Another peek at the pattern envelope, which was included in the paper bag with the dress pieces and extra fabric.
You can see on the red dress illustrated above, there is trim on the collar and sleeves to accentuate their shape, so I decided to follow their lead. Rummaging in my box of trims (more stuff I found at estate and garage sales) I came up with a package of Middy Braid, in the exact shade of red. I don't think I have ever used it before, but I certainly will try it again. Sews on very easily and is flexible around curves. So just the thing to trim and outline.This dress definitely needs a belt, so I made one out of the remaining fabric which Margaret supplied. (which is the name I have given to this long ago and no longer anonymous sewer).
I ordered a vintage buckle from Etsy - and the color could not have been better.
Sewing this dress was completely straightforward, the only new thing I tried was actually something big to me. I sewed the fusible interfacing, right sides together to the dress facing piece, and then flipped it and pressed. This serves to enclose the facing edge, no need for any other treatment. I think I saw this in Threads magazine, can't recall if it was in a recent one or in an old issue (now I have a stockpile of these old magazines- purchased at a sewing guild sale, the fashions are out of date but the sewing tips are useful). Here is the facing.
Perhaps you have been doing this all along - but I could have kicked myself for not doing this before.
The pattern which is Simplicity 4228, is a size 18 in their 1953 sizes, which gives the following measurements: Bust 36", Waist 30", Hip 39".
Looking at a current Simplicity pattern that would be between a size 14 and size 16.
The finished garment measurements are the following: Bust 43.5", Waist 36" , Back waist length is 16.75 and the length of the skirt is 30". Total length from shoulder to hem is now 46.5 inches. These finished garment measurements show that there is quite a bit of ease, which seems correct for this style. I have not hemmed it yet, and it does look a bit creased in the photos. The fabric presses out well, but so far I have not steam pressed enough to remove all the wrinkles as I have been treating it a bit delicately.
A few people have asked what I intend to do with the dress. It is definitely not my size, this dress is perfect for someone a lot taller than I am. I could cut it down, but I prefer to preserve it as Margaret had intended. So I think I will list it in my Etsy shop, and hopefully someone in this size range will be interested in a "new vintage" dress. If you are interested let me know.
Edit: I just listed this dress in my Etsy shop, here is the link Cotton Shirtwaist Dress
One last remembrance of this long-ago home sewer. I was looking in my stash for some light blue cotton lining for a dress I was working on this weekend, and pulled out some fabric from the Margaret collection. Something fluttered out onto the floor, and it was this card:
If I didn't before, now I really wish I could meet this woman who fabric shopped and sewed a long time ago. I am sure this note was for her own records, but I felt that she was letting me know a little bit more about her, and I am glad to have met her through this project.