Making myself a Marian Martin wrap dress

I made this dress ages ago. I’ve just checked and it was 4 years ago to be precise and I am only now getting around to sharing it. I did take lots of photos during construction but I think they often make for not very interesting reading, and believe it or not I had only got 2 photos of me wearing it finished and neither were very flattering. So I made a point of putting it on and getting my husband to take a couple of pics. So now I can show you.

I had long been keeping my eye open for a reasonably priced wrap dress pattern so when this Marian Martin mail order one came up on Ebay I jumped on it. I cannot remember how much I paid but I never like to pay over the odds for anything let alone patterns so it wouldn’t have been hugely expensive. 

Marian Martin vintage dress sewing pattern

Vintage US postal stamp

vintage handwritten address label

I’ve just managed to distract myself by trying to date the pattern from the postmark. I’m sure I’ve seen a website that explains how you can do that, but I could easily lose an hour or two if I let myself start down that road!

As far as  I can make out it was bought by Mrs Edward Jensen of Muscatine Road Route 2 9459-16. I doubt an item of mail would make it through with an address as brief as that these days.

dress flap pocket

finished edge seams

The fabric is a vintage cotton that I also picked up on Ebay in a patriotic looking red, white and navy blue. I had intended to make my husband a shirt with it but since I snagged 4m of it and that was just enough to make the dress I’m afraid he lost out this time.

hand stitched neck facing

hand stitched hem

Just a few construction photos. I always like to finish all my seams like this, although I have just treated myself to an overlocker (serger to you guys over the pond) When I’m making something from a vintage pattern in vintage fabric something just doesn’t feel right about using it. I know I’m a bit odd! 

1950s dress pocket

50s wrap dress

I’m not happy with that button position and actually I think I’m going to find a different button entirely. The wrap doesn’t quite sit right so I’m hoping I can rectify that by moving the button a bit (4 years after finishing the dress!) and also this one is quite deep and I can really feel it when I sit against something.

swirl dress

hand made 50s dress

As always my buttons are from the vintage button lady on Spitalfields Thursday market (If she is still there) I love how they perfectly match the dress. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out – it wasn’t difficult at all. If I make it again I will make the belt longer because it is only just long enough for me to tie up. 

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