Put on your Easter Bonnet and Dress


Hold on, where is my Easter Bonnet?  I had it before visiting the Easter Bunny to top off my basket and waaaait.....That Darn Rabbit!  Always stealing my hats and cutting ear holes in them. Well that hat's ruined now and I'm gonna need a lot more chocolate than this to forget all about it. Stupid hat snatching Rabbits, guess I'm lucky we aren't the same shoe size.
Fun headgear aside, Easter usually isn't a sewing event for me. It belongs in the pantheon of chocolate gorging extravaganzas, yes. But as far as outfit planning goes, I usually wear a recently sewn dress and call it good. This year was a bit different because one of my newer vintage pattern acquisitions begged to be sewn up in the Springiest fabric in the stash. Springiest? Is that a real word or does this fabric just demand it's creation? Flowers and Birds and Butterflies, Oh My! It's practically screaming, "Sew me into a Advance 9427 Heather. Oh please, oh please. Then kindly cover me with an apron before you go all Cookie Monster on some chocolate."
Advance 9427 has been flashed on the blog before but this time let me mention the design details.
Here's the description from the envelope, "One piece dress with a special talent for looking right anywhere....under a coat or under the sun. Slim skirted or full skirted, you'll love the way this scallop necked, short sleeved beauty fits and flatters you." - Fine ad copy Don Draper, go get yourself and Old Fashioned and throw some money at Peggy's face. Or in my face, as long as it's enough to buy something nice.

Actual design details:
-Bodice with scalloped neckline on both front and back, bust and waist darts.
-Bias bound kimono sleeves.
-View 1 has a 7 paneled full skirt. Only the side front and side back panels are gathered.
-Dress has side seam zip entry, probably to make sewing the back neckline easier.
-And hey look, the almighty technical drawing. It's not a proper sewing party without one of those.
All in all some easy sewing as long as you properly mark the scallop stitch line.  No worries then because I've got Frog to sort out those details.

OK, so far we have easy to sew stretch cotton sateen and a pattern with easy to sew details. So how is fitting going to go? Guess what, sewing back to back Advance patterns made that easy too. Comparing the already altered Advance 9441 pieces with 9427 clearly showed me some of the adjustments that needed to be done. Most notably 9427 was drafted with a lot more length in both the bodice and the skirt. After those changes were made, I just had to drop in my other standard fitting adjustments to get a good fit.
The only hitch to this process was coming up with a cutting layout for the pattern. Upon spreading out the fabric, I found my memory was completely wrong about it's width and length. I would have staked my first born's soul that there were 4 yards of this fabric on the board. Nope! Past Heather only bought 3 yards of fabric and it was a lot narrower than 60" wide.  Good thing I wasn't making any deals with the devil over stash usage. If was making the dress as drafted 3 yards wouldn't have worked. Happily my preferred skirt length of 27"meant it was possible if I came up with my own cutting layout.  With my advanced "pattern Tetris skills" I was just able to fit all the pieces in AND cut all the skirt panels in the same direction. Now I can save my first born's soul for something really important, like a sweet pair of shoes.

Advance 9427. Don't see this one available for purchase on Etsy at the moment.

Fabrics used
Stretch Cotton Sateen from Emmaonesock.com. According to last year's handy dandy spreadsheet this fabric was purchased in August.  That's a pretty decent stash overturn time for me.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Dropped bust dart 1.5" and shortened the waist dart 3/4".

2. Shortened bodice 5/8".

3. Make a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment.

4. Added 1/4" to the side seams around the waist area.

5. Shortened skirt length 2".

-After finding the waist roomy on Advance 9441, I cut the amount of extra ease added to the waist area in half.  Thanks to the lycra in the cotton the waist is still too big on this dress.  Maybe I don't need to add ease to 28" waist dresses after all.
-Every time a vintage bust dart needs to be dropped 1.5 inches, I remember Mary's line about "amusingly improbable dart locations" and snort giggle a bit. It's better than cursing my saggy bewb genes.

- Just like the previous Advance pattern, the skirt was drafted to be mid calf on a women of regular height. Not the "below the knee" look of the illustration.  With my alterations the final skirt length of the garment is 27".

- This dress also has a deep 2.5" hem allowance. I found that it needed to be eased in a bit on the larger pieces. So I attached some lace to the skirt edge, ran some gathering stitches and hand slip stitched the hem in place.
- It's starting to look like my #vintagepledge of sewing 3 vintage patterns was a little conservative. This pattern is garment #2 and I may have already completed #3. Might be time to edit the pledge.

Husband Comment
"Hey Easter Girl! I like bumpy plunge necklines. Wait, are those new shoes?" Nope! See blog post from last year for photographic proof. *Shoves new lobster sandals under the sofa*

My Final Thoughts
A former owner of the pattern wrote on the envelope "Easy to make and neat looking." Yes, I completely agree, especially in super easy to sew stretch cotton. I'm quite the fan of the neckline and may mash it with other patterns in the future. Having a pencil skirt version would also be very nice. Gotta give the boys in the sea food department something fun to look at, you know. Now I have to run off and raid Desmond's Easter basket for chocolate while he's sleeping. Everyone have a happy and candy filled holiday.
P.S. - I promise never to accidentally leave my camera on a slower shutter speed on a windy day again. Somehow I neglected to notice any of the blurriness when checking photos mid shoot. Still have plenty to learn about the new camera.


  1. Ooh great dress! And love the husband comment on this one. You are making the florals in my stash scream louder at me. Must finish painting first!

  2. www.tresbienensemble.comApril 3, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    I "squeed" with delight upon seeing this dress in my blogroll this morning! It's fabulous! And, I quite like the bumpy neckline too. :-D

  3. Heather! Heather! I may have squeaked out loud too! :) So very cute! Hope those lobster sandals make an appearance soon!

  4. Ooohhh! This looks so Easter-y and spring-y... Love it! That bumpy neckline rocks.

  5. Oh my god oh my god those shoes! *hyperventilates* I've been doing some serious eBaying for something similar. Not that I'd actually wear them in my life situation right now, but just to look at.

    And I'm so glad to see the finished dress after all the Instagram updates. It's the bomb-diggity!

  6. You are so cute - I'm going to dip you (and Froggie!) in chocolate and gobble you up! (Watch out, I've only had 2 Easter chocolates this year, and I'm wishing there was some reason in my life for more!)

  7. This dress looks fantastic and very eastery! What a great floral print!! Poor Des has no idea what he's escaped - thank goodness for your tetris cutting skills!

  8. This looks great, sometimes simple lines are the best. And yay for spring fabrics.

  9. Fantastico! You look ready for an Easter parade! I was just sitting here lamenting the fact that I never manage to sew an Easter dress and then you show up, looking the very picture of spring. SIGH.

  10. Put the paint down and go sew florals immediately! Wait, froggie tells me that you really need to paint. Drat. Guess I'll send in the sewing mice for you then.

  11. Mmmmmm chocolate....wait....she's gonna eat us Frog! RUN!!! OK I'm done being weird. I think you need to go get some discount Easter candy now and live it up.

  12. Thanks Sylvie. They're that brand MEL that makes all the cute plastic shoes.

  13. Aww thanks!
    Now I can't help but think of "Bumpy necklines" instead of scalloped ones.

  14. Oh no, I have increased your laments. To pay you back I'll appear with cookies and dude movies in hand.

  15. Haahaa! I like the though of being in soft focus like Star Trek. Beam me up Scottie!

  16. Out loud squeaking is fun....as long as no one was around to give you some side eye. :)

    I'm hoping for warm sandal weather soon. *Crosses fingers*

  17. Thanks Lisa. Bumpy necklines for-eva!

  18. Thanks Kaitlyn, let's get out our spring fabrics and go nuts!

  19. Well I hate to disappoint Froggie but I ran out paint so I did sew florals on Saturday! Tunic dress for me!!!!! It's not hemmed yet so still send the sewing mice over!

  20. Those shoes are the MEL brand that makes all plastic shoe, if that helps your ebay hunting. (I love a good ebay hunt.)

  21. Sure thing. Let's get mice to do all the hemming from now on.

  22. Apologies and consolation prizes are definitely welcome! ;) Bring on the bro movies!

  23. LOL! Des can always count on me to pull out creative pattern tetris and to bake cookies. Everything else is up for grabs. :)

  24. I'll bring one from all the important genres. Cars, Robots, Heists, and Sharks.

  25. Oh I know! Thanks for the tip. I scored my current Mel flats for $5-10 from eBay and op shops. I'm hoping to have similar luck with this style!

  26. Awesome! I hope the shoe fairy grants your wish then. :)

  27. Super fabric. I'm amazed you have a spreadsheet!! I love the scallops. I have a dress like this to make that I pretty much self drafted because I got new look 6002 but then after the hollow chest adjustment the scallops were completely thrown off. I figured I best start again but then ran out of steam after all that drating and never sewed it up -- lazy. Glad yours worked out so nice!

  28. Thank you Amy. You should give that self drafted bodice another go now that you've had a break. But I bet there is something more fun on the sewing list winking at you right now.


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