Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Vintage Child's Dress

Mama R recently showed me some vintage child dress patterns. They have been in her stash unused since I was a wee child. I came by my unused pattern stash honestly. I decided it was time to sew one of them for my massage therapist's little girl. Actually, she has two little girls and they both like wearing dresses. How cute is that!

She told me that she can't keep up with how often her girls ask to wear dresses. I can totally understand since I'm a dress/skirt lady myself.

I have enough left over green cotton sateen fabric from the Vogue 1247 skirt I recently made. And little flowered ribbon that has been in my stash for quite some time. The ribbon is for the dress front and back. Oh, and the pattern.

It is McCall's 9794, circa 1969:
A-line dress, with or without short set-in sleeves, has faced neck and centre back zipper.  Sleeved dress may have soutache braid around neck and sleeve edges, or ribbon threaded eyelet beading sewn on sleeves and dress front and backs.  Sleeveless dress has faced armholes and contrast fabric belt.  Belt, buttoned in front, is held in place by thread carriers.
Notice that no where in the description does it say the design has a neckline that could cut off circulation. Well, as I pieced the dress together, I started to question this pattern.

Now I know that Vintage patterns do run smaller than modern day patterns. But I didn't think that the neckline would look so small. I compared it to a child's dress pattern that I had in my stash but in sizes 2 to 4. The McCall's dress neckline is significantly smaller.

Since I don't have a model to try it on I'm going to error on caution.

I've re-shaped the neckline to make the opening more roomy. I realize that the illustration shows a close fitting neckline but it just looks too uncomfortable.

I've also reshaped the armhole opening and decided to omit the sleeves. It also appeared quite small.

Instead of facing the dress, I've finished off the neck and armhole opening with white bias tape.

This is new for me, working with a vintage child's pattern. And to top it off it has been many moons since I made a little girl's dress.

Fingers crossed it will fit the young lady because I think it is too cute with the white and green ribbon trim.

Happy Sewing!  


  1. Very cute little dress !

  2. Such an adorable dress! I have experienced children's vintage to run smaller. The styles of the past seem to be more fun and interesting.

  3. Thanks. I thought it looked small!

  4. This is so adorable - I just love 1960s childrens patterns and always pick them up when I find them (even though I don't have kids of my own). Can't wait to see if it fits!

    1. Me too! I end up sewing for other people's kids and back-in-the-day my niece and nephews. I can't wait to see if it fits too. I was suppose to give it to her this week but my massage appointment was cancelled. Next month I'll find out.


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