For those who don't care about vintage, sewing, dresses, or sewing vintage dresses, you may tune out now.
Still here eh?
So here's the deal. A few months ago I scored a heap of Butterick Retro patterns for less than $1 each at Joann's Fabric. I was so proud of my receipt, I stuck it on the fridge.
Total Spent: $14
Total Saved: $195
(On a side note: Did I actually save anything if I never would have spent that much in the first place? I just didn't spend $195, which would never have happened anyway so really the whole thing is a non-event. Otherwise I could not buy a $400 coat and claim I saved $400.
This reminds me of a joke:
A commuter just misses his bus at the stop, so he jogs after it for a few blocks where he catches it at the next stop. When he gets home that evening, he tells his wife that he saved $1.50 by running after the bus. She replies "next time chase a cab and save yourself $5!")
You must really care about sewing to sit through that one. I will torture you no more.
Butterick B5708 was the pattern I was attempting. Had I cut it out straight from the pattern and sewn it together, it would have been a hot mess. The top piece would have been way (way) too wide to fit on anything female. As-is, the ties would wind up somewhere around the elbow. It was better suited for a linebacker in pads. (see how I made you think I know something about sports there?) I made a muslin first and my wonderful mom fitted it for me.
(I once tried making one of those duct tape body doubles so that I could fit my own dresses without making my mom do it.
Now let's never speak of it again.)
So after reworking the bodice pattern completely, it was time to add a skirt. On the pattern cover, the model looks so nice with a full skirt that has been gathered at the waist. Then Butterick actually made the dress and put it on a real person.
Sure, anything looks good when you draw it. They must have realized how bad it looked and spent the rest of the photo shoot trying to hide how awful the waist was:
It certainly is full enough to suit the bodice and matched almost exactly the seams of B5708's bodice.
I also took some liberties with the fabrics and used a contrasting pattern for the waist instead of the top of the bodice and also used it to line the paddle-shaped ties on the shoulders.
I plan on making the same dress in a pink scalloped material, then maybe making a shirt from the bodice pattern. If you are willing to put the time into fitting a bodice, remaking the pattern and then sewing it from that, this could be a very cute dress. Be aware that once it is fitted properly, you won't be able to tie the shoulders twelve different ways like they show on the pattern drawing.
End Zone. There. That is all the sports jargon I know.