After a mini splurge at EmSewCrazy recently, this vintage beauty fell into my hands. It's Butterick 8629 from 1959 - a simple sheath dress with 'figure following lines' (love that description) and kimono sleeves. I was inspired to make a red version of view B after seeing Kathryn's beautiful red Annalotte dress. The bodice section on the Butterick pattern is a little like the By Hand London Anna pattern (minus the tucks), so this seemed to be a sign for me to blatantly copy her.
The pattern is a vintage size 16, which sometimes fits me, it all depends on the year. In this case the bust was fine (36) but the waist and hips needed a lot taking off. Working on this dress was the first chance I've had to use the skills I learnt at the Pattern Drafting weekend and it was a success of sorts! I laid my block on top of the pattern and shaped it to match up with the Butterick pattern. Straight away, I could see that my main adjustments would be to shorten the bodice by an inch, and to take a whopping seven inches off the length of the skirt section! I also changed the darts to match the darts on my bodice block, which wasn't quite so successful. In fact the bust darts are still wonky - I gave up after about 20 attempts to get them right - I'll have to come back to them in a few days time! It isn't perfect and I did need to make quite a few on-the-spot fitting adjustments after the initial muslin. but I'm quite pleased with it for a first attempt.
Once I was happy with the fit, the dress was 'Quick 'N Easy' to make, just like it says on the packet! The fabric I used is a crepe-backed satin kindly supplied by Minerva Crafts as part of their Blogger Network. Now I'd read lots of great reviews about this fabric, but annoyingly in this case, I ordered the wrong one. The fabric I ordered is from their general crepe-backed satin range, which is perfectly fine, but the fabric everybody has been raving about is their Prada self-lined crepe. DOH! Despite this, the fabric I used is ideal for a party dress, although the crepe side probably has more of a sheen to it than I was expecting. It also sheds fibres faster than the speed of light, so be prepared for lots of sweeping up if you use it! The most fortuitous thing about it though is that it has a slight stretch, which means I can just about get the dress on WITHOUT A ZIP!! Talk about a result! Getting it over the chest area is a bit of a tight squeeze, but the built-in satin lining actually aids this process.
I dispensed with facings and made self-binding instead, using the sating side so the binding matched up with the inside 'lining' of the dress. I actually cut the binding strips on the straight grain rather than the bias - the slight stretch of the fabric means it's still able to curve around the neckline but it doesn't stretch out too much, which was my worry. It seemed to work anyway!
|Inside view: neckline finished with satin binding|
This is a beaut of a vintage pattern - simple and elegant with that unmistakable late 1950's look I love. Once I've nailed the fit on those pesky darts, I can definitely see myself making it again.
|My impression of the lady on the pattern envelope...|
Talking of vintage patterns, this is my third and final make for my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, hosted by Marie at A Stitching Odyssey. I pledged to sew three vintage patterns in 2014 and that's what I've done! The other two are my raincoat from 1973 and my white 1950's sleeveless blouse, so I now have a vintage trio for 2014 of red, white and blue. Purely unintentional I swear!
Have a good weekend! x
Have a good weekend! x