Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Advance 7753, 1950's apron dress? APRON dress?!?

It's on the pattern envelope, but I'm going to be honest with you guys up front-- I have NO CLUE why they call this an apron dress.
Yeah...still not seeing it.  A much better description would be a sleeveless wrap dress with a full skirt.

The design of this dress is pretty clever, and it's great for border prints.  The bodice consists of only two pieces, the right bodice and the left bodice.  Each piece goes over the shoulder with no shoulder seam. I chose an Echino cotton/linen border print that had two motifs, one at each selvedge, so I used one motif for the front and one motif for the back.  The motifs join in the center with a string of butterflies.
I wish I'd taken a picture of the border print before I started working with it, but I made this dress several years ago and wasn't thinking about that then.

This pattern is also cool because the facing is cut in one with the pattern pieces.  I turned and stitched the seam allowances and the edges of the facings.  I finished the waist seam with blanket binding, which, in retrospect, looks terrible.  Oh well; nobody but me sees that part anyway.  The sash is made out of bring pink linen.
Now for the parts that didn't go so well!  The fabric is kind of itchy, and I wish I'd lined it.  The bodice tends to gape at the center front, and while I could have fixed this by adding a snap, I was lazy and didn't.  So now I have to pin it together with a safety pin.  Similarly, the skirt tends to blow open.  Again, I could have fixed this with snaps, know the routine.  Still, it went together quickly and easily, it looks good, and it's great fun to wear, so thumbs up.


  1. Wow, I was searching for this pattern and find your blog, and then realized I recognized the skyline behind you! I'm also in Austin, small world! :-) I've been looking for this pattern because I make and sell aprons and apron like products, and I believe this is actually meant as a house dress, a kind of over dress to wear around the house (like you'd wear an apron to protect clothes) and I'm dying to make some to sell. That's likely why there is nothing to keep the skirt from flying around and bust from gaping. But I love your real dress version, the border print is great!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I actually live in Boston now, but I still have family here and come back as often as I can. I like your theory about the apron dress-- I wonder too if it has something to do with that huge and unsightly pocket on the front. If you do manage to find a copy of the pattern and make some, I recommend snaps. Lots and lots of snaps!

  2. Looks beautiful! Did you have trouble attaching the bodice to the skirt? I am making the same dress pattern and the skirt seems like it needs a ton of gathering. It seems like too much fabric for the bodice, even gathered. I see yours is gathered in the back, but doesn't seem like as much fabric as mine. I am a regular sewer, and have never had this much trouble with a vintage pattern.

    1. Thanks! I don't recall having trouble attaching the bodice to the skirt, but I think a couple of factors contributed to that. First, I don't think I used as much fabric in the skirt as the pattern called for, so I had less to gather in the first place. It wasn't a calculated move to reduce bulk; I just didn't have that much fabric to work with. Second, when I gather fabric along a waistband, I almost always stitch it to a stay (5/8" grosgrain ribbon is my favorite) before stitching it to the bodice. That way, the stay controls the gathering. It seems to work a lot better than just stitching the gathering to the bodice fabric; the gathering stays a bit stretchy, and the bodice fabric usually isn't able to control that much bulk. Hope that helps!