An early 1950s version of the "little black dress", this chic ensemble in black rayon faille with lovely moiréd pattern combines a wrap blouse and pleated, flaring skirt. It was sewn from a Vogue pattern dated 1952, also included.
The blouse has a small wing collar, elbow-length kimono sleeves, and asymmetric hem with longer back panel cut high on the sides. Wrapping is accomplished via hooking the front left side of the blouse to the front right, where a long attached tie is then wrapped behind the back to join the extended “point” of the right side in a neatly knotted tie.
The skirt is given fullness as well as flare by a combination of box pleats in front and two-gore construction in back. It has a 1.25” wide waistband and closes with a side metal zip and two hooks-and-eyes. The hem was taken up at some point and is now 3.5” deep, and finished with ribbon tape. All seams are pinked.
Though neither piece is lined, the “plain” reverse to the moiréd faille makes them appear to have facing, and the midweight fabric has a crisp, polished presence.
The elderly local woman who made this set was a archivist of generations of her family’s clothing as well as an accomplished seamstress in her own right. She notes on the envelope that the set was “Hand Made by Priscilla of Waltham” and that she wore it when she was in her late thirties (and she helpfully circles the date the pattern was published).
The pattern used is a size 16, for a 34 bust. Exact measurements of the set itself are:
Blouse bust 33”, shoulders (approx.) 14.5”, waist (before tying, laid flat with hook done up) 27”, sleeves (approx) 16”, length top of shoulder to waist (approx) 21”, length center back to hem 23”.
Skirt waist 26”, hips 38”, and length 29”.
Please note that though a wrap style often accommodates some range in size, this blouse does hook closed at a specific point before wrapping further and so is a fairly “fixed” size.
This set was beautifully sewn and remains in excellent condition with no flaws to note.
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Antique through Vintage Fashion & Jewelry