Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Vintage School Summer Dress


So there I was in the middle of having a meltdown when the most ideal girls dress pattern landed on my doorstep. The reason for my distress was this. I have always used the Oliver and S Jump Rope dress for my girls school summer dresses but upon measuring her this year, I discovered that she was in the last size and knowing how the pattern fits on her it didn't look as if I could use it again *sob*. I was hoping for more time to use it!

I made up a bodice in the size 8 and tried it on her but it didn't have a lot of wiggle room and she looked uncomfortable. Her waist measurement made it too snug. 

So I was delighted when this vintage pattern arrived. It was perfect for school. 



It was sent to me by the lovely and very generous Nicole. Thank you so much Nicole!! At first I thought she might squeeze into the size but upon rechecking the size chart, my hopes were dashed. Ebay to the rescue! I had been looking for a replacement pattern but nothing was in Boo's range. Why did it never occur to me to check vintage patterns?! After all, the style of summer dresses hasn't changed since I was at school.

After seeing this perfect pattern I tracked a larger size down and bought it immediately.


The pattern has three variations. A pleated skirt with long sleeves and buttoned cuffs. Short sleeves with a gathered skirt and self fabric belt. Or a gored skirt with side zipper closing.

I went for version 2. Self fabric belt, gathered skirt and short sleeves. Oh did I mention the inseam pocket? We are beyond thrilled about that!


The fit is nearly spot on. She will need more room in the waist as the buttons and snaps are a little strained, but it is easier to get in and out of than her old Jump Ropes because of the way the placket is extended into the dress skirt.

 I should have got a picture. The skirt is slashed at the top for about 3", bias bound along the raw edges and folded into the gathers so the opening is concealed. This is all secured by snaps. (look carefully into the gathers on the photo above and you can just see a bit of the contrast binding). It all means that the bodice placket opens up enough for the wearer to ease into.



I like the look of the belt too. It brings it all together. 
I have left it off today because she has PE and I think it will be fiddly for her.

I fully intend to make another version because it is a brilliant pattern. Now at least she can get out of her grey skirts and wear a dress (which she loves doing). 

It is also great to know that when I have L at school that I will be able to make this pattern for her in the smaller size and of course my beloved Jump Rope pattern will become useful once more.

11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you!
      Now all I need is some warmer sunshine.

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  2. Katy, I am so pleased.
    When I doubled up I thought of you. It just looked like you!
    What a beautiful job you made of sewing it up.

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    1. I am so grateful Nicole, it is a perfect pattern for school.

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    2. I still think it is funny that you bought the other one I was 'watching'.

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  3. What a great pattern for school. I know some people don't get into the school uniform sewing thing but I wish I could sew dresses like this for school. Our school has some kind of unique, impossible to source check fabrics for the girl's dresses. :(

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    1. I do enjoy making her uniform, she seems to grow out of it so fast though. I am getting the hang of which patterns to use.

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  4. It makes the perfect school uniform! Very pretty.:)

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    1. Thanks Cindy! I seem to make bits of uniform regularly throughout the year. A skirt here, a blouse there. At least when L goes to school, it will all be ready for her!

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  5. What a beautiful school uniform! I love how the vintage pattern fits right in for today's classy/classic look. Great job!

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    1. Thank you!
      I am finding a few vintage patterns to bridge the gap between girl and teen patterns. She is heading towards the end of the normal sizing range for kids.

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