Simplicity 1578, circa 1945: The Summery Polka-Dot Sundress

by Janice

Front view #1.

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Front view #2.

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Front view #3.

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Closeup view: lucite bracelet and faux bakelite black bracelet. (The bruise is probably from getting beaten up at jiu jitsu.)

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The Facts

Fabric: Navy and white polka-dot rayon, $5/yd 60″ wide
Pattern: Simplicity 1578
Year: 1945
Notions: Navy invisible zipper, $1
Time to complete: 16 hours, maybe more
First worn: Never been worn yet!
Wear again? Yes
Total price: $11

Pattern used:

It’s the middle of winter here and since every week has been 30 degrees and freezing. It’s refreshing to work on a summery rayon polka-dot sundress.

I’ve made this pattern once before unsuccessfully. This time around was different.

Construction details:

  • made a muslin (which accounted for the 16+ hours)
  • basted all the seams before sewing it up
  • inserted an invisible zipper in the back
  • used seam bindings for the armholes
  • serged the seams
  • used some leftover navy gabardine for the neckline facing
  • hand-tacked the facing at center front to prevent it from flipping up

Using a fabric with good drape and hand was crucial. The rayon is lightweight and has good drape. This pattern also reminds me why the 40s is my favorite sewing era. I have enough leftover fabric for a skirt, a blouse or shorts and the silhouette is vintage enough to be authentic yet doesn’t look costume-like or overwhelming.

I don’t know how many sleeveless sundresses I’ll be making but this silhouette is definitely a win.

(Cross-posted on Sew Weekly.)