I finished the first project in the pile. This one utilized a vintage pattern and some 1940's/50's silk purchased on Ebay back in 2011.
The pattern wasn't exactly my size which is a problem one faces when buying vintage patterns. Thanks to this article and this chart I learned that grading a pattern to the correct size isn't as daunting a task as I thought!
First I looked and the pattern pieces that needed adjusting.
Then I slashed the pattern pieces according to the directions in the article.
I took out the excess by removing the designated amount and taped the pieces together.
Then I traced the pieces, straightening out any lines that were distorted by the grading.
I made a muslin of the bodice and found that it fit perfectly.
I love the dresses of the 1950's but there are features in them that I'm not particularly fond of--most notably side zippers and metal zippers. Most of these dresses aren't lined. So while I was making a vintage reproduction of sorts, I chose to convert the side zipper on the pattern to the center back and to use a modern invisible zipper. I also chose to fully line the dress with Bemberg rayon lining. At a glance, the dress has a vintage look and some vintage details however. I was very pleased with the final result.
Close up of bodice:
Bodice back with invisible zipper:
Some of the vintage details I kept:
Fabric covered belt
Thread belt loops
I found it interesting that patterns in this period did not include armhole facings but rather just instruct you to use fabric bias to finish the armholes.
I also covered the waist seam with the fashion fabric.
I was very happy with the end result. The fit is perfect and I have all the proper accessories to finish off the look!