Inside the Envelope
Vogue Couturier #800, 1954
Let's start with the back of the pattern envelope before looking inside.
In the photo above, I'd like you to take note of two things. One, that "Skirt Stiffening" is needed for the skirt, which is separate and different from "Front Interfacing". We'll look at that again later in the instructions. Second, that 1 and 1/2 yards of 10" wide ribbon is needed for the "girdle" or decorative ribbon belt, shown on the envelope front in yellow worn with the white dress. Where would you find 10" wide ribbon? Anybody have any ideas? I'm lucky to find ribbon that is 2 1/2" to 3" wide where I live. Ribbon any wider is a rarity around here.
From the instruction sheet you can see that there are not a lot of pieces to this dress. There are special pieces for the skirt stiffening, and a piece for pockets.
Since the sleeves are cut in one with the dress fronts, there is a need for an underarm gusset. There is not a separate piece for a gusset, but the fronts and backs have an area, which is reinforced, slashed and then each edge is sewn to the side fronts and backs, giving space in the underarm area and allowing the sleeve and side seam to be sewn in one seam.
As is common with many vintage patterns, the interfacing is not applied to the facing and then the interfaced facing is applied to the garment. The interfacing is applied to the dress, then the facing is stitched on after the bound buttonholes are made. Remember, too, that fusible interfacing wasn't available, so the interfacing would be sewn into the seams.
The skirt stiffening has two pattern pieces of its own and is assembled independently of the dress, leaving openings in the side seams for the pocket bags. The stiffening is sewn to the front interfacing and to the dress at the body darts and side seams. This is very similar to what I found in the green velvet dress. I'm assuming there was more stiffening in my green dress at one time because it looked like some had been ripped out. I can understand the need for such a product. Keeping those skirts standing out and looking full is hard to achieve with petticoats alone. The skirt itself must be stiffened too, so that it will stand out. It is similar to using an underlining to change the drape of a particular fabric.
As usual, there is the inside belt:
The stiffening is hemmed as a lining would be, after the fashion fabric is hemmed:
I am still working on the school wardrobe. I have four more pieces to go and I hope to start on another skirt this evening!
Parting Shot: Sunshine. Don't you wish you could just take a nap in a square of sunshine?