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Retro Butterick 1961 - B6318 Tie Waist Dress by Abi

Hi pinups! When I first started my dressmaking journey about 2 years ago now, recreating vintage dresses was high up on my sewing agenda. So when scouring the internet for 1950s and 1960s inspired or reproduction sewing patterns, the Retro Butterick B6318 tie waist dress pattern stole my heart immediately.
It ticks all my vintage style boxes as the late 1950s and early 1960s are my favourite periods for fashion. This vintage pattern combined with some equally vintage looking floral Liberty fabric, I hoped this dress would be a pattern and fabric match made in heaven.
Here's a peek at the pattern:
Before I start sewing a new project I always like to do a bit of research on the pattern via Google and Instagram to see if there's anything to look out for and of course for some inspiration. The B6318 pattern certainly does not disappoint! There are so many stunning versions out there, if I wasn't already excited about sewing this pattern, I was now.
The pattern features simple short dolman sleeves (the bodice and sleeves are one pattern piece), waist darts, a full gathered skirt and waist ties. The dolman sleeves are a nice change from setting in sleeves, which is my least favourite sewing task. I also loved the look of the wide neckline, along with the reasonably loose fitting bodice with the nipped in waist achieved by the two ties. Compared to other vintage style sewing patterns out there, this one looked as though fitting would be simple with this style.
The instructions for the pattern are clear and there isn't too much to get stuck on, making this a great sewing pattern for beginners. It features some great techniques to add to your sewing arsenal, like inserting a zip, gathering a skirt and sewing a simple neck facing.
This simple style and design of the B6318 dress pattern also made for a nice and simple sewing process. The pattern features a lapped zipper, like a lot of vintage patterns do, but instead I opted for my tried and tested concealed zip. Otherwise I made no changes to the pattern or sewing process.
Not only do I love this pattern, I'm also in love with the beautiful Liberty Cotton Lawn Fabric I used to sew the dress with. The quality is lovely, the shade of pink is the perfect vintage rose colour and the weight of the fabric works so well for the full skirt and summer wear.
Fit wise, I do find this dress a little long in the body. Through sewing I have discovered I have a shorter torso than average and occasionally I'll need to shorten bodices to fit me a little better. I hadn't made any alterations to this dress before hand and even with a try on of the bodice once I had sewn that section I thought it was okay. But I suppose the weight of the skirt pulls the bodice down further. If I were to sew this dress again, I could certainly loose at least an inch at the waist. If it weren't for the waist ties, I would have unpicked the dress, but when the ties are knotted, you can't see that the bodice is too long for me.
As always, here's my short sewing summary with everything you need to know...
Sewing Summary:
Pattern: Retro Butterick 1961- B6318 Tie Waist Dress
Fabric: Liberty Vintage Style Floral Cotton Poplin Dress Fabric Pink
Notions: 22" invisible zip
Sewing time: A day.
Modifications: I used a concealed zip instead of a lapped zip.
Fit: Other than a long bodice, I'm pleased with the fit.
Difficulty: Simple, this would be great for beginners looking to sew their first vintage dress.
Watch out for: Getting a tidy neck edge and even gathers on the skirt. 
Make Again?: Yes! I love this pattern and look forward to sewing this again.
Overall, I love my first attempt at the popular B6318 dress. It's such a gorgeous style, I don't think I could ever get bored of it. My only regret is that I hadn't tried this pattern sooner so I could get more wear out of this dress! I can't wait to bring this out again this summer, along with sewing No.2 with a shorter bodice to nail the fit this time. I would recommend this pattern to anyone who is a lover of pretty dresses and vintage style.
Thanks for reading, pinups.
Abi xo

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