This party dress competition came at just the right time. Literally days before it was announced, I had begun searching for dress patterns for a couple of parties I have coming up around the holidays.
The first one is Butterick 6307. I love this pattern. It’s such a classic 50s party dress design. I used a deep purple party taffeta for my version (the color is a little off in the photos):
This dress was one of a number of firsts for me: the first time I attempted to upsize a pattern, the first time I had the proper materials to make a self fabric belt and buckle, and the first time I learned my mother’s technique for sewing set-in sleeves.
I ran into few problems adjusting the size of the pattern. It came out quite well, I think (The skirt hem is straight, I swear! The petticoat I’m wearing under it made it look uneven).
I recently went searching for vintage belt kits with which to make self-fabric buckles. This is te first project I got to use one. I think it turned out quite well. The pattern did not call for top stitching on the belt, so I tried it without and liked the way it turned out.
The hardest thing about this dress was trying to make set in sleeves with taffeta; one of the most unforgiving fabrics. In the height of my frustration, I received a call from my mom. A genius woman, she is. She passed on a tip she learned years ago. This may be known to others in this community, but it was a new one for me: sew the top of the sleeve to the bodice flat, i.e. before you’ve sewed the sides of the bodice or sewn the length of the sleeves. I could not believe how much of a difference that little tip made!