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.

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.

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!).