|Oh hello, just standing around being fabulous.|
If I'd been sewing at that time this pattern would have gone on the top of the "must acquire" list. In reality constant nausea sapped all my creative energy and easy knitting was all that I could mange. Then I got involved with having and feeding a small human and things like getting more than 2 hours of sleep were more important.
Through the years this pattern popped up on Etsy and Ebay semi regularly. It was always either the wrong size or more than I'd like to pay. The pattern would get favorited and usually be purchased by someone else. Things might have remained that way if Michelle hadn't posted her version of the dress. Oh My God! This pattern needs to be mine! After wiping the drool off my keyboard the internet search engines were put to use. In a twist of good fortune I found Advance 9441 in my bust size AND on sale at the ebay store Vintage4me2. (Great store BTW. They have a nice selection and the customer service is good.) And that my friends, it how this full skirted beauty is now hanging in my closet.
The style lines of this pattern are pretty simple, kimono sleeves with gussets and a full paneled skirt. Sewing the gusset area is the only part that needs intermediary sewing skills. I consulted Gertie's first book to refresh my brain on this area. (There will be a separate post about this because I was playing with the new camera.)The rest of the sewing is easy, if time consuming work. Hemming the skirt took a whole 6 hour audio book.
- It is thicker than regular rayon, which makes easier to work with. I did not have to take any special steps, like starching, to cut out the fabric.
- Rayon is still a tricky beast and will make you do some extra basting. For example I pinned all my waist seam joins before sewing the seam. This technique often works with well behaved fabrics, but with rayon all the joins were 1/8" off after sewing. I had to pick out the entire seam, baste all the joins and sew the seam with a walking foot. '
- The twill weave is prone to snagging. With the black background it shows as a visible white line. Take extra care handling pinned pieces and try to seam rip from the wrong side of the fabric.
While rayon twill won't suppliant my enduring love of cotton sateen, but I don't regret purchasing it. The print is just divine. And on that note, let's get to the pattern review.
Advance 9441 (There's a 32 bust and a 36 bust on Etsy at the moment that I'm posting this.)
Rayon Twill from Black Bird Fabrics. (Still in stock as I post this.)
- Dropped the bust dart 1 1/2" and shortened the front waist dart by the same amount.
- Made a 1/2" hollow chest adjustment to the front bodice.
- Lengthened the sleeve 5/8" along the shorten/lengthen line. This put the elbow dart in the correct position.
- Added 5/8" to the side seams since my waist is 30" instead of 28". I could have added less as the full skirt makes the area roomy.
- Increased the back dart intake to 2 1/8".
- Removed 1 1/2" of length off the skirt.
- The fashion illustration would leave one to believe that the hem length of this dress would fall just below the knee. I'm an average high of 5' 6" and it hit a bit below mid calf. In addition to the long length, the hem facing on the pattern is a whopping 2.5". You could easily shave off some yardage reducing these two areas.
- I seem to be having bad luck with necklines lately. The front neck facing does not want to stay inside the dress.
- Although I love this print of this rayon, it's probably too soft of a fabric for the design. The fabric recommendations included much stiffer fabric such as taffeta and pique. Both the bodice and the skirt could do with a bit more body.
- This skirt could really use two petticoats or one with a lot more volume. At this time I only had the one 35 yard petticoat to pad it out.
"I like your sleeves. They only go down part way like a baseball players."
My Final Thoughts
Is Advance 9441 everything I'd hoped it would be? YES!!! It's a great kick off for my #vintageplege goal. Even though hand hemming the skirt was a half day marathon, I'd already like another version of this dress. One with the shorter sleeve length to wear during the summer months. Maybe in a lemon print, maybe.