A Pink Wool Dress

There seems to be a recurring theme in my acquisition of fabric.  I either have more than enough – or – just barely enough.  In the case of this vintage pink Linton wool, I had plenty for its original use.  

Sometimes when I have lots of fabric left over, I just move on and don’t try to put the remaining yardage to any purpose.  But then there are times when I think it would be a travesty not to use it.  And so – this pink princess A-line dress was born. 

I had purchased this vintage Vogue pattern last year. 

 I particularly liked the cut-in armholes, and the princess lines which also incorporate a small Dior dart.  (I have traditionally thought a princess-line dress or coat generally gets it shaping simply from the seam lines, not from darts. Fairchild’s Dictionary gives this description:  “ Fitted dress with flared skirt, frequently made like a coat-dress, styled without a waistline seam and cut in panels fitted from shoulders to hem.” Page 376. No mention of darts, so maybe it doesn’t matter!) I wasn’t so sure about that long center shaping dart in the front of the dress.  However, I knew a muslin/toile would determine its fate as far as I was concerned.  (I also like the jacket included in the pattern.  It has lovely lines and I really need to make it sometime.) 

The line drawings on the back of the envelope show the lovely seaming details on the jacket.

As I suspected, I was able to eliminate the long center dart, which seemed to add more emphasis to the bust than I cared to have.  When I make this pattern again, I think I will make a dead dart where the shaping dart is supposed to be, which should take in a little bit of excess bagginess. Or, if that doesn’t work, then I will take the front side seams in a little bit. I only noticed the bagginess after I had taken a few photos.  Always tweaking – it never seems to end!  

A little baggy….

One of the pleasures of sewing with a plaid – in this case the plaid is strictly in the weave – is the preciseness with which dress parts can be joined.   I underlined all with white silk organza, which gave this loose weave just the body it needed.  Then to make sure I had everything lined up, I hand basted every seam before sewing by machine.  

A close-up of the Dior dart, and the front side seam.

I eliminated the facings and used the couture method of lining to the edge, using back stitching to secure the lining to the underlining around the neck and armholes.  Then I used a hand-sewn lapped application for the zipper.  

I enjoyed making this dress, and I will use this pattern again – I am already envisioning a dress and jacket ensemble, featuring the jacket included with the dress.  And I know just the fabric I will use.  But I am getting ahead of myself – first here a few pictures of this dress and jacket duo.

Dress and jacket together…
I have said this before, but it bears repeating – I love a center-placed lapped zipper.
The weave in this wool is just so pleasing.

And how much of the Linton fabric did I have remaining after making this dress?  Well, enough to make a coat for an American Girl Doll which my oldest granddaughter is getting for Christmas.  Doesn’t every doll need a Linton Tweeds coat?  


Filed under couture construction, Dior darts, Sheath dresses, Uncategorized, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1960s, woolens

34 responses to “A Pink Wool Dress

  1. Karen Wright

    Karen, What a stunning ensemble you have made. The wool was the perfect fabric. I think this looks like something Jacqueline Kennedy or Audrey Hepburn would have worn. I will look forward to seeing a jacket made exactly as on the pattern cover. The lines are beautiful. It’s all about the lines of a garment to me.

    All good wishes to you for the holidays with your family.

    • Thank you so much, Karen. I agree – the lines speak volumes – and then there is always that engineering that goes with the lines. All fun and intriguing. Best wishes to you and yours for the holidays, as well!

  2. Beautifully done! You look lovely in your ensemble, it is quite classy and sophisticated, not to mention so well made. Happy Holidays!

  3. Merry Christmas Karen! I stopped my Holiday gift sewing project to read your post and study your photos. As always, you never disappoint us with your skill, creativity and determination. Your dress is a dream and I love everything about it. I know the American Girl Doll’s coat will be a big hit with your granddaughter. Would I be correct in assuming you make copies of your vintage patterns to keep them pristine? Or what is your working method with these treasures? You’re a joy you follow on this blog and I hope you continue to have a prosperous and healthy 2021! My best wishes to you and yours.

    • Hi Peggy and thank you for your comment. I try very hard to keep my vintage patterns neat, but I do use them. I use waxed paper and a wheel to transfer the lines and markings of the paper pattern onto muslin. Then I am usually able to fold the tissue pattern and put it away, although often I have to get it out again to check on some detail. I make alterations to the muslin as needed and then transfer the markings from the muslin onto silk organza, if I am using it, or occasionally right on to the fashion fabric. It’s a long process, but it works!
      Wishing you every happiness in the new year, as well!

  4. Mery

    Your plaid matching and other couture touches make me feel like I do when looking at a fine painting. It is an awesome outfit to be worn practically year-round.
    Now I am in love with the envelope jacket too. Their Young Fashionables line does always have a bit if flair that makes them fun to wear today.
    May you and yours have a happy and safe holiday season. The American Girl Linton tweed coat is a knockout, I’m sure.

    • I often am drawn to the Young Fashionables in the vintage Vogue patterns, but of course they really should be called the Old Fashionables! Or maybe, Young-at-Heart Fashionables. Anyway, now I can’t stop thinking about that jacket!
      The little Linton coat turned out so cute. Hopefully my granddaughter will like it on her new doll, arriving on Christmas.
      Best-est wishes to you for Christmas and New Years. Looking forward to 2021, for sure!

  5. This is really lovely! And the fabric selection – perfect. Thank-you for the inspiration!

  6. Joan

    Lovely dress and beautiful job with matching, including dress to jacket! Thank you for sharing details like you by hand “back under stitching” around armholes and neckline.

  7. Karen Mizzi

    I enjoy so much looking at your photos and the finishing touches you add to your garments. Everything looks so beautiful and polished. It’s a pleasure to read your posts and I always feel as though I learn a little something from them too. A wonderful Xmas to you and your family. xxx

    • Thank you so much, Karen. I have found this year to be a little difficult in the “blog inspiration” arena, so it is very helpful when I receive comments like yours!
      Have a wonderful Christmas, and Cheers to the New Year ahead.

  8. Kate Smith

    What a beautiful outfit! The color is so great on you too😍

  9. Heather Myers

    Lovely, and you look great in it! Thanks for the details.

  10. Christine Taylor

    This is a lovely outfit and I would love to make something similar, it is my era. Could you let me know the pattern number so that I can track it down please. Thank you.

  11. This is really nice. I agree completely about lapped zips. I much prefer them to the modern invisible ones. They are far longer lasting as well. Beautiful outfit. Can’t wait to see the jacket made from the same pattern as well,

  12. Janet

    So inspiring, as always! Your blog is one of the little bright lights that keeps me going this year. Have a lovely holiday!

  13. sewdivine

    Just gorgeous as always 🙂

  14. Peggy Shaver

    I love reading your stories and seeing you looking so chic and beautiful in your creations. Xoxoxo


  15. Love how it is a solid colour but with a woven pattern – beautiful.

  16. Jennifer

    I stumbled on your post while investigating “Linton tweeds.” I married a Linton 16 years ago but just recently learned of the tweed, even though I’ve been sewing for decades. But I don’t do much with suitings or haute coutre, which probably explains it. Thanks for a beautiful introduction to using a Linton tweed!

    • Hi Jennifer – Thanks for your comment. Hoping a Linton tweed is in your future!

    • Mery

      Linton Tweeds is having a sale tomorrow. That might be a good place for you to start. There are shortcut methods that yield an attractive result, which might be a good starting point. There’s a countdown clock on the Linton site that yes how many hours until the sale starts in your time zone. The sale pieces are viewable when one clicks Black Friday Sale.

  17. E

    What is a dead dart?

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