I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
After our discussion this week about the Simplicity "slenderette" patterns, I thought I should give one a go. This is Simplicity #3446, which I bought from a great Etsy shop. I made it up in a cotton polka dot print, which I had originally bought to make the chemise dress from VoNBBS. I decided that the drape wasn't quite right for the chemise dress, so a new plan was hatched. I don't have many cotton work dresses and they're so nice in the summer, aren't they?
This was a fun little pattern to make up. I used a lot of the skills I've been picking up from VoNBBS--tailor's tacks, seam binding on the hem, etc. So I really have been learning things!
Here's a close up of the bodice:
This pattern is from 1960, so it's a printed pattern, as opposed to the patterns I've been using from VoNBBS. This really got me thinking about the evolution of the sewing pattern. That must have been one of the single most mind-blowing changes in the business. Can you imagine how that would have changed the home sewing experience? You've been plodding along for years, using blank patterns, and then bam! Suddenly you have a crystal clear road map in bold black ink.
So what do you think? Do I look "slenderette"?
Oh, speaking of which, I wrote to Simplicity's consumer service department to see if they had any info on the slenderette pattern line. I can't say that I really expected a response, but someone got right back to me, saying that she would look into it. I'll let you know what I hear!
Now, for real this time, I'm going to start the chemise dress. I bought a lovely boysenberry-colored silk to make it in. More to come!