When it comes to outerwear, there are a lot of choices. First, there’s the blanket statement, where one can wrap themselves in a draped number; opting for patchwork or embroidery would make the look extra boho. Then there’s sporty, or a boxy silhouette equipped with a hood and extra pockets that are ideal elements for braving even the coldest cold. Or one could be a caped crusader and battle wild, wild winter just like Little Red Riding Hood with a sleeveless topper. But if you want to channel your inner savage, grab the fur fabric and be one with the pack. Shaggy, baby! Not the most flattering choice, the down jacket is still going strong. Personally, I’ll pass. The Michelin Man was never a good look. As for me, I took my own spin on 2014’s outer selection and transported back to the 1950s. With the most sumptuous vintage brocade chenille, I made Simplicity 1505.
To bring the folks who missed my in-progress post up to date, I’ll reiterate a few details that have already appeared on the blog. For those more informed readers, hang tight. We’ll get to the fun bits below.
I scored this fabric on Ebay over a year ago, winning it for a total of $28.00. Because it’s thick, textural and has a weight similar to home dec fabrics, finding a suitable pattern required a search. The silhouette couldn’t have lots of seaming or details like pockets, epaulettes and/or darts because it would detract and break up the beauty of the fabric. After several long nights on Etsy, I finally chose the one – Simplicity 1505.
Released in 1956, Simplicity 1505 pattern is a misses’ one-piece dress and coat in 2 lengths. The ensemble features a slim lined dress with a v-neckline and short kimono bodice and skirt seam. Coat may be dress or hip length. Buttons trim lower edge of kimono sleeves.
Despite the fact that it was an easy silhouette doesn’t mean construction and patterning didn’t present a few obstacles. Because I only had 2 yards and there was no more available, I had to reduce the body length by 6 inches and sleeve length by 1 inch. Even then, the facing had to be broken into 2 pieces. Also, because of the fabric’s texture, ironing was out of the question, so all interfacing was sewn in. I spent many nights and morning hand sewing hair canvas and then cutting away the seam allowances to a perfect 5/8 inch. Also due to the texture, all seams were steamed and then fingered pressed open and topstitching (including understitching) was a no no. I wrestled with pattern alignment too. I only had enough yardage to have the pattern match in one place. So while the stripes don’t align at the overarm seam, they are centered at the center front and center back. I made a muslin, in which I added back waist darts to make it less sac like, but if I had to go back, I wouldn’t have included them. The darts break up the stripes to a point where it looks weird, like a mistake. I would go back and simply take them out, but because the intake was 2” total (1” on the fold), I clipped into it and cut away the excess. Other details include a back piece made of hair canvas, neck darts to have it shape to my frame, side seam pockets and 2 snap closures at the center front and 2 faux buttons on each sleeve.
So bring it on old man winter. I’m ready for your polar vortex!
*vintage dress from Chariot Marie*