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Behind the Seams

Take a look inside an unconventional 1960s cocktail dress.

Posted in: Style & Wardrobe • May 31, 2016


In sewing, we have the freedom to pick and choose how to go about creating a garment. There is always the thought that we could change something slightly to make it even more fantastic.

This month’s 1960s cocktail dress has many construction details that are a bit out of the ordinary and has left us wondering how and why the maker made the decisions they did.



This classic dress features a fully pleated skirt, coming together at a high waist. Surprisingly, the closure is at the center front with a lapped zipper. The zipper is concealed even further by a set of non-functional fabric-covered buttons.



A contrasting faux double collar creates a flattering neckline. The pussy bow collar is made from a simple sash that has been applied with a catch stitch onto a Chelsea collar underneath.

Get Inspired by Vintage!

  • Dressing up your collars by drafting a contrasting additional collar.

  • Using a bias facing to conceal the raw edges of an underlining.

  • Selecting different linings for your bodice and skirt for variations in drape.


The decisions made for the lining are the most intriguing aspects of this garment.

At the arm, a wide bias tape facing is used to conceal the raw edges of the underlining.


The bodice of the dress is underlined with a structured netting while the skirt has a free-flowing lining made from a soft horsehair. The skirt lining gives a crinoline-like effect and adds a bit more volume.

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