When I think of Halloween, either costumes or the colors orange and black come to mind. Since I’m the type that rather likes to go historically themed for this holiday, and since we already had something to wear, my Halloween Challenge submission is a retro/vintage Butterick dress which I actually made in August. I put it together just in time for my Birthday, and, by happenstance, my dress matched perfectly with a scarf (a b-day present from my parents that was “picked out” by our 5-month-old) as my belt. Orange is an unusual color combo for my wardrobe, but this cool print can span several seasons to get optimal use.
This dress went together in a flash, fits wonderfully, needed hardly any adjustments, looks great dressed up or down, fits with more accessories than I expected, and has been worn MANY times already. Its just one of those projects when the everything goes together just right. Now for a scary mix up of my blog order, here are THE FACTS first instead of last.
FABRIC: 100% cotton, found in the quilting section of Hancock Fabrics, that has a geometric print of orange and black and grey rectangles against a light orange/peach background; bought for about $10 in total
NOTIONS: had thread and interfacing; just needed to buy a zipper
PATTERN: vintage re-issue Butterick 5707, view B (short-sleeve), originally year 1958
TIME TO COMPLETE: about 5 hours
FIRST WORN: to F.Y.E., an audio/visual entertainment store, checking out what was on sale. In the picture above, I’m holding two of my favorites – a funny mix of the old and the new…a vinyl record of Daft Punk and a DVD of The Battle of Britain. I even found a record of the smooth crooner Pat Boone!
I made the pattern as is, with no real personalized alterations, just grading between sizes, as usual. There was a tricky spot on the front of the bodice. The square panel that connects to the shoulder yoke was hard to sew as a sharp corner in the first place, and then to pull it to the right side and top stitch it down was somewhat frustrating. However, I did well enough to be happy, but not good enough because I still wish this spot could have been perfect. This is one of those self-critical things that all artists do – whether they’re artists in paint, fabric, or anything else.
I really love the sleeves to this pattern. It is very easy to move in and different with the seam down the shoulder. It’s also roomy enough in the bust that I can go authentically vintage if I want and wear a bullet bra!
One problem that I did have with the pattern might merely had to do with the slight stiffness of the cotton. The neckline didn’t drape too well on its own as one might think from the envelope picture. It was almost awkward unless I kept pulling the neck drape down, but then, who would want something to wear as complicated as that? So I made an easy and attractive fix and gathered the neckline fabric nicely and tacked it down with some stitches to finally have the easy, uncomplicated dress I wanted.
This was definitely an impulse project. I knew I needed fabric like a hole in my head, but, honestly, I really don’t have much plain 100% cotton in my stash. Actually what is neat about this project is the fact I found it along with fabric and supplies for two other of my projects: our little one’s bedroom curtains and an upcoming border print vintage dress.
Can’t help but twirl in my new creation…