Red Sheath Dress

Pattern: Butterick 2952
Year: early 60s (my first time sewing a vintage pattern!)
Fabric: 1.5 m Red Cotton-Lycra
Notions: metal zipper, for belt: petersham ribbon, eyelets, vintage belt buckle
Time: ca. 10 hours
Cost: about 15 swiss francs (around $18)

Crossed another Item off my Mad Girls List!

I started tracing the pattern on friday evening, cut out the fabric on saturday evening (and sewed some of the darts), and basically finished on monday (was too tired to finish hand sewing the zipper). It was an easy project, but I’m still a little surprised at how fast (for my standards) I was!

I didn’t make a muslin, and I only made 4 small alterations:

  • at the tracing stage: took 1 inch off the waist (an adjustment I always have to do)
  • after sewing the facing: lowered the neckline slightly (as my mom always stresses: “show off your collarbones!”)
  • after sewing the skirt: took about 1.5 cm off each side of the skirt, and the bottom of the bodice (so the skirt would fit), but not all the way through the bodice, because I had already sewn on the facings…
  • shortened the skirt to above the knee instead of below the knee

I also made the self-fabric belt! Followed the instructions (grosgrain petersham ribbon!) and used one of the belt buckles I got in Paris. I really like the tortoiseshell belt buckle, but as this was my first try at making a belt I made a few mistakes: didn’t know how to make holes for the eyelets without damaging the belt, ended up using an awl and screwdrivers… and I sewed the belt to the wrong part of the buckle! haha, I’ll just try again.

The fit isn’t perfect, but I like it, it’s a comfortable dress that isn’t too revealing, fancy or full of details. Good for accessorizing :) The fabric is a little annoying because it’s hard to iron. It turns darker when it gets hot, and that kind of freaks me out. What I like about it though: it isn’t see through, so I didn’t have to make a lining! I bought red lining fabric anyway, so I might make a slip from that… or use it on my next red dress :)

The seams aren’t properly finished on the inside, because I’m going to get that brother serger in the states and finish the seams after my trip. I know the quality isn’t great, but from reviews on amazon and comments on my last post (thank you!), it’s good for the simple things. I do plan on investing in a better one in the future (great motivation to get a job when I start studying!).


First Vintage Patterns

So after yesterdays “Lucille” Post I looked for the pattern (Butterick) online just incase there was one around, and I found one on etsy in my size, even though I didn’t expect to! I ended up buying another vintage pattern from that shop, a simple sheath dress. I bought them from the shop PatternsFromThePast. It has a LOT of vintage patterns, so I’m guessing it’s one of the more well known ones.

The patterns (I used images from Vintage Patterns Wiki because those are nicer :)) :


The Lucille Dress – Butterick 2907

The sheath dress (give me time and I’ll come up with a more ridiculous creative name) – Butterick 2952

I do want to eventually draft my own sheath dress pattern (shouldn’t be too hard after making the pattern for the bodice of the floral dress, and pencil skirt, I’ll just make those two fit together), since I always feel a little weird about using patterns, because then I can’t say “I made it from start to finish”. Do you know that feeling?

On the other hand I also want to try sewing with vintage patterns. It just seems like a cool thing to do, taking something so old and making a brand new garment from it. Plus the envelopes are so pretty. I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to pretty things, I’ve got it under control but sometimes I just buy stuff because it’s pretty, even if I have no idea what I’m going to do with it… ah well, could be worse, at least I’m not a kleptomaniac.