Tuesday 11 September 2012

1940's Hollywood dress pattern in Clydella fabric

Well, I've only been and gone and made another dress!! 

This one has been weeks in the making and to finally get the last stitches done and it photographed on "Doris" is a huge relief. 

Two years ago (time flies!) I bought a piece of fabric which was labelled up as Viyella.  Having worked with Viyella before and really liking the finish, I picked up the 3 meters for a reasonable £17.50.  It's a soft yellow colour with a small design of 1cm which is cream and brown.  The fabric had sat in my stash for months until June (told you it had been months in the making) when I finally found a pattern to go with it. 

1943 Hollywood pattern.
When I came to unwrap the fabric, I found that there was an original label on it that I'd not seen before (teach me to look properly at what I buy won't it?!) and instead of Viyella, I actually had a piece of Clydella.  If you look it up online, you might think that Clydella is Viyella's poorer quality relative.  Viyella has a 55% merino, 45% cotton content whereas Clydella is 81% cotton, thus making it cheaper and less "cosy".  The fabric was actually lovely to work with.  It didn't fray too badly or slip about, is strong and durable yet is soft and hangs really nicely so Clydella gets a thumbs up from me! 

The dress wasn't the easiest.  The instructions weren't exactly detailed and in two places just simply didn't make sense!! 

The dress has 7 buttons running down the back.  Where the buttons end and the two pieces of fabric get sewn together for form the skirt just didn't fit.  If I put the buttons where the tacks were then there simply wasn't enough fabric to cover ones modesty!  I stitched it as per the pattern, unpicked it and hand stitched it again, unpicked that and then, in desperation, decided to ignore the pattern and make the thing fit the only way it would which meant adjusting the seams.  I got there in the end and am very happy with the way it turned out.

Fitting of the pockets was also not easy as I kept getting the ric rac caught!  In fairness, I think it was far more to do with my inexperience at such things than the pattern itself. 

I loved the ric rac.  I bought the giant size stuff at my local fabric shop.  Having never before had a reason to look at ric rac, I didn't realise what a wonderful array of colours and sizes there are - I'm well and truly hooked and have already picked the next dress I want to attach some to! 

Trimming was time consuming, lots of tacking and pining and very careful placing.  There are two places where the two lines or trim aren't exactly symmetrical, and that bugs me a little but for a first attempt, I'm pretty pleased with it.

Enough waffling though, here is what you really want to see, some photographs!!

The belt isn't too big really, the dummy is just smaller than the dress - just realised it needs a belt loop so not "quite" finished after all!!! :o(
 I'm off to the North Norfolk railway this weekend for their 1940's event where I hope this dress will find a new owner. 

Autumn is very definitely here.  The evenings are drawing in and there's a definite chill in the air when Mr Y heads out at 7am.  Darker evenings mean more knitting time and I'm nearly half way through a cardigan which is being knitted in the most beautiful petrol blue colour by King Cole.  Should be finished in a couple of weeks, perfect for the colder months ahead :o)


  1. Ooh, that is lovely! I hate it when my patterns do that - don't fit their instructions!

    1. Thank you Rachel. It was a total pain! Hadn't encountered that before but I got there in the end :o)

  2. It is gorgeous! That's it ... I'm going on a strict diet so that I can fit into one of these vintage dresses!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    1. :o) Thankfully I have some bigger patterns that I hope to use soon - this one is just SO tiny! x

  3. So lovely! I love working with ric rac, it cheers everything up.

  4. Another gorgeous dress
    Julie xxxxxxx

  5. It's beautiful, well done. Hope the weekend went well, it's one we'd like to get to but is a bit of a trek in term time. One day...
    Hen x

  6. Oh goodness, that is a fabulous dress! Down to the belt and the covered buttons on the back, wow!

  7. So lovely! I'm very jealous that you can find actual vintage fabric from the 1940s!