Oh, how I love a 1970s pattern for the teen! I gave Clare the option of three 1970s dress patterns, and this is the one that she chose.
It is Simplicity 9725. I bet that plenty of you have this somewhere in your stash! Nicole has sewn it in the past, and when I popped it on Instagram there were many others who recognised it.
I really appreciate that there used to be pattern size ranges other than the ‘Misses’ we have today. There were ranges that were sized specifically for certain shapes and proportions – Misses, Women’s, Juniors, Junior Miss, Teen, Junior Petite, Half-Size (my personal fave – women’s circumferences, but less than average height), and the list goes on! I feel as though sizing has become so generic nowadays and as a consequence it’s become harder to find a successful starting point for home sewing.
Because Clare was away while I sewed her dress, I made certain to sew it with potential size adjustment in mind. She’s not a 32″ bust as per the pattern, but I felt that the vertical measurements would work as they were. In the end I sewed the entire front of the dress together, then the entire back, then the side seams. And I’m glad that I did – you can see the old and new seamlines and how much I had to bring the bodice in after trying it on Clare once she got home.
The sleeves are really pretty – double layered, narrow hemmed, inserted as one. The shoulders are probably a bit too wide for Clare as well – if she’d been home while I was making this I would have tried it on her and narrowed the shoulders before inserting the sleeves.
There is an invisible zipper in the centre back. It’s barely long enough, but manages to undo sufficiently for her to wriggle the dress on. I think that the pattern had instructions for a centred zipper – I ignored that. I prefer an invisible zip. The neckline is faced, and I made sure that the facing finished the zipper nicely.
The fabric is cotton voile (thanks again to a generous friend for this lovely print) and consequently is was super easy to work with. I interfaced the bodice midriff, but think that this dress could have benefitted from a bodice and midriff lining. Something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of sewing this dress.
I love this on Clare, and she clearly loves it too as it’s already been worn quite a bit. Her friends now ask her ‘did your mum make that’ – to which she proudly answers yes! I get the definite impression that some of them are a little jealous. I really appreciate that Clare appreciates my sewing.