Chevron 60s Dress

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I finally finished the dress I made using simplicity 1609. I have wanted a dress made from this sewing pattern and I was never going to be able to resist a 1960s reproduction pattern!

I’m going to say upfront that I am not so happy with the fit of this dress, but that’s OK because I did not attempt to alter the fit at all (this is how the pattern fit out of the envelope). These days I don’t seem to bother modifying the fit of a new pattern, I just make it in some less than special fabric, to see what the fit of the pattern is like. Is it worth fussing with the fit and making another? I’m not too sure. Perhaps it’s OK that its looser at the waist.

I kind of like not worrying about fit so much, because I have a lifetime supply of fabric and patterns to try anyway. When I worked at a fabric shop I would always buy up big when fabric was twice reduced in price, so I often managed to score fabric that was $5 a meter or less.

I love the 60s silhouette. The bagginess at the waist of my version is not so great (could have taken it in at the curved darts). Admiring other versions of this dress (made by other sewing bloggers) I noticed that often they made the dress either very fitted or a much looser shape. Perhaps I should trying increasing the seam allowances or removing the center front seam on my next version!

I was happy when I thought of using this fabric to create a chevron effect, because I love that kind of thing, and the fabric was pretty boring on its own.

The back of the dress is a puckering horrendous mess, but for the sake of being honest I am showing it to you. Perhaps the tension was off (on my machine), or perhaps it has to do with the fit. All I know is I just wanted this dress finished. I am a grown woman and I rush and swear at my sewing projects, it’s rather silly!

Done is better than perfect my friends!

After sewing so many dresses with lining I realized how much I hate sewing facings. Anyone got any tips about sewing facings, that don’t involve hand sewing?

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27 comments
  1. This turned out CUTE! I love it and want one just like it (but don’t worry, I won’t copycat you)! Adorable! In the past when I’ve had puckering like that, I’ve had good luck holding the fabric taut as it goes under the presser foot (hold it on either side of the foot, in front of and behind). That helps a lot. Another thing is to sew from the bottom up, really, from the widest part of the dress towards the narrower when you’re sewing something a-line. It helps to prevent distortion, which sometimes causes puckers. But honestly, it’s not noticeable and the dress looks amazing!

    • Thanks! You are the sweetest (Don’t worry bout that I would be flattered if you ever copied me!) Such good tips. I never realized that you should sew from the widest part first on A-line dresses, in future I will do this.
      Thanks again for the advice! Splendid!

      • HA ginger i remember the back view of that dress!! who looks at the back anyways?!

        girl, that dress is ADORABLE. i love the fit, it is the perfect mod silhouette! i always sew wide to narrow as well (i think i heard it from susan khalje?) and as for facings KILL THEM. KILL THEM ALL. self made bias tape for binding raw edges is the shiznit. and i just did a full lining on a dress which was kind of an eye opener…

      • Oona! Love your blog! So glad you like it :D! I am also happy I now know the sewing ‘wide to narrow’ rule, because I admit, I rarely ever read pattern instructions! Facings are pretty evil! even in store bought clothing you have facings popping out of garments all the time!
        I gotta get better at using bias binding!

  2. Trine said:

    Such a cute dress. The colors are great on you!

  3. Amy said:

    Heehee this is so cute! If you’re planning on trying again I’d say take in your side seams and the darts a little rather than letting everything out further. But that’s just my preference :-)

    • Thanks Amy! Sounds like the way to go! :)

  4. Lindsay said:

    It looks great! I love the effect you get with the diagonal stripes, and it looks so stylish and designer!

  5. It looks great… I agree though, if you didn’t have the chevrons, there’d be no point to a centre front seam.

    • Thanks. Yes! Especially when you have a print that gets unnecessarily interrupted by a CF seam…I have another 60s reissue pattern that also has a center front seam…it must have been a ‘thing’ in the 60s…

  6. Suzie said:

    Love this, it really suits you. I especially like how you say ‘done is better than perfect’. That is definitely my sewing philosophy too! :)

    • Thank you! Yes! lets start a movement ‘the productive anti-perfectionist sewing movement’ bigger garment output and less stress!

  7. This dress looks great!! You’ve done a marvellous job at matching up your chevrons, and the centre back looks great!! Great attention to detail :)
    With my facing, I stitch them down using the machine – I flip it over so the right side of bodice and right side of facing are together, then stitch down along the zipper.

    • Thanks Neeno you make me blush. I did try and make an effort with the chevron :)

  8. erin said:

    Cute mod dress! Love how the stripes run differently on the front and back, If my sewing puckers, it’s the fabric’s fault :)

    • Thanks, so glad you like the stripes. Hahah I like that! I’m just a victim of difficult fabric!

  9. Lauren said:

    I love the silhouette of the dress! And the chevrons just add that special touch :)

  10. Elaine said:

    I love your dress. I had a skirt with the same chevron design it was my favorite A line skirt ……….and they are back again only my body is not in the same condition :0)

    • Thank you! Thats so cool! I want to make a skirt like that too!

  11. Roseana Auten said:

    Cotton sateen is a fussy fabric. It’s hard to make it behave. That being said, make sure you are using a brand-new, high quality 70/10 HM needle (“sharp”), and high quality thread (Metrosene or Gutterman). Do you have a copy of More Fabric Savvy, by Sandra Betzina? Have a look in there for more tips. I love your results, though.

    • Thanks for the advice Roseana :). I can see how the needle could have been the problem. I think I had a size 80 needle in and it was not not new. No good! I haven’t seen that book but understanding fabric really is key. I’ll check it out!
      Thanks again!

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