dress: Butterick 7503 * pale dusty pink cardigan: thrifted and tea dyed
brown knee-high boots: thrifted * peach beaded necklace: vintage
I can't believe that it's mid-February and this is my first finished make of 2013, but regardless of my slow start to the year I'm happy!
This dress gave me a lot of grief. (Here's the original post on this dress while it was still a UFO.) While I adore vintage patterns, I sometimes feel that there were sewing baskets full of secrets and magical sewing do-dads that were passed down from mothers to daughters in years prior to the 1960's, including, of course, a secret decoder ring for translating cryptic pattern instructions. Either that or post-war pattern makers employed out of work spies well-versed in code writing to compile the instructions for their sewing patterns. Either way, the instructions for the neckline of View C were not easy to follow. I ended up fiddling with the facing for days and then put the dress on a hanger for a couple of months. I rarely put my UFO's away out of view, because I know that I easily fall victim to never thinking of them again, so this dress hung in it's unfinished glory directly across from our bed, mocking me every morning upon waking until I finally jerry-rigged the facing, took the required 4 inches off the hem, sewed on the lace seam binding and hand-sewed the hem.
In my original post, I wrote that I was very chuffed with myself because even though I hadn't made a muslin, the bodice "fits perfectly!" Ummm...nope.
Hello wrinkles of extra fabric! Pleased to see you! Oh wait...no I'm not. I have a short back and I always need to do a short-back and sometimes also a sway-back adjustment. Did I do one here? Nope. I did, however, do a full-sleeve adjustment. Was it necessary? Nope. Sigh.
Even though I've been sewing for years, I still have a bit of trouble with fit. I've got a really narrow ribcage and shoulders but a full bust so I'm still struggling to find the perfect vintage pattern-size/pattern adjustment combo that will give me a perfect fit every time. My feeling is that a pattern with a bust size of 34 (for the narrow shoulders/ribcage) plus an FBA and a little bit extra added to the waist would be that magical combination. I'll have to look through my patterns and see what I can find in the 34" bust size. I'm not sure if I'm going to alter the back on this dress as I almost always wear my dresses with cardigans. We'll see...
The fabric was a really lovely vintage cotton blend that I thrifted some time ago. I like the warm earthy tones and the floral pattern. I'm a huge fan of florals but live in fear of looking like an walking sofa, so I'm rather picky about the patterns I choose to work with. This little leather belt with the tiny buckle were found at an estate sale over 10 years ago. It's so small that I always forget that I have it (it's usually dwarfed on the hanger by my bigger belts) but it works really well with this dress.
Here's a side view of the dress, made a little more vintage-appropriate by the fifties alligator embossed leather pumps that I had initially bought for the store but which fit so perfectly that I can't bear to part with them! I switched to the cardi and boots when my fella and I went out for dinner later as I'm always chilly, especially in this rainy, coastal climate and there's nothing attractive about shivering your way through dinner and trying to make conversation with chattering teeth.
Here's one last photo for you of the dress sans-cardi. I have no idea why I have Jazz-hands and even though I work in television and am very, very familiar with lighting techniques, my peepers in this photo resemble those of a rascally racoon. Sadly, this is the only photo that a) shows the dress and b) is in focus, so here you go...
In short, I'd definitely recommend this pattern (there's one for sale here if you're interested.) As I mentioned in the earlier post, I'm definitely going to make the pencil skirted, Peter Pan collared version, but I'll be sure to make it with all of the required adjustments...who knows, there may even be a muslin involved!
Happy sewing to all of you sewists out there!