Vintage Sewing


July 30, 2007
I’m working on this pattern in this vintage cotton:

I made up a toile and it’s not too bad… still don’t have the guts to cut into the vintage, yet! I need to make the neck a little narrower and the bodice a little roomier than this:

(My dog doesn’t seem particularly impressed.)

Other sewing-room mischief involve these culprits:

I’ve read mixed reviews of this pattern. We’ll see how I go. How wild is the lobster print?

The thing I’m most concerned about is that the standard 2″ extra length that I put in the bodice have made the darts rather messy – they lose a lot of shape when I rule a new line. Anyone got any hints? See below. – swing by and say hi!

  1. You must redraft the darts. DO NOT simply stitch a straight line between the points where you cut the pattern apart.

    Make the widest area of the dart at your natural waistline, the determine how long you need them to be to taper to your hip and up to bust.

    Most pattern directions have you make the darts first before you sew the side seams. I don’t do this. Instead, I sew up the entire dress, turn it inside out, try it on, and then pin in the darts. Since I am very curvy, I also frequently add double darts. It looks like you have fairly advanced sewing skills, so this shouldn’t be difficult for you at all.

    I LOVE the retro Butterick pattern, and will look forward to seeing how it comes out.

    Also, I LIKE the wider neckline and slim fit of the top dress. VA, VA, VOOM! It looks great on you!

    Have fun sewing.

  2. I agree with the above suggestion to fit the darts with the dress on. You could baste if you are nervous about the pins, but then you can only take in more dart width, whereas you can also let some out with the pins. You other toile looks great too. I can’t see the neck much in the pic’s (is it too wide or too gappy?), but it can’t take to much tweaking to be ready for your vintage fabric. Can’t wait to see the result!

  3. OOh, that top one is lovely, and that vintage material is heavenly!

    I have that modern retro crossover one at the bottom so I will be most interested to see what it looks like made up.

  4. I don’t have any tips on the darts when altering the Butterick repro, but it is a much easier dress to put together than the instructions make it seem. With no alterations to the pattern I made the entire thing in an easy weeekend.

  5. What a fantastic collection of fabrics! Love the crazy lobster print.

    And that is a great tip above about darts. I’m pretty new to sewing and I thought it was kind of odd to do the darts first and had no clue at all what to when the pattern has been lengthened (I do like a bit more length than is often allowed in vintage patterns, my legs aren’t what they used to be!).

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