The 40s Sweetheart Dress | Adey Lim
Fabric: Silk and cotton blend fabric from Phuket Thailand US$33 for 3 meters, poly lining US$3
Patterns: Du Barry 5357
Year: c. 1942
Notions: invisible zipper and belt buckle US$2
Time to complete: 12 hours
First worn: February 2011
Wear again? Absolutely!
Total Cost: ~US$38
This is a dress I almost didn’t finish and it was all because I was so determined to use this silk/ cotton blend fabric my husband bought me while we were holidaying in Phuket Thailand. When I hand washed the fabric, it came out perfect, almost without any crinkle and felt absolutely divine to touch so I was ecstatic! However, it turned out to be the most difficult fabric I’ve cut. The silky material surely had a mind of its own and I spent a really long time pinning and cutting it. At the end of that, I was considering whether I should switch to an easier fabric. Though I was agitated, letting this precious fabric go to waste would be even more unbearable. Thank God that once I underlined this sheer silky fabric with a poly lining, sewing it wasn’t as hard as I’d imagined and that encouraged me to continue with the project as planned.
And I’m so glad I did cos I love how it turned out! The dress is based on the 1942 sewing pattern, Du Barry 5357 which also happened to be the first unprinted pattern I’ve come across. I didn’t even know unprinted patterns existed before that.
I love the gather details on the sleeves, the sweetheart neckline, the overlapping sleeves and the inverse sweetheart seam just below the waist which leads to more gathers on the skirt. The design made me think of two hearts joined together in one dress and that was the reason I selected this pattern for the Valentines’ Day theme.
The strange thing is the pattern cover showed a self fabric belt but didn’t include any instructions on how it could be made though it provided dimensions of fabric to cut for the belt. I thought the dress would be quite incomplete without a handmade belt so I made one using a solid red fabric I happened to have in my scrap basket and a vintage belt buckle from chinatown. This week’s Behind the Seams on my blog shows how I made the belt.
I was wondering, did anyone else wear red on Valentines’ Day? I hope you and your loved one had a wonderful time!