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A couple of months ago, I announced on the blog that my husband and I are planning on packing up and moving to Oregon. Before that happens, we have so much to do to paint and polish up our mountain house to sell. Between that and being a mom and now a teacher, I rarely have an extended period of time to sew.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been stealing twenty minutes here and there to stitch and press seams. I need to make a few spring dresses, so it’s partially out of necessity and always out of a need for a moment to take a breath and have a moment for myself.
This is the second time
I’ve sewn up my vintage Simplicity 9754 pattern. The first time I sewed it I love it, but I noticed a couple of things I wanted to change before sewing it for a second time.
The first time I made it, I chose the mini-length dress, version 1. I sewed it with the short sleeves and bib ruffle shown on version 3.
I am nearly 5’8″ and found that the mini-length tent dress was a little short for my taste. Before I sewed it the first time, I noticed how voluminous the dress was and took about an inch overall off the sides. I still found it too tent-like, even with the adjustment.
Despite these issues, I could tell that this pattern was only a couple alterations away from being a go-to, beloved pattern. There is nothing like a comfy, yet put-together dress for a mom with little kids. Especially a dress with enough room to move, run, chase, bend…
Before making this dress for a second time, I made some changes to my pattern. I always trace my vintage patterns so that I can make changes without the risk of ruining the original pattern.
First, I took some additional width off to make the dress less voluminous. Instead of taking the width off of the sides, I subtracted it from the center front and center back. This made it so that there was less fabric to gather and attach to the yoke in the front and back, and therefore less of a
I think the dress turned out to have just enough ease to look good on its own, or with the matching fabric belt.
Lately, I’ve been noticing dresses with sleeves that hit just below the elbow and I wanted to try to alter these sleeves to fit in the same way. I changed the width of the sleeve to be less than the width of the short sleeves and a little wider than the long sleeve version. I then cut it to fall just below the elbow and added a cuff at the end instead of the sleeve. This was my favorite alteration. It worked perfectly!
For my third and final alteration, I added some length to the
I suggest adding some length to the pattern, just in case you get to the end of the construction and find you want it. If not, you can always remove it.
For this recent, purple gingham version, I liked the way the diagonal gingham on the yoke looked with the vertical and horizontal stripes on the rest of the dress. For this reason, I decided to forgo the ruffle. Because the yoke piece was cut diagonally and not on grain, I lined it with
I still have the traced and altered pattern pieces I used to make this dress, so I plan to make at least one more of these dresses before spring is truly upon us. Right now our mountain is inside of a cloud, with fog and rain. We have a week of rain and thunderstorms, and twenty-minute sewing sessions before the sun comes back out!
There are several copies of this Simplicity 9754 vintage pattern available for sale on Etsy. If you don’t already own the pattern, it is available to buy in several sizes for less than $10.
If you sew this pattern, please DM me a picture on Instagram @adifferentdrum or mention me! I’d love to see your version of this versatile little dress!
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