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.
It’s adorable, comfortable, practical, and goes together in a matter of hours – even with a lot of hand finishing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update: I’ve located the new belt! Isn’t it pretty?
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.
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