Hello everyone, thank you for your kind comments last time & sorry I’ve been a bit quiet on the visiting/ commenting front. It’ll get back to normal soon.
Today I’m going to show you my 1940s Minnado dress (N.R.F.O).
Warning – picture heavy post….are you sitting comfortably?
This if you’ll remember was fabric gifted me by the wonderful Debbie at Minnado’s House (hence the tribute name). It’s synthetic, but hangs beautifully, doesn’t fray too badly but has been pretty tough to sew with a very sharp (new) machine needle & hand sewing …phewee …it was definitely thimble-ville.
Anyway, this was a pretty slow make for me – I only managed to find bits of time to spend on it. I was also happy to do lots by hand in tandem with the gorgeous weather we were / are having (touches wood).
It was only after I’d cut the dress out (I was driving somewhere if I remember correctly) when realisation dawned. I’d not even traced this pattern, for shame, & there I was sewing some ancient living history, 7o years old no less. I feel embarrassed & ashamed admitting it. Perhaps I should have made an extra effort in this case & traced it. Too late, no point dwelling on it now.
I was intrigued by the shapes of the pattern for making the yoke – it has gathers on the front & back – purty! These pieces involved sewing right angled seams to join the bodice with the yoke.
The sleeves are also cleverly part of this right angled seaming, being part of a yoke that spans over the shoulder from front to back like this below.
Other interesting construction details – there is a waistband, however it was not faced or interfaced. I didn’t like the idea of the inside showing all the seams & so cut extra pieces to face it.
Instead of front darts there are a couple of soft waist pleats each side.
The sleeves are hemmed with bias binding, as is the back of the neck. In some of the pictures you might catch a glimpse of it – red. There again maybe I should have used navy, but I didn’t have enough!
The dress is button up from the waist, but also has a side bodice to hip placket fastened with press studs. This seems common with vintage dresses – like my “Too old for school “ dress.
It has a notched collar & if I’d had enough rick rack I think I would have piped it, however am glad that I didn’t. I used rick rack for the waistband & that amounted to approx 3m of the stuff. Speaking of the waistband, I struggled with this to get a neat finish – there was some differential between the facing & the outside that resulted in some ballooning that even ironing the sh*t out of (in the manner of Lladybird) would not rectify. It has shoulder pads that surprisingly do not feel too Alexis Carrington when being worn. It is a lovely swishy dress to wear.
So, this is it. What do you think? Now I need to explain what N.R.F.O. or perhaps you can see for yourself….
Without that belt its true colours are revealed. I feel like a waif in it. Without the belt on you can see that it is MILES too big around the waist. About 7” in fact. Which is extremely comfortable when you’re feeling sticky in the heat. It evokes war time rationing doesn’t it?
And why? I made the cardinal sin of not trying it on after I’d made the bodice. Positioning it on Barbarella didn’t ring any alarm bells. Why? Not sure.
Check out my salad patch. Them broad beans are now taller than me & the scent of the sweet peas is delicious. I keep cutting them to encourage more flowers…
It was funny. I paraded into the room & showed Gary & he looked quizzically on. I knew I had to extract his true thoughts. But he is so diplomatic & careful not to get me on the defensive. Eventually he said “It’s a bit big isn’t it?” and then he became braver & said “there’s something of the overall about it” but then he said “and your red lipstick. I think it might be that because your face is so tanned wearing that lipstick makes you look like you’re wearing loads of slap” ha ha ha !!
Luckily his truth was my truth (although I hadn’t reckoned on the make-up commentary!). I need to take the skirt off the bodice & get it to fit. That is if I can’t manage to wangle a nifty side seam adjustment. But then for 7” I think that’s a bit too cavalier & certainly totally disrespecting the pattern & the fabric. So there you are. Worked out what N.R.F.O yet?
That’s it “Not Really Finished Object”