Thursday, October 09, 2008

Retro Butterick Dress ('52)

Well (and that's an emphasized "well!") - I have just finished my "summer" sewing project, this 1952 Retro Butterick pattern (newly printed, old pattern). I love the styling of the dress, especially the full skirt and the scooped neck in back.

This dress was a snap to construct - it's only three pieces. The hard part, for me, was in the edge finishing. It uses LOTS of bias tape, around the arms and along the sides, both front and back. You see it better in the drawing than on my version. I just couldn't get the bias tape to work. I kept having little pockets of fabric not caught between the tape sandwich. The DH noticed that one of my grandmother's aprons was lined in bias tape, so I took a closer look. She used a zigzag stitch, catching the tape and the fabric with each stitch, so that's what I ended up doing and it helped. Does anyone have hints for sewing bias tape? It's a skill I need to improve!

The dress fit pretty well for me, except for the upper torso. The bust area was a little roomy, and next time, I will take that in a bit more. For this go-round, I'll just wear a push-up bra and call it good! ;-)
I didn't have the "flappage" issues noted on the site, but I got lucky. I chose a woven seersucker fabric, so it looks nearly the same on both sides. The skirt definitely swishes when I walk. It's one of my favorite features of the dress - its fluidness - but I can see how it might look unsightly with a printed (vs. woven) pattern in the fabric. The inside of the skirt is likely to show.

I may also wear it for Halloween. I have the perfect little pillbox hat. I just need to find some white gloves!


Angela McRae said...

Wow, I'm impressed! I don't think I'd *ever* have the courage to try bias tape! And I love that pattern, too. Something about those old dresses is just so dreamy and romantic. Yours turned out just lovely!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look so simple to me! You did a great job. I love that profile shot of you. It looks very classic.

Anonymous said...

Nice job! Bias tape is nothing to be afraid of, it just takes some practice. It's amazing how much cooler the retro stuff looks than what is coming out today. GREAT job! You are coming along quickly!

Philigry said...

this is fantastic! what a great job! lovely pictures of you.

Micaela said...

This dress is AWESOME! Where did you find your pattern? I wonder if I can find it in a bigger girl size =)

Steph said...

Micaela - The dress would be awesome for you! I got the pattern at JoAnn's, but you can also get it online (click the link in the original blog posting.)

sweetcakes said...

Darling! A job well done. Did you decide not to use the bias around the bottom of the skirt? I think it turned out great!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Stephanie! The dress turned out fantastic! I love the back shot - the neckline with your hair in a bun is stunning.

I'm ashamed to say that I still haven't even finished the bag we started.

Steph said...

Thank you all for the encouragement! Fortunately for me, sweetcakes, the bias tape wasn't called for around the bottom. Just the sides. :-)

Joyce said...

Very CUTE. I loved the back of it and your hair all up and the pearls.
Your a quite a little seamstress! And a good cook too.
Wish you lived closer and we could have some great chats about all kinds of neat things!
Enjoy your projects and new tea cards Steph.
See ya,

Tracy Bee said...

Nice job, Stephanie. You are my sewing hero and inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Impressed (°-°)
I am about to do the same one myself. Ahh...this will be my first dress
I chose this pattern not only because I love retro clothes but also [or mainly (°;^)]because it says it's fast and easy to do!!
Is it true? Doesn't look that easy when it comes to do the bias.
If I manage to do it without breaking everything around me out of frustation, i'll send you a picture.
Anyway, you did a GREAT job. Looks fab on you.
A french beginner about to lose her "sewing virginity" ?!!!!

Unknown said...

I'm looking into making this pattern and others and saw your version, very pretty! I found this blog with info on how to make the bodice more like the pattern cover
hope it helps!