Tag Archives: dresses

Blue & White Retro Sundress

Spring is finally emerging in Portland so I immediately need to make something summery! This dress is the spring 2017 pattern from Gretchen Hirsch (Butterick 6453) and she’s currently doing a sew-a-long for it.

I bought 4 yards of Cotton + Steel 1″ Checkers gingham in aqua to make it originally. But then I decided I wanted to make it in View B first and I dug out this neat brocade type fabric I got from Joann’s ages ago.

I cut out my standard Big 4 size (18) and got to doing my flat pattern adjustments before cutting it out. It’s a pretty straightforward sew with the addition of the lapped zipper.  I met Gretchen at Modern Domestic last month and she said she prefers doing lapped zippers because they are stronger than an invisible zipper and you don’t need an exact color match.

Flat Pattern adjustments to the front pieces

Modifications:

  • 3″ FBA
  • Remove 1/2″ from princess seam under bust
  • 3/4″ broad back adjustment
  • Raised armholes 1″ (for bra coverage)
  • Added 1/4″ to strap width (to 5/8″)
  • Removed 2″ from bottom before hemming
  • 1″ full abdomen adjustment

Future Adjustments:

  • Shorten bodice by 1″
  • Move rear strap extensions in toward center


Burda 7494 Dress

I’ve had Burda 7494 in my stash for years.  I’ve always loved this pattern with the slight cap sleeve and the peter pan collar. The problem was that it only went up to a Size 20 and I was sewing a larger size at the time. Then I took the Palmer/Pletsch Fitting class at Fabric Depot and I learned that I was a Size 18 (with an FBA). Rejoice!

When my friend Alexis asked me to be the godmother to her daughter, I volunteered to sew a baptism gown (post on that soon!). So of course I also needed to make myself a new dress! I was so excited to finally use this pattern.

bluefloral-1

SIZING

This pattern is offered in sizes 8-20.  I used size 18.

ADJUSTMENTS

The primary adjustment I did was a 2.5″ FBA to the princess seams in the front. I also did a 3/4″ broad back adjustment.  I also added width to the skirt to match the width of the adjusted bodice.  I also followed Julia Bobbines’ advice and swapped out the pleated skirt back pieces for the darted skirt lining.

I had purchased some luscious bemberg lining but since the dress fabric was stretch and the lining was not, I chose  to omit it.  I also chose not to use the peter pan collar. When I tried the dress on with the collar, it just looked a little too sweet for me.

bluefloral-2

FABRIC & FINISHES

I had a difficult time finding the right fabric for this dress, since I was looking for a stretch floral print.  I ended up picking up this floral stretch twill from Fabric Depot.  Up close the dark blue almost looks like denim.  I liked using a heavier fabric because it allowed me to omit the skirt lining. I also like that it helps smooth out some lumps and bumps that you get when wearing such a fitted style.

I used bias tape to bind the neck and armholes.  All seams were finished with the serger.

STYLE

I think this dress is pretty versatile thanks to the fabric. With heels and jewelry it looks pretty fancy. Not quite cocktail dress but I’d definitely wear it to a daytime wedding.  However with a cardigan and flats it’s also suitable for work or more casual wear.  For the baptism I mixed it up a bit and wore a cardigan and heels. 🙂

WHAT I LOVE:

  • The bodice is very flattering
  • The slight cap sleeves
  • The tapered skirt

WHAT I DON’T LOVE:

  • The pleating in the front is not the most flattering. It accentuates my tummy.
  • The pleating also sticks out a little which makes it look like there should be pockets there. This would actually be okay with me if there were pockets, because I love pockets!

WOULD I MAKE IT AGAIN?

Yes. I think this dress is super cute and I kind of want one just like the pattern photo! It’s a black dress with small white polka dots and I adore polka dots!!

Double Vision: Southport & Adelaide

The latest issue of Seamwork Mag from Colette came out yesterday and I immediately went to check out the patterns. In this issue you get a dress pattern and an odd cropped top/jacket. The Adelaide dress is pretty cute and I was about to buy it when I realized how much it looks like the True Bias Southport dress I bought recently.

Seamwork AdelaideTrue Bias Southport
Seamwork Adelaide (left) & True Bias Southport (right)

 

I realize they are not exactly the same, but when you look at the technical drawings you can see the the bodices are nearly identical. They differ on the skirts and how the waist is pulled in. On Adelaide it’s a combination of back darts and a tie belt. Southport uses a drawstring.  Lastly, the snaps on Adelaide run the whole front,  while Southport just has buttons on the bodice. But it would be easy enough to hack one into the other!

Since I already bought Southport, I’m going to make that up. I have the perfect fabric to make the maxi version! However my next one might be an Adelaide hack since I already bought the snaps!

Spring for Cotton: Butterick 4259

When Rochelle announced Spring for Cotton I knew it was finally time to sew one of my many vintage patterns! I have a huge stash courtesy of a family friend, but they are all single sized. Since they were also the wrong size, I was reluctant to try to make them but after taking my Palmer/Pletsch class I’m much more confident about fitting and grading!

This was my original plan for the dress. I had picked up this gorgeous fuschia crossweave cotton at Josephine’s Dry Goods before the downtown location closed. It was only 43″ wide to begin with and after washing it shrunk down to under 40″ and so I didn’t have enough fabric. Boo hoo! The funny thing about the pattern is that it’s a Size 18, which is what I use but is sadly from the old sizing system so it still needed to be graded up.

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I was looking for a cotton with a little more body than just a quilting cotton and I didn’t want to shell out the money for something really nice until I knew if my grading was successful. I ended up finding red cotton pique in the “Designer Fabric” section of Joann for just $5/yd. Score!

The dress is constructed by first sewing the front and back plackets which are self lined.  The dress pieces are then pinned along the stitching lines and top stitched together.  Sleeves were added in the usual manner.

For pattern modifications besides grading up a size. I did do an FBA on this dress. I didn’t like how dart looked so I moved the excess into the front gathers. This dress is insanely long,unhemmed it hit me at midcalf and I’m 5’7, so I didn’t worry about the uneven length created by the FBA. I also had to deepened the front neckline as it was nearly choking me.  Ladies in the 60’s must have had very skinny necks!

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I also ended up edge stitching down the placket. The instructions don’t call for this, but it looked unfinished to me with the edges flopping around. So I did it and I like the way it looks much better. I also omitted the back zipper, leaving the yoke section open and adding a top hook.  I’ve come to realize I can pull many of my dresses over my head and zippers are unnecessary.

My favorite part of this dress must be the buttons. I went to the Button & Ribbon Emporium here in Portland to search for the perfect buttons. I pulled out tons red buttons before I came across these beauties. They are slightly translucent/iridescent and I love the swirly design on them. At nearly $3 each I spent almost as much on buttons as I did on my fabric but they were worth it!

I will eventually take some photos of me wearing this dress, but I haven’t had any time.  This dress is also my first project for the 2015 Vintage Pledge.

Butterick Fall 2014 Patterns

Butterick has just released their new patterns for Fall 2014. Let’s take a look!

Gertie has 2 new patterns. I like the back detail of 6094, but probably not with the full skirt. Crinolines are not my thing.

B6094

The wrapped jacket in Butterick 6105 is pretty but looks a little too costumey for me.

B6105

 

Butterick 6088 looks like a poor imitation of the OOP McCall’s 6278. Theoretically it should be slimming but the color blocking at the neckline and across the bust just looks strange.

B6088

The pleating and top stitching look really interesting on Butterick 6089, but overall it looks a little matronly. I’d be interested to see one of these in the wild and find out if a better fit would make it look more contemporary. The sleeveless version has potential.

B6089

Oh, I love when they sew up samples in fabrics that totally obscure the design features! Butterick 6090 actually has a very unique shawl collar that is a nice change from your standard shirtwaist dress but you’d never know from this photo! I like the skirt which I’m hoping is pleated and not gathered, but whoa..that’s a lot of buttons!

B6090

Butterick decided to head to Downton Abbey for their Retro Butterick releases (6018 & 6093), which are both interesting but definitely costumes. It’s a little disappointing because usually the Retro patterns are very wearable and with the fall release these seem like they are destined for Halloween costumes.

B6108

B6093

There are a few more patterns but nothing that really caught my eye. Overall I was rather underwhelmed, with just 2 or 3 patterns that I am somewhat interested in.