Friday, 21 November 2014

Vintage red dress

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

The kit was given to me free of charge as part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. All views my own.




32 comments:

  1. Red looks great on you love. and I can't believe you made this dress without a zip!
    Your bias binding work is excellent, BTW like your fireplace in the background!

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    1. Why thank you! The fireplace is in the photo by default - it was SSOOO dark the day I took those photos, that was the only place in the house with any light! x

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  2. What a great style on you! It fits so beautifully!

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    1. Thanks Sonja, it's almost there! x

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  3. What problem do you have with darts? I love making darts. About 1/4 before reaching the end, I sew them off onto a square piece of material, back tac onto the material, and they blend nicely and don't have the puckering look.

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    1. Hi, I don't actually have any problem sewing the darts, it's just the positioning of them that's proving tricky on this dress! I'm determined to crack it though! x

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  4. This is absolutely lovely on you. I love those sleeves, don't you? So much more flattering that the usual sleeveless line. Great job.

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    1. Yes! That's what drew me to the pattern! Glad you like that feature too. x

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  5. You made it in red!!!! My favorite color! So glad it worked for you! I didn't realize you were that tiny! Seven inches off the length!
    So excited to see this made up!!

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    1. My favourite colour too! And yes, I am in fact, very twitchy! Love this pattern! x

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  6. The darts are too far out, Jane. Better to put it on inside out, pin them where they want to go, pick the best of hte two and copy it over. It's a lovely dress, Lady in Red!

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    1. Thank you MrsC! As usual, you dart advice is very wise! I'm going to do exactly as you advise, but in a few day's time - I need to have a break from the bloody thing! x

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  7. Red is an amazing colour on you!

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  8. This is my kind of dress! Easy, cute, timeless. Work that red!

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    1. Thank you! It's such a lovely shape isn't it?! x

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  9. Lovely dress Jane. Loving the vintage vibe.

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  10. I'm a big admirer of block colours, and this red looks AMAZING on you! Good luck with re-positioning the darts. Perhaps you might need a diversion onto something quick and satisfying in the meantime. x

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    1. Thank you, I like block colours too, especially red! I've just cut out a simple skirt - a good diversion from the darts! x

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  11. Red is my favourite colour and I love how well you pull it off. The dress is gorgeous and really suits you.

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    1. Thank you, red is totally my favourite colour too!

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  12. Beautiful Jane! Red really is your colour :-) I've just bought the Burda Vintage Special magazine, most of the patterns look far too complicated for me, but looking forward to reading the context of each design.

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    1. I've just bought it too!! I held off for as long as I could then finally caved in! Really looking forward to reading about the vintage designs too. And thank you! x

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  13. Fab dress, it looks terrific on you!

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  14. That is my cut of dress - it looks fab on you. Jo x

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    1. Thanks Jo, I agree, the cut is really lovely. x

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  15. Ooh this dress is marvelous. Who needs a little black dress when they can have a gorgeous red one instead? I love it on you! (p.s. sorry if it posts my comment multiple times, it's being weird!)

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    1. I don't own a LBD, only little red dresses for me (or the odd little navy dress!) Thank you Tasha! x

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