Wednesday, May 15, 2013

McCall 3908: The 'First Crepe of Summer' Dress


I feel like I say this about every 1940 McCall make..but I'm REALLY excited to show you my latest project!!  I adore this dress to bits!  It's McCall 3908, a beautiful pattern that's both fitted and bloused with interesting gathers and pattern lines:


While the pattern envelope doesn't show it, there is a view 'C' which includes short sleeves.  That's the version I made.

Can you believe this is my first time ever sewing with wool crepe?  I think I am in love.  I begged David to pick me up some when he was in NYC at the famous Mood Designer Fabrics store.  The funny thing is that wool crepe is so much cheaper in the states than in the UK.  Even when you take the exchange rate into account.  The only wool crepe I can find in Scotland is approximately £25/meter (which translates to just under $40/meter) whereas they were selling this beautiful wool crepe at Mood for something like $14/yard (or approx £9/yard).  Crazy, no?  I can't believe that in the land of wool (Scotland) there are so few wool crepe options!  Well, I know what I will be packing into my suitcase on my next trip to the States ;-)


Wool crepe is a fantastic fabric for the drape and details found in 1940 dress patterns.  This illustration is from the October 1940 McCall Style News booklet:
 

I decided to forego the pouch pockets for a more streamlined summer look.  Like with all my previous 1940 McCall makes, I am itching to sew this pattern up again.  I would love to make a winter version in a silk velvet with the pockets!

The pattern was straightforward to make and the wool crepe was a dream to sew with.  The bodice has really nice shaping with gathers at the neckline and waistline and a semi circle neckline yoke that is attached with a lapped seam over the gathers.  The waist is also attached to the bodice in a lapped seam.  This was a little tricky with the sharp v-shaped lines at the waist but I think I managed to get it pretty straight.  The pattern is designed to be bloused in the back which translates to a little bit of the bloused look on the sides as well:


The sleeve caps have three darts each.  I'm a big sucker for 40s darted sleeve caps.  The mid-length and long-sleeve versions also have this detail.  Normally the back would close with a thread chain loop and buttons but I decided to insert a zipper in the back.  There is also a zipper at the side of the dress (both handpicked).


We took these photos on a lovely pathway that runs alongside the Water of Leith.  The sun was just settling down in the sky and the light was beautiful!


I'm so happy with this dress and I just love the red colour (goes with my Ness shoes) and can't wait to wear it all the time!!

I'm curious...have you sewn with wool crepe?  Can you find it in your locality?

33 comments:

  1. I love it! The waistline details and all the shaping is very pretty and interesting. I have never sewn with wool crepe, though I am dreaming of getting some in a creme color to make myself a winter weight dress out of... sigh...

    Brigid
    The Middle Sister and Singer

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  2. That is stunning! Vintage but modern at the same time, and so classy. That colour is lovely on you too.

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  3. Knock out! These strong colours suit you so well (I'm thinking of the emerald dress also). Great success

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  4. Wow, that's so lovely Debi! I particularly like the bodice details - the wool crepe is a perfect choice too, so beautifully drapey. x

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  5. Lovely! The dress is so flattering on you! Great color and I love the yoke and the gathers.

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  6. Gorgeous. Yes I love wool crepe too, it's like sewing butter but less messy hehehe. I do have to smile - you know you live in Scotland when a summer dress is made of wool! But actually, how incredibly sensible, as a perfect compromise for those not so warm but still summer days!
    And lady in red, a great colour on you :)

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  7. This is beautiful! And it looks like a dream to wear :)

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  8. Amazing dress!! I should go to shops and check if we have some wool crepe%)

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  9. Beautiful dress.... the irony of where we live.... you in Scotland want wool crepe from the USA because is cheaper.... and here in the USA we want liberty of London because is cheaper... LOL we are never happy aren't we?
    Anyways congratulations on your dress and your blog... is so INSPIRING...sunny wishes from Florida

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  10. Oh this is gorgeous on you Deby. I would have left off those pockets too. This reminds me a bit of the blue velvet dress we both made it was very drapie. I was reminded when you said silk velvet. The stretchy velvet I used was a nightmare but I swear you can't wrinkle it if you tried. I think with silk velvet it would be lovely but difficult. The trick is to baste everything so it doesn't shift.

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  11. Debi, this is gorgeous! That red really does suit you. Fabric is always expensive down here in Oz and even more so in New Zealand (where I'm originally from). But I have found a few great places here that carry end of lines which make them super cheap.

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  12. Fabulous dress, the little details are stunning.

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  13. debi, you are a little red corvette, 40s style. beautiful!!!

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  14. I live in Missouri, just about the geographic middle of the United States.
    Within 6 months time it can be both 20 degrees below zero, and 120 degrees above zero. Wool crepe is the most comfortable and sensible fabric I've ever worn! Removable dress shields are a must!!

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  15. Such a pretty dress on you. The photos look lovely.

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  16. This is gorgeous! Wool crepe was definitely the perfect fabric choice and the color looks wonderful!

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  17. Beautiful! These old patterns have such lovely details and lines. It's no wonder that each one makes you giddy. And red is a great color on you.

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  18. Lovely Debi. The style and the colour. Is wool crepe washable?

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  19. This might actually be my favorite of all the lovely dresses you've made. It's so elegant and flattering. LOVE IT.

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  20. Oh, Debi! What an absolutely beautiful dress! The red looks amazing on you (and with your Ness shoes!!) and the tucks, darts, and gathers are so flattering.

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  21. This is beautiful - such a stunning colour and drapes so well. I wish wool crepe was more affordable in the UK too.

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  22. Absolutely stunning! Love the red on you:)

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  23. What a fabulous colour on you! I haven't found wool crepe in Brisbane, but it is only going into winter now so will start looking soon. I did pick some up on Goldhawk Road in London recently for £6/m though and it is lovely. Currently I am in California and hope to hit up Mood later in the week, I can see my stash growing :)

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  24. This is a beautiful dress and such a pretty colour!

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  25. I've just awarded you with a "Very Inspiring Blogger Award" over at my blog!!

    You can view it here: http://midvalevintagepost.blogspot.com/2013/05/very-inspiring-blogger-award.html

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  26. This is a lovely dress! It's such a flattering shape, and the fabric looks like it moves so beautifully. You look gorgeous in red.

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  27. The colour really goes with your shoes wonderfully!
    And wow, all that detailing.
    I've never sewn with wool crepe, but I've lived under the impression that it would be the perfect fabric for 40s designs for a while now... maybe I've seen a wool crepe dress in a museum?

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  28. Just beautiful, as always! The color is so stunning on you - and that design... swoon! Would be GORGEOUS in velvet!

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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