Blue Sheath Dress

Pattern: Butterick 2952
Year: early 60s
Fabric: ca. 1.6m blue cotton broadcloth
Notions: zipper, petersham ribbon and hook and bar for waist-stay
Time: ca 4-5h
New Techniques: Lapped zipper
Cost: about 15$




I know I know.. NOT AGAINN! But this was a quick dress I made in mid-october.

I made it sleeveless like the red one, but with a scoop neck like the pink one. There’s not much to say about this one. It’s the first time I tried a lapped zipper (so it wouldn’t break like the one on the pink sheath), and it was easy to do with this fabric. The only problem is that the tap stands up at the top. I would attach a hook and eye, but the whole point in lowering the back was that I could zip it up on my own, and hook and eyes are kinda hard to close on yourself (or well maybe that’s just me :)).

Also, the skirts angle at the hem isn’t quite right, it stands out too straight. And I’m not so sure about the color, it’s a lighter shade of blue than I expected. I guess it’s just a very “cool” blue, and I think warm blues are better for my skincolor :) (plus I don’t like the red-blue combo too much in this outfit, I just couldn’t find other accessories that would work.. which isn’t a good sign haha)

I’m happy with it, but I don’t think it’s going to be my favorite or get that much wear. Then again, it’s winter, and this is more of a spring/summer dress.

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The Houndstooth Poodle Sheath

Pattern: Butterick 2952
Year: early 60s
Fabric: about 1.5 yards houndstooth wool
Notions: zipper
Time: ca. 11 hours
Cost: about $20





(the shoes and tights arrived in the mail today! I got them from topshop.com and I’m in love with them :) the belt I made from some petersham ribbon and a “hook”-buckle I found at the thrift store)

Done! The zipper went in ok, at the bottom there’s a tiny weird fold, but I’ve decided I don’t mind :) I feel like I’ve already written so much about this dress, there’s nothing left to say! Except that I think it’s a great wardrobe builder, it’s simple with an interesting texture and can be styled in many different ways (with different colours and accessories!).

And with this dress, I’ve already crossed off two dresses from my list in October!

HTPS – WIP 2

Haha, shortening the “Houndstooth Poodle Sheath” to HTPS makes it sound like some new and hip disorder!

I worked on the dress on the train to Zürich today, taking out the sleeve I had already put in (didn’t baste and ease the entire section, read the markings wrong :)), hand basting and easing the sleeve, and then basting the sleeves to the bodice. I like the control hand basting gives! Now all I have left to do is go over it with my machine and serging the seam allowances.
I’m so glad I took it on the train to work on it by hand, after messing up the sleeve slightly on monday evening I got a little demotivated, hand-sewing was just what I needed!

Ah, and now the zipper. I’ve been doing lapped zippers lately (well, two so far), one according to Gerties instructions in her “Bombshell Dress” e-course, and for the other one I followed the Butterick instructions (this was for the Lucille Dress, Butterick 2907). When I followed the Butterick instructions, I wasn’t even sure what kind of zipper I would end up with! It involves basting the back of the dress closed (where the zipper will be), then attaching the zipper, and then taking out the basting.
Is this the “normal” way to insert a lapped zipper? Since I don’t own any sewing books I’ve had to learn from the internet, so I don’t know, am I the only one who didn’t know this technique? Or are there others like me out there? :) I found the instructions a little weird to follow, should I maybe try a tutorial? I’ve never made a tutorial (mostly because I don’t feel I have anything to teach, haha!), but I could make one for this. What do you think? Does everyone but me already know this technique? What I like about it, is that you can make sure the two sides will match up perfectly, since you baste it closed first.

Btw, thank you for the suggestions for attaching/interfacing the collar and cuffs! I’m going to test how visible/uncomfortable the snaps are, and I’m going to use fusible-interfaced muslin as an underlining for collar and cuffs. We’ll see how it goes!

Houndstooth Poodle Sheath – WIP

Worked on it this weekend! I might be able to finish it tonight. I shortened the bodice by 2 cm and added a 3 cm waistband. I also made the scoop neckline slightly lower, and lowered the back neckline. All that’s left to do is put in the sleeves, the zipper and hem the skirt! And after that, the collar and cuffs of course.
I decided I’m not going to line it after all, the fabric isn’t itchy, and it comes on and off pretty easily. I did interface the waistband and neckline facing though.

I still haven’t taken proper pictures of the two dresses I made in October because it’s been so dark outside lately, but I’ll force myself to do it this week anyway (because by then I’ll hopefully have 3 dresses to show!).

Removable Cuffs and Collar

(I hope this post shows up right, it’s the first time I’m using the wordpress iPad App!)

I mentioned in my “sewing plans” post that I’m thinking about making removable cuffs and collar for the houndstooth sheath dress. I think it will be a bit of a challenge for me, I’ve never really made a collar before, but there’s something about collars in the drafting book I have (the only book I have on sewing so far, but I ordered the colette sewing book, so it won’t be lonely for long :)).

This is what I want the cuffs and collar to look like (since I don’t have a scanner or good camera where I live during the week, I took a picture with my iPad and traced it by using an illustrator app and speciak pen to make a new, cleaner image, uploaded it via an app, and now I’m writing this blog entry using yet another app. A little pathetic, no? Haha…)

So today I was thinking about how they’d be attached to the dress (since I want them to be removable). I think I’ll use either buttons on the dress and buttonholes on cuffs&collar, or little metal snaps. I’m leaning towards snaps, seems less fussy to me, but buttons might be flatter?
I’ve also been thinking about how to interface the collar, to make it nice and crisp. Ideas?

Ah University…

I can’t believe it’s been over a month of not blogging about sewing. I’ve been busy (performing in a musical version of “the importance of being earnest” as Gwendolin & starting university in Zürich and living between Zürich and Lucerne) and unfortunately, the closest I can get to sewing lately is reading sewing blogs and books and instructions.

I did get around to sewing one dress! Nothing “exciting” though, as it’s just another version of the Butterick 2952 sheath dress, this time a mix between the red and the pink: sleeveless like the red, with a scoop-neckline like the pink, made from blue broadcloth. This was a “I really want something new to wear so I don’t just wear the same things all the time but I don’t have time or money to spend”-project, and since it was the third time making butterick 2952, it didn’t take very long.

One “interesting” thing I did do on this is a lapped zipper. I like that it’s faster than the hand-picked one, and after the hand-picked zipper on my pink sheath came undone when I first wore it (that’ll teach me to not put off sewing the waist-stay in!), I wanted someting with a little more “security”, so the machine sewn lapped zipper was perfect! I do like how it turned out, even though I could have done a better job ironing, and the overlap kind of sticks up a little which I don’t like.

Another thing I changed is the back neckline, since the zippers that go all the way up to the base of the neck are hard to zip up on your own (especially in tight sheath dresses with waist stays that don’t allow you to move your arms up over your head haha!). So I made a V-neckline in the back, and now I can get dressed on my own :)

I haven’t gotten around to taking pictures of the dress, but until then, here’s an instagram photo (because posts without pictures are less fun, I know :))

the instagram filter makes the blue look greyish, it’s brighter in real life! Better pictures soon :)

I really like having a pattern like this. I’ve adjusted the fit to be perfect, it’s simple and making it is so fast now! I just “know” this pattern very well by now, it’s great for when I want to sew but don’t have too much time.

Pink Sheath Dress

Pattern: Butterick 2952 (same as for the red sheath dress)
Year: early 60s
Fabric: about 1.5 yards pink cotton broadcloth
Notions: zipper
Time: ca. 12 hours
Cost: about $11

Compared to the last Butterick 2952 I made, I…

  • lowered the waist a little again in the front, I made it a little too high for the red dress
  • cut the skirt short enough from the beginning, to save fabric (I knew I wanted the same length as last time)
  • took about a 2cm off each side, also around the armholes this time (that was something I didn’t do with the red one since I had already attached the facings when I noticed everything was a little too wide)
  • made the sleeves smaller to fit the altered armholes (since those got smaller with the side seam adjustment :))




I think I’ll wear this for my first day of university on monday. Of course without the heels and fancy accessories :)

I really like this pattern! It’s quick, basic and flattering, can be dressed up or worn by itself. And it doesn’t use an insane amount of fabric! I have plans to make another one in blue, and then a houndstooth one (with an added waistband).