Finished project: Anne Adams 4571, circa 1940s

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Front view.

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Alternate front view.

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Side view.

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Alternate side view.

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Closeup of sleeve.

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Alternate closeup of sleeve.

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Neckline view.

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Closeup of buttons.

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Closeup of button.

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Pattern: Anne Adams 4571

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Project Details:

Pattern: Anne Adams 4571, circa 1940s.

Pattern Sizing: Size 16, 34 bust. This pattern needed heavy revisions, since there was a ton of ease around the bodice area. I had to shorten the bodice by a good three inches or so.

Description: Wrap dress with scalloped details and side buttons.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton sateen. I think this fabric was too heavy for this dress. Next time I do this (if there is a next time!) I need to use something with more drape.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the interesting scallop detail on the neckline and sleeves. I disliked hand-sewing the facings onto the fabric. I also disliked how the scallops puffed up around the bodice when worn. The construction took about a week, but hand-sewing took awhile.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Shortened the bodice about three inches. I put snaps by the bodice so the scalloped area wouldn’t stick out when worn. Instead of cutting the inner bodice to center front, I ended up making a wrap version of it. I used snaps to secure the inner bodice to the waist.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don’t think I’ll sew this again anytime soon. The scallops took a really long time to hand-sew.

Anne Adams 4571: Scallops and Facings

Slow, slow sewing here. This is definitely turning into a slow sewing project, with minimal options for shortcuts. Anne Adams 4571, Version 2, Release Candidate 2 is going very well, but slowly. The bodice still needs to be assembled with the skirt, buttonholes and buttons added, and the scallop facings that need to be tacked on by hand with catch-stitch. The only shortcut I’ve done so far is serged the seams and pressed them apart as I went along.

Here is my progress on it so far:

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Top bodice, with facings.

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AA4571-012110-bodiceSide

Side bodice, with facings.

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Closeup of the scallops by the neckline.

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Another closeup of scallops.

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AA4571-012110-bean

One very bewildered Esteemed Sewing Assistant, with Big Eyes.

Anne Adams 4571: When Good Muslins Go Bad

I’m one of those people who like making muslins. I feel no pressure when cutting, tracing, and fitting my muslins. I can happily plod along on whatever complicated or simple project I’m on, with the pure joy of fitting, measuring, and basting. I don’t feel the trepidation of cutting into beautiful fabric, or the nervousness of executing a pattern precisely.

So how can a muslin that’s so good turn out projects so bad? We shall see. Here are my requisite muslin shots:

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Front view.

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Back view. (Excuse the messy hair. I was lazy last night and decided to play Assassin’s Creed until 2 am rather than set my hair.)

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Side view.

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I started cutting and assembling my fabric last night, and the results were less than stellar. Because the illustration on the envelope had stripes, I subconsciously decided that this had to be done in stripes as well. I picked yellow seersucker for my first version, and picked a black and pink striped cotton for my almost-second version. The cotton was stiff and not drapey, and the scallops got lost in the bold design of the fabric — something that didn’t occur to me until actually assembling the bodice.

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Front view. The stripes look cool but can you see the scallops? (No? Me neither.)

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Closeup of the disappearing scallops.

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I had a sinking feeling that the striped cotton wasn’t a good match for my pattern last night when I started cutting and assembling the bodice. After sleeping on it, I’ve decided to shelve Version 2, Release Candidate 1* (black/pink striped) and cut a new version in an altogether different fabric. Stay tuned for Version 2, Release Candidate 2.

* – I think I’ll name my sewing variations on types of software releases.

Anne Adams 4571: Muslin Progress

Here is my progress on the Anne Adams muslin. Fixing this was very tricky since the original version had low armholes and was very boxy. There was no alternative but to take it in at the shoulders, raise the armhole, and re-draw the scallops along the shoulders.

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Bodice front.

Adjustments: Raised the armhole by 1 1/2 inches. Redrafted the scallops by the shoulder to match the smaller armhole. Raised the tucks to 4 inches along the waistline for a less boxier fit. The original version was very boxy and had too much ease. The pattern has you cut off the inner wrap (abrupt vertical cut you see on the inner bodice), but I think I will leave it and use snaps to secure the inner bodice wrap, so there will be less fabric flapping around when it’s worn.

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Back view.

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Shoulder scallop view.

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Esteemed Sewing Assistant, Bean. Supervising the muslin process.

Vintage Sew Along of 2011

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After my failed Lady Grey Sew Along in which I decided to participate then promptly dropped off the face of the blogosphere, I’m a little wary of sew-alongs. However, since I sew exclusively vintage anyway, I decided to join the Vintage Sew Along of 2011.

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My pattern will be Anne Adams 4571, in black and pink striped cotton. I made this last year in yellow seersucker, a project I’m not entirely thrilled with now. I really liked the detail on this and feel that I haven’t done the pattern justice.

Some modifications I plan to make from the yellow seersucker version:

  • Interface the buttonholes and belt.
  • Pick a fabric with less drape than the seersucker previously used.
  • Make the belt that goes with it and add it back in.
  • Sew this in a color you won’t be ashamed to wear in public.
  • Go back to the original pattern. Former bodice too large.
  • Take it in at the shoulders if needed and drop the neckline if needed. Raise hem.

Future Projects: January 2011

I’ve also decided to organize my sewing time by pairing up my stash with projects for the next month or so, in batches of four. Fortunately I don’t have much of a stash, since I’ve broken out of the habit of going to the fabric store and haphazardly buying cloth just because the fabric is beautiful. I plan to streamline the fabric I have in the future even further, partly my planning projects out of fabrics that I already have.

I plan to sew a season ahead, and these are garments for the Spring/Summer. Here are some future projects I have in mind for the next month or so:

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S3668-a

Simplicity 3668, in blue gabardine with white small rick-rack as trim.

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H1412-a

Hollywood 1412, with three-quarter sleeves. I’m pairing it with a lightweight textured fabric of unknown fiber content that looks like plum (grey and pink together.)

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AA4571-a

Anne Adams 4571, in striped black and pink cotton. I’ve made this once before in yellow seersucker in a color I wasn’t too comfortable with, and in a fit that was a little baggy. I’ve worn that version once since making it, and have salvaged the buttons and have since sadly donated it. This time I’m using a color combination that isn’t as foreign to me or off-putting.
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Eva-S4536

Eva Dress reproduction overalls, in black denim with red contrast stitching and buttons.