Rebecca started Vogue #2859 as her first project. The dress is tricky by modern standards in that the closure is a series of hooks and eyes and the pieces are lapped and then topstitched as they would have been in the 30s. If you are ambitious right out of the gate, go for it, but be warned: This dress is simple, but has to be executed perfectly for it to look good.
We’ll try to talk her into modeling it, but in the meantime…
If you notice the way that the garment is draping on the mannequin, you will see the stress across the bustline. This isn’t because it doesn’t fit, but rather because the bustline of the mannequin is designed and shaped as if she were wearing a bra. For this dress to hang and drape properly, you will have to forgo a bra or use something more like an adhesive cup with no band or straps. If you want a bustline with more lift and volume, you will have to adjust the bodice pieces. The draft as it is intends for the length from the bust point to the shoulder to be lower as a natural breast would fall.
The entirety of the dress is very open. When it shows up in class, the first thing that we talk about during the fitting is if it is too open. Alterations to the front and back would require a little bit of geometry to maintain the balance of the shapes and still look right. If you were to just add to the edge of the pieces you will lose the shape.
This was worked up in silk faille, so the drape has this decadent but stable fluidity.
If you are looking for a good pattern to cut your teeth on, you may want to save this for a second project. The construction methods won’t be as comparable to modern methods as others. The lapped and edge-stitched seams are a nice callback, but they aren’t common anymore.
We’ll get a student who fits it willing to be photographed so that you can see just what a special dress it is – the firm-busted mannequin really doesn’t do it justice.
It is out of print, unfortunately, but you can usually find it on Etsy here.
You can read about it on Pattern Review here.