Completed: A Very Purple Simplicity 3178

16 Jan

Y’all. Can we talk about wool crepe for a minute? I just love this shit to tiny threadbare pieces and I wish everything I made had a wool crepe option. I love the spongy texture, the glorious drape, the magical body-temperature-regularity (yay, wool!), and the COLORS. Truly, everyone should have at least one experience rolling around in a uncut length of wool crepe. Especially if it is a jewel-toned wool crepe. Ooh la la.

For my first Mood Sewing Network project, I wanted that experience to include wool crepe. I have a beautiful 1940s Simplicity pattern that I knew would look amazing done up in such a fabric. And since we’re talking about ~my first time~, I decided to go all out with my bad self and splurge on silk crepe de chine lining and satin bias tape as well. The end result is very… purple.

Simplicity 3178
The pattern I used is Simplicity 3178, which is undated but looks to be from the late 30s/early 40s. I love vintage patterns because they always have sweet little details, like the darts on the elbows that provide gentle shaping for the sleeves and the shoulder yokes that are actually pockets (!!).

Simplicity 3178
The skirt is bias cut, so I finished the hem with 1″ horsehair braid to give it a nice flare.

Simplicity 3178
The pattern gives a couple of options for finishing the neckline – I went with the double collar (self fabric on top and ivory wool crepe at the bottom) and a giant bow!

Simplicity 3178
I didn’t have to make too many changes to the pattern to get a good fit. I took in the side seams by 1/2″, tapering up to the underarm. I also removed a whopping 9″ of length from the skirt – the original pattern pieces came all the way down to my ankles! Yeech!

Simplicity 3178
I reckon the pockets are totally unnecessary, but ughhh I love those little fuckers!

Simplicity 3178

Simplicity 3178
This baby is also lined! Wool crepe really begs for a nice lining to give it some additional structure, and although the pattern doesn’t include pieces or instructions for adding a lining, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out. Unfortunately, I didn’t correctly calculate my yardages, so I didn’t have enough lining for the entire dress – which means the sleeves are not lined. I’ve noticed a distinct lack of lining in lots of dress sleeves, so this doesn’t bug me too much. Bonus plus: now you can see the pretty bias tape at the sleeve hems!
Also: lol at this hideously unflattering photo of me. IT WAS WINDY WHEN I TOOK THESE PICTURES, OK.

Simplicity 3178
The instructions do call for the sleeve slit and hems to be finished with bias tape, and then closed with a series of snaps. After trying the dress on during one of many fittings, I decided to flip the hems back to show the bias tape since the dress really needed a bit of color breakup. I pressed the cuff (wool crepe really does press so beautifully) and tacked down each side with a couple of hand stitches to keep everything in place. The neck bow is the same bias tape, just pressed completely open.

Simplicity 3178
I think the shoulders are my favorite part of the dress! Instead of using shoulder pads, I made a small stiff rectangle with horsehair interfacing and tacked that to the armholes like a sleeve head. It keeps the pleats from dropping too much and gives the dress those badass strong shoulders that were so fashionable in the 40s.

Simplicity 3178
Here you can better see the yoke pockets. I just think they are the coolest little detail! I wish they were big enough to hold my phone, but they’re just baarely too small. Hm, what do you think I could use them for? My seam ripper seems to fit πŸ™‚

Simplicity 3178
Simplicity 3178
I worked hard to make the inside of this dress just as pretty as the outside. The yoke pockets and neck facings are lightly interfaced with silk organza, the facings are finished with satin bias tape, and I even rolled the hem lining and used tiny hand stitches to secure it. The collar is detachable – it’s current state of attachment involves basting stitches.

Simplicity 3178
Overall, I’m very happy with my dress – I love it’s snuggly wool warmth and did I mention purple? Because purple.

– Brittany of Viva Bang Bang, one of the MANY local Nashville bloggers who I’m just obsessed with (check out my sidebar; there are tons of us! WE ARE EVERYWHERE, YO), came to my house over the weekend and took a bunch of pictures of my sewing room. If you thought it looked cool before, definitely go check it out now because she made it look fucking amazing. Yay! Thank you so much, Brittany!!
– I’m sure some of y’all are into Project Runway, yes? Even if you’re not (that would be me, haha. Guilty!), you should totally watch this season because my homegirl Amanda Valentine is one of the designers and she is super rad and you should support her. I mean, they called her a bitch in the season preview. How sweet is that?! Haha!

43 Responses to “Completed: A Very Purple Simplicity 3178”

  1. Scruffybadger January 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Unbelievable ! This dress, or rather this very purple luxe version is a stunner. I think you’ve really justified the quality of all your materials with such wintery vintage glamour. Your details make it that much more special, particlualy the satin as contrast. swoon. If I could only wish, I’d have your wardrobe…..

  2. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! January 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    That is fabulous! That color is gorgeous on you. I love the bias tape and ribbony touches. What a smart idea of the horsehair interfacing. I love 40s styles (obviously :P) but I am not a fan of shoulder pads. I have narrow shoulders and they make me look ree-dee-cu-lous. But this would be worth trying as an alternative! I need to look into wool crepe too!

    Could the (totally amazing) pockets have been meant for a cigarette?! I have seen a vintage knitting pattern with a cigarette pocket, though not in the shoulder. lol

    • LLADYBIRD January 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      Oh yeah, I feel ya on the narrow shoulders. I love the way the 40s accentuates the shoulders without being totally crazy about it (well… usually haha).. And oh my god, you should definitely try wool crepe, it will change your sewing life. It is AWESOME stuff!

      I thought the pockets might be for a cigarette, but they might be a smidge too narrow for modern boxes. Maybe a smaller cigarette case, though. I wouldn’t put it past those vintage patterns to sneak a cigarette holder in any garment, haha!

  3. Cari Homemaker January 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    If it were an earlier in the ’30’s pattern, I’d say maybe the pockets were for hiding a very small flask. Cigarette pockets totally make sense though. Pretty dress, whatever the original pockets were meant for.

  4. Maggie January 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Wool crepe! I have never used it, but it looks dreamy! Living up in the north it would be perfect for a winter dress πŸ™‚ Great use of the satin binding as the bow, all of it looks amazing!

  5. Marie January 16, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    OMG, this is divine…DIVINE! Love all the 30s/40s details and that double collar…oh wow! What a wonderful collar on you too! By the way, are you trying to break a me-made record this year…you’ve made so many things already and it’s not even the end of Jan! Wowzers!!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      MAYBE I AM! Haha but in all seriousness… I am a lot more productive when it’s cold and shitty outside. Wait till summer – I’ll be sewing less bc I’ll be outside riding my bike and eating popsicles in the park! πŸ˜‰

  6. Claire (aka Seemane) January 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    I just wanna say on you this Purple Reigns ;)!

    • LLADYBIRD January 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      ahaha, I see what you did there πŸ˜‰

  7. Fwaire January 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    This is so cute! I love the bow and sleeve details!

  8. Sew Lonnie January 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    This dress is so amazing that I actually gasped when the picture came up in my reader. Amazing!

  9. macstabby January 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    GAWAHHHH that is cramazeballs. I love the eggplanty purpleness of it, and the vintage style, and all the pretty details. This sucker is beyond my skills, but good GOD is gives me something to aspire too!
    Also, please stop sewing so fast. You’re making some of us (ME) look like lazy assholes! Only sort of joking. πŸ˜‰

  10. kimmie January 16, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    This dress is perfection! I do, however, you should have left that 9″ inches tacked on there for the sister wife appeal.

  11. Rochelle New January 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    That is such a glorious color on you!! I already commented on your post for mood, but let me just reiterate HOW AMAZING THIS DRESS IS!! Perfect blend of textures. Love love love.

  12. Fashionable Stitcher January 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Its so freaking gorgeous! I LOVE the color. And wool crepe is pretty much to die for – one of my favorite weaves for any fabric really. You did an amazing job – inside and out! Glorious confection.

  13. K-Line January 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    It’s so vintage adorable. But, seriously, how do you manage to make all these things???

    • LLADYBIRD January 17, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      You have to remember that I don’t have kids or a particularly demanding career, and my boyfriend doesn’t come home from work until a couple hours after I do. 2 hours a night sewing can make a huge difference in how much you get accomplished πŸ™‚

      Oh, and also, this was pretty much the only thing I worked on for most of my Christmas time off haha πŸ˜€

      • K-Line January 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

        OK, fair enough. If I sewed for 2 hrs a night, I’d have many more things to show for it!

  14. Rebecca/Wannabeseamstress January 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Fabulous dress! You’ve made me want to get my greedy little hands on some wool crepe. :]

  15. Susan O'Gorman January 16, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Love the purple dress! I think eyeglasses would fit nicely in the pocket. It will be on my “to sew” list and looks fabulous on you!

  16. Heartofstone January 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    Super cute dress!! I love the contrasting colors at the collar and the purple looks great on you!!

  17. Donna January 17, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    The details really make that dress…the cuffs, the collar, totally awesome. OK, the purple holds its own too. πŸ˜‰

  18. Karina January 17, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    Damn. This dress is friggin’ beautiful, really amazing and lovely! πŸ™‚

  19. megthegrand January 17, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    Ooooo! Love this shade of purple on you, the fact that you are rocking wool crepe and horsehair braid, and that you have sneaky little pockets!! It’s an amazing dress!

  20. Sew Little Time January 17, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    gorgeous! i love the colour. could the pockets be for a lovely lacy hankerchief?

  21. Sarah W. January 17, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    Cute! Wool’s really underrated, don’t you think?

  22. PendleStitches January 17, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I cannot stop loving purple this winter and this is the most purpletastic so far! Love it! But…I’ve only managed to cut out one pattern..just the far this year. You’re making a girl look bad!

  23. colleen January 17, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Of all your beautiful makes, this one, oh, this one is the one! I can’t get over its beauty. Those pockets! The beautiful collars, the sleeves. It’s simply gorgeous!

  24. sallie January 17, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Ah I love this dress! The purple is gorgeous (I’m having a serious purple-awakening at the moment…) and I love the cute, kicky little 30’s/40’s silhouette. The pointed waistline?! Adorbs.

    • LLADYBIRD January 17, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      I recently had a purple awakening too! It’s amazing because I never really considered it as a color before… but now I can’t get enough of it!!

  25. Librarian Tells All January 17, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Grace: I am the private secretary to Oliver Warbucks.
    Miss Hannigan: THE Oliver Warbucks? Oliver Warbucks, the millionaire?
    Grace: Oh no. Oliver Warbucks, the billionaire.

    Congrats on your first Mood Sewing Network piece! This is going to sound weird, but it reminds me of the super-ladylike, high-neck dresses worn by Grace in the movie Annie. And I mean that in a really good way. She was structured and proper, but totally feminine… Just like those shoulders! πŸ™‚

  26. crystalpleats January 17, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    This turned out so gorgeous. It doesn’t hurt that I am a huge fan of the purple color family, which you used in a great combination. So many lovely details such as the pockets and double collar and the bias you flipped to the outside. I could go on.

  27. houseofpinheiro January 17, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    my ultimate and favourite outfit so far this year!

  28. tracy January 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    aww your’re just so fabulous! i love the colour, the style, everything!!
    and the pictures of your workroom are ace,omg so jealous, i have to lug my clutter from various rooms in the house( there are actually quite a few rows re my stuff- mum get your stuff out of my bedroom/my wardrobe etc!) to the kitchen table, where its a fight over sewing/homework/drawing.sniff sniff x

  29. Kay January 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    It is a beautiful dress, and looks lovely on you. It is funny, I do not consider purple as being one of my favorite colors, but I have a crap ton load of it in my wardrobe, and really enjoy wearing the color. Go figure!

  30. Alli January 18, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    Gorgeous!!!! I love it…..and the colour is amazing

  31. gingermakes January 18, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Obvs I love this… it’s beyond adorable, and such a great color for you! And your sewing room is so organized and nice! Loved snooping through those pics!

  32. Lisa January 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    I can’t get over the yoke pockets. And the color. And the double collar. But seriously, no, the pockets. Such attention to detail on the part of the those late thirties’ designers! And the end product is cute as a button. BRAVO, Official Mood Sewing Network Woman! πŸ™‚

  33. Helen Made January 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Wow nice first Mood project! The colour of that wool crepe is simply gorgeous! Love the dress and the cute little pockets – even if they’re not overly useful for storing anything other than a seam ripper! πŸ™‚

  34. sorbetsurprise January 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    Oh gosh I want your dress! I love the purple, its all about the purple. The double collar, the tiny pockets, the gorgeous lining, so perfect!

  35. velosewer January 19, 2013 at 3:46 am #

    Purple – a fab colour. Style – vintage beauty. What you’ve created – priceless.

  36. Debi January 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    You look smashing in this dress! It’s so beautiful!!! I think this is my favourite thing you’ve made!! I am dying to try sewing with wool crepe! Looks amazing!


  1. Completed: 40s Wool Crepe Wrap Dress | LLADYBIRD - June 12, 2013

    […] month, not to mention I’ve already dabbled in wool crepe for summer wear, as well as a full 40s wool crepe dress. Yeesh. Ya think it’s possible for me to branch out a little here? Nuh uh, no way. Not […]

Yay, comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: