1960s

My First Post: Butterick 4838, 1960s Cut Out Cover Up Shift

By on August 27, 2016

imageI’m so happy to be contributing here for the first time!

Today I completed Butterick 4838, a reversible summer shift or cover-up with only two pattern pieces. It’s still winter here, but after prolonged illness and also a huge house move I just felt like sewing something – anything – to get back into sewing. I’d always wanted to make this well-known 1960s pattern, because it looks cute, easy to wear, and would be a great summer dress (I suffer terribly with the heat).  I’ve also recently grown out of much of my wardrobe, ahem, so can justify the make because I NEED new clothes.image Really. Especially because my daughter has started stealing all my old ones because she has grown INTO them.

I didn’t bother doing a test run, as it’s such a simple pattern (please keep tsking and chuckles to a minimum). Contrary to the envelope illustration, where the waist seems somewhat raised and as if the cut-out ends at the back waist, it turns out that the cut-out is quite wide AND low, and not only that, is also quite open and revealing due to the generous cut of the mod, shift-like shape. I think if I were standing in a queue and there was someone right behind me and they bothered to look down, they’d probably be able to see right down to my undies! Whoops. I think I’ll only be wearing this over my swimmers to go down the road to the pool. You could say the clue was in the pattern description, which used the word ‘cover-up’.

Still, I’m happy with it – and I used up some original 1960s psychedelic fabric I thrifted years ago:image  a sheer synthetic, light as air, with a faint crepey texture to it. I have the perfect buttons for the dress – huge lime green plastic ones – but haven’t added them yet as I still havent unpacked my haberdashery stash (I can’t even find the box!). I won’t be making them functional buttons, because it’s loose enough to just be pulled over my head.

I will make this again and make it truly reversible (not just lined like this one) and will adjust the cut-out to be more wearable. I really recommend this fun mod pattern!

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Oranges & Lemons

By on March 26, 2013

This Butterick pattern from 1960 has been floating around my workroom patiently waiting it’s turn and when a couple of meters of this Makower cotton came my way it was a perfect match. Even have a glass necklace I bought in Venice years ago to follow through on the oranges theme… just need some sunshine and warm weather now.

About the pattern:

Fit- The 34″ bust easily fitted my 35 1/2″ bust. The bodice needed to be shortened a good 1″ through the waist as I have a rather short waist measurement, which happily also made the waist the  2″ bigger I needed.The shoulders sit very wide which I like, but the front and back necklines both gaped a bit. There is a centre back seam so the back was easily fixed. I could take a little tuck under each bow to fix the front but its not dreadful gapping so will probably leave it alone. It is easily fixed on the pattern for making another time. I also shortened the skirt pattern about 2″ to finish at 26 1/2″.

Style- The skirt is 92″ around the hem, I love a full skirt! However I don’t really like when vintage styles are left looking limp without a petticoat but at the same time often feel wearing a petticoat is too much… so I compromised by sewing a 2″ wide band of crinoline in the hem turning. That does help keep a nice skirt shape but wasn’t quite enough as the hips needed a bit of ‘oomph’ too. My theory is it makes my waist look smaller 🙂  so I made a very simple petticoat from some stiffened cotton mull. It’s not very nice looking and is scratchy as well so I’m going to redo it in some organza instead. It is just an A-line shape with tight gathering only at the sides to hold the dress out just in that area. The pattern illustration is of course a little idealised. The main differences are that the neckline is really more of a bateau neck and sits almost above my collarbone rather than in the shallow curve pictured. Also the neckline notches, by the bows, which are a nice detail, sit quite high, nearer the shoulders than as sketched and could do with being lowered. These are alterations I will make for using it again. I’ll probably add side seam pockets in the next full skirt version too.

Will I make it again- Yes. Both in the full skirt style and in the jacket and narrow dress version too as that is the real reason I bought this pattern. Now I know exactly what to do to the pattern to make the fit perfect next time though for the jacket I will do a quick toile first because I really want the collar to be just as pictured in the illustration and I suspect the pattern will need some tweaking and a good interfacing to achieve the look.

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