Vintage Inspired Dress
Posted on Tuesday the 17th September 2019 by Pretty Handsome Everyday
There are always a ton of beautifully designed patterns to try out, but every now and again one is released which just blows all others out of the water. This was how I felt about this vintage inspired dress, and I am so happy it turned out as divine as I hoped it would!
The pattern is Butterick 6672 and is part of their 'Making History' range. The design isn’t advertised as a particular year but it's a quintessential 1940s design. Really elegant, a beautiful shape and the most gorgeous neckline, which is halfway between scalloped and a sweetheart design. The pattern was released earlier this year and I put it on my project list immediately!
When thinking about which fabric to use I briefly considered a plain cotton as I thought this would be authentic to the era, but I quickly dismissed this as I really can't resist a pattern! I nearly went for a floral but then I found this stunning baby pink Linen Check Fabric by Lady McElroy. It is linen, which isn't actually a fabric I've sewn with before and not one I would have considered for this dress but the colour and design of this fabric were too alluring to turn down so I went for it!
Of course, linen is infamous for creasing awfully, and I did have a few moments early on in the sewing process where I was worried I had made the wrong decision and that maybe the fabric characteristics would not suit the design of the dress, which I felt should be quite elegant and polished. However, as soon as I started piecing the bodice together my fears were eradicated and I could not be more thrilled with the finished dress!
It doesn’t take long at all to iron with the steam setting on, and I’ve found that I don’t actually mind the mild creasing it gets when I’m wearing it – I think it just creates a more relaxed vintage style.
For once, I didn't make any alterations to the pattern, for the style or the sizing. When I make this again I'll probably see if I can take a little bit of the bagginess out of the bodice back as although that's the style of the dress, I think there is just a little too much for me.
I usually add pockets to all my dresses but I decided not to in this case as I didn't want them to alter the shape and hang of the skirt and make it more triangular (which has happened to the last two skirts of a similar A-line style). Pocket fans need not fear though as there is a little handkerchief pocket on the dress bodice, which is adorable and was fun (and simple) to pattern match!
This dress has so many lovely features – one of my favourites being the buttons. It can be difficult to match colours when you're shopping online but these baby pink buttons are the perfect match for this fabric! The recommended button size was out of stock when I ordered my materials so I went a size down but added extra so I could squeeze them up to cover the same area. As it turned out, this size was absolutely perfect and really any bigger wouldn't have looked as delicate, I think.
One exciting feature that I included in this project was shoulder pads! Normally I'm ripping these out of second hand garments I'm upcyling (not vintage I hasten to add, just outdated or second hand clothes!) rather than adding them, but this design really benefits from the extra structure in the shoulder area. The difference is slight but you could tell the shoulders without the pads looked slightly sloping and not in keeping with the rest of the style. My tips for adding shoulder pads for a subtle effect like this is make sure they're the right size for your shoulder in length, use a soft and supple version so they will mould to you when on and not stick out of their own accord. When sewing them in, make sure they're sitting inside the bodice only, don't have them hanging out beyond the bodice/sleeve joining seam.
For finishing the hem I machine stitched under 1cm and then turned up 2 inches so the raw edge was encased. I then hand stitched the hem with a slip stitch. I don't always hand finish garments anymore but for this dress it felt like the only appropriate option. I also think it is very relaxing and mindful to sit quietly to hand finish, after the emotional highs and lows of sewing!
For the last sprinkle of magic I stitched in one of my new labels from Kylie and The Machine. I had a hard choice between all the options (some hilarious sweary ones) but I eventually chose ‘YES, I made it’. You get 8 labels in a pack so 7 more lucky garments will get this special treatment.
This pattern is 100% going on my favourites list and I'm so happy with how this chic fabric looks!
Thanks for reading!