Vintage Magic

It all Began with this Gorgeous Fabric

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I ordered some and then tried to come up with a design that would work. As I am not yet able to create my own patterns I had to dig a bit deeper than usual and found the Butterick B6242 vintage reprint.

Don’t Judge Yourself by a Number

One of the soul-destroying and confidence-killing things when working with vintage patterns in the size numbers do not add up. So according to my measurements I would have been I think somewhere in the region of size 24 or so for this pattern. So I dutifully did calculations, and luckily ran a test pattern on an old piece of cotton. … I was still size 12-14! Even in the vintage sizing. I used the measurements on the back of the pack to calculate my size but the actual measurements in reality came to a different size. It was very strange.

Well one thing I want you to pay attention to. Have a look at the graphic of this pattern:

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Did you notice that the width of the face is the same width as the waist! Now try to imagine this ratio in real life.

I went through a fat-and-ugly-moment and then continued creating the dress.

The first iteration though wasn’t quite right, without a zipper the waist was not tight enough to create the hourglass effect this pattern is supposed to work on, and keeping the fabric and lining at the same length simply creates this weird effect that makes one look much larger. Also the top bit was not sitting properly. So I took scissors and cut off the hemming disconnecting fabric from lining again, took in a good two inches on both sides at the waist and inserted a zipper.

I hate inserting zippers! This is my sewing Achilles heel! So I tried an invisible zipper as I had to sew it in top fabric down and the top fabric is stretchy gauze the zipper was too close to the top fabric and constantly became stuck. Now I took it out again (luckily before taking in the dress for it’s final measure) and inserted a normal zipper. The next step was to carefully hand-stitch the fabric over the zipper without it constantly becoming caught but making the zipper less obvious.

Another challenging part was the waist band for this dress. You need to take care to stretch the top material really tight for the ruffled effect, but also to ensure it won’t hang loosely. So I ruffled it and then pinned one side tight, pulling the top fabric as much as possible while stitching it to the lining.

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Last but not least I cut the skirt lining about 25 cm shorter than the fabric, this already created the petticoat effect I had hoped for but I also bought an actual petticoat to wear underneath.

The Final Dress

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Anyways. I am fairly happy with the outcome. As usual there a quite a lot of things that could have been done better, but I think they might not be too obvious with this statement dress.

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