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Retro Butterick ’60 6582

I’ve always preferred a vintage shape to a modern one, but like to give it a more contemporary edge. Now that there’s a wealth of reproduction patterns to choose from I feel spoilt for choice. When I chose this floral print Crepe Fabric I had four patterns in mind that I thought would suit this cloth. Once the fabric arrived I knew it would be absolutely perfect for Retro ’60 Butterick 6582. I love the shape of this frock with its front neckline which appears to wrap over, the shoulders that gather into gentle pleats and the V-back neckline. The zingy orange of the crepe contrasting with the white and blue florals was also more suited to a fun and feminine dress that I could wear day or night to my mind. I also wanted to make the most of the beautiful drape of the cloth with an on the bias skirt which Butterick 6582 has. 

A few years ago I made the fitted frock in a stretch cotton from this pattern. I always wanted to make the full skirted version one day and I’m so thrilled I have. Now I’ve pretty much avoided working with any cloth I consider slippery. Probably total laziness on my part as it requires a bit more patience or so I thought. This time I decided to knock that silliness on the head and I was very pleasantly surprised indeed. To be honest this crepe didn't throw up any of the issues I thought it would and behaved perfectly on my machine. To make sure it didn't slip about when I was cutting the pattern out, I laid tissue paper underneath the cloth. Usually I would lay another piece on the top to make a sandwich, but just one piece underneath did the job and the crepe stayed put while I cut through all the layers.

Before I actually cut into the crepe, I made a bodice toile as I generally have to work a Full Bust Adjustment to allow for my torso and bust which are three dress sizes apart. In the end I didn't work a Full Bust Adjustment as the only darts are on the waist and back. I chose instead to go a size up for my bust and then took the bodice in from under the armpits and graded it to the waist so I got the fit I was after. 

As this floral crepe is see through, I chose to fully line the bodice with an orange cotton. The pattern provides facings but it’s simple enough to line the bodice as all you have to do is make two bodices and then put them together following the same steps as with the facings. I did iron on a length of interfacing to the left front and along the front and back necklines to give them added strength which I felt the crepe would need. I didn't line the skirt though as I didn't want to make it heavy and take away from the drape of the cloth, so I wear a light petticoat underneath. 
I wasn’t going to make the belt, but once I finished the dress and tried it on it just cried out for one to finish it off perfectly, I found a vintage buckle in my stash and then altered the belt pattern to match the size of the buckle. Once that was made I simply stitched a popper on to where the belt fitted on my waist.

I have to say I really took my time with this frock and I feel it’s paid off. The crepe was a dream to work with so I enjoyed every step. I let the frock hang for a couple of days on my mannequin before I pinned the hem which I then hand stitched. I always prefer the speed of zipping round a hem with my sewing machine, but this cloth needed tiny slipstitches so it could hang perfectly. 

Do you know, I love all the details of this frock, the flat panel at the front of the skirt with gentle gathers either side all the way round finishes it off perfectly. It feels wonderful on and I just love how the cloth swishes around my legs as I walk. Now roll on summer so I can wear it with sun kissed skin and sandals.

Fabric: 3m of Floral Print Crepe Dress Fabric and 1.3m of lining cotton

Notions: 18” zip and iron on interfacing

Difficulty: I would definitely say for Intermediate sewers. The tricker part is sewing together the shoulder seams so that the gathers lay in the right direction. 

Thanks for reading,

Lisa @ mrsbobobun

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