Vintage Simplicity 3320: the toile


Simplicity 3320: 1950s dress with 2 skirt variations and detachable collar

I’m not entirely sure what era this dress pattern is, as its listed as 1950s on some sites and 1960s on others. What do you reckon? Not that it really matters. I think its a lovely one in any case and I’ve gone for version 2, Mad Men stylee!

I’m glad I decided to make a toile for this as I really wanted to check out all of the stages properly and for the work involved I want it to work! Everything is going smoothly so far, touch wood. It goes without saying that I’ve had to adjust the waist measurement somewhat . . . oh to have the waist of a small child!

bodice without vestee

bodice without vestee

I didn’t understand the logic behind the construction of the bodice at first. ie: really low v-neck and separate vestee, until I realised the collar was detachable and needs to sit inside, all the way down the neck/front edge. The neckline is faced and the vestee piece is attached to the inside facings with edges bound together.

bodice facings

bodice facings

vestee attached to facings

vestee attached to facings

Of course, the insides will be so much neater when all the edges are bias bound.

I love the shoulder darts on the bodice. Not something that I’ve not come across before on modern pattern pieces, and it’s looking to be a good fit across my back for a change!

shoulder darts

shoulder darts

There are double darts on the skirt back. Not sure why exactly, maybe its just another vintage touch but I think it looks quite classy all the same.

skirt back darts

skirt back darts

The double soft pleats on the skirt front worried me at first. I thought I was going to have to exchange them for darts but decided to leave well alone and retain authenticity as the skirt seems to hang quite nicely and doesn’t poof out at the belly which is always a concern! Apart from that, I have never constructed my own darts before!

full dress toile

full dress toile

Ooops… should have pressed the skirt . . . bit slapdash!

I like the side zipper. I think this is common to vintage dresses. It ultimately means I stand less of a chance of pulling a muscle when I zip up but better still it means the back bodice and back skirt are cut as 1 piece each, quite lucky as I am going to be using plaid. I think that matching up the sides is going to be taxing enough for me!

And as per usualΒ I’ve shortened the length of the skirt, using the proper adjustment line, only this time by an impressive 5 inches . . . and it still retains a vintage length! The vent seems a bit excessive, with an inner pleat that extends to the waist of the skirt, but hey, I wouldn’t have a better solution!

skirt vent

skirt vent

I haven’t totally decided on the fabric for the collar. I bought some navy cotton velvet in anticipation but Mr Ooobop! thinks red. Annoyingly he is right most of the time so I might have to make both.

plaid and velvet

plaid and velvet

Not sure how long it will take me to publish the finished article. It’s not complicated at all, save lots of bias finishing on the inside, just depends on my workload which appears to be growing. Typical when I want to get stuck in to something. Still, not complaining πŸ˜‰


21 thoughts on “Vintage Simplicity 3320: the toile

  1. Wow, that looks really interesting to construct. So interesting to use a pattern significantly different to modern makes. Can’t wait to see the finished article – you’ll look fab in it.

  2. I remember my mother making me a dress similar to the white one when I was 14 years old in 1959, so I would pit it in the 1950s or very, very early 1960s. There should be a year date on the back of the pattern in tiny print. Most well-made fitted dresses did have a side zippers…hidden ones, at that!
    Nice blog!

    • Thank you so much for your comment JSD. And also for leading me to your fabulous blog. There is so much I want to read on there. I feel its going to be a big distraction for me today! I just love the picture of you balancing on your dad’s hand! There was no date printed on the pattern so this info is really helpful, thank you πŸ™‚

    • Hi Stinigurl. Thank you for stopping by. I think ‘toile’ is an English version and ‘muslin’ is an American version of the same thing. Although I think we stole ‘toile’ from the French! I use ‘mock up’ at work when I make ‘dummy’ books and packaging! I love your creations and what a fabulous job you have too! Looking forward to more posts!

  3. I love this and your toile is looking fantastic! So interesting how the vestee is attached! I love the soft pleats in the front and the darts on the back of the skirt–just classy details! Your fabric choices are lovely (YAY for plaid!!!)

  4. Interesting! I love hearing about all the vintage construction details that you don’t seem to find on modern patterns. The blue plaid will make a perfect winter dress! Look forward to the finished article.

  5. Ooh, I will definitely follow your progress with this as I have recently bought a similar pattern (McCalls 5560) and have been searching to find pictures of finished versions of it. I really like your choice of fabric!

    As for dating it, the seller I bought mine from listed it as 1960. I don’t know if it’s accurate, but my guess would be that it is from somewhere between 1959 and 1961. Just a feeling. πŸ˜‰

    • It is rather similar, isn’t it?! Oh I do hope I don’t disappoint! I still can’t find finished made up dresses from my pattern either. Someithing quite daunting about being the first!

    • Aww…. thanks Dibs. Its a slow process but I’m getting there, bit by bit! Little one on a sleepover tonight and Mr Ooobop away gigging so I might make some headway this weekend if I’m lucky! πŸ™‚

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