Tuesday, March 20, 2018

McCall 3893: The 'Film Noir Dress'

Oh! I am SO EXCITED for my most recent make.  One of my absolute favourite features of 1940 McCall patterns is the draping, shirring and gathers and this beauty is exceptional in all regards!

Meet McCall 3893--my new favourite pattern!  The photo above is from the Winter 1940 Singer Digest showing a model wearing the dress (photo from myvintagevogue.com).

And here is the original pattern:

I actually got this pattern early in my collecting days--but then had a blog giveaway for this pattern! Can you imagine? It was before I was super confident on drafting and the size 12 (bust 30) was a bit of a challenge.  Years later, as I really started to get into the 1940 McCall Project challenge, I realised what a treasure it was. Low and behold about 6 years after giving away the original pattern, I found it again online and in my size (size 16)! And boy did I snatch that pattern up quick! haha.  And I'm so glad I did!!

I made this up in a lovely deep teal colour viscose fabric.  Viscose is actually my favourite fabric to use in these patterns from 1940 that have a lot of gathers/shirring because the fabric is very stretchy but still substantial and they iron and wash well.  I'm planning to do a blog post maybe later this week with all my 1940 viscose dress makes.  I still have two viscose fabrics in my stash too--so potentially more viscose dress projects this year as well!!

The October 1940 McCall's magazine has this to say about the pattern: Right sided-- the thing that makes this dress stand out from other one-sided frocks, is the concentration of all the interest over at the right side. And that shirred pocket is a new note.

We took these very film noir inspired photos in the Rodney Street tunnel, an abandoned railway tunnel in Edinburgh. How amazing does the light look in this? It's very reminiscent of the film noir period--which is perfectly suited to this dress! It was amazing working with Philip Stanley Dickson for the photographs – you may remember him from the fabulous photos of my 'Aviator Dress'.

In terms of sewing, the dress was very straight forward – surprisingly easy for the amount of detail it contains.  The back and skirt is straight and all the detail is at the shoulder and pocket but with very clear instructions and fabulously drafted pattern pieces for the shirring and gathers.  I could have probably taken about a 1/4 of an inch off each shoulder--but the extra length there is solved a bit with the addition of the shoulder pads that I'm wearing.

I styled the dress with 1940s reproduction (and super comfy) swing shoes from Aris Allen and a cute little tilt hat that I got at the Urban Eccentric vintage store in Washington State.

I truly feel like a 1940s femme fatale in this dress. I love it sooooooo much! I might have to sew up this pattern again soon!!


1 comment

  1. I especially love the black and white tunnel shot. It evokes a certain atmosphere . . .


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