Misadventure” cape, Elizabeth Hawes (American, 1903–1971), 1937, American, silk, wool, Metropolitan Museum of Art
I’ve just realised this is the first Elizabeth Hawes dress I have ever posted as a ‘Rate the Dress’, and I am astonished at the oversight. I wonder if you like it? It does have some design elements in common with the zig-zag 1942 Worth frock I posted which you weren’t so fond of. And it has a lot of the same bright colours and striped going vertically and horizontally (and diagonally) that you thought were daft last week. But it’s quite a different dress. Will that make all the difference?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10