Sunday, 21 August 2016

#VintagePledge - Butterick 6582 completed

Butterick 6582 done!

One thing which I forgot to mention in my post about making the bodice was the fitting alterations. I had read somewhere that the Butterick sloper (the basic shape from which all the patterns are made) is the same as the Vogue one apart from the sleeve length, so I took a chance and just applied the changes I'd make to a Vogue pattern - and this worked out fine.

The skirt was perfectly straightforward; just back and side seams, gather, and attach. The only unusual thing is that the centre front section isn't gathered, which gives the skirt a less bouffant look than something like Vogue 8789. Naturally, I added pockets in the side seams.

The centre front of the skirt isn't gathered

The only other alteration I made was to raise the V neck at the back, unnecessarily as it turned out, because I was worried that it would be too low. This then meant that I needed a longer zip.

Ah, the zip. It ages since I've made a dress with a standard, centre-back zip; either I've used an invisible zip or it's been a vintage pattern with a side opening. So to make it less obvious, I decided to hand-pick the zip. Then I had the genius idea of matching the thread to the fabric, so used brown, blue, orange and white threads. Halfway up the first side this idea was beginning to feel a lot less genius-like, but I persevered, and I think the end result was worth it.

Hand-picked zip and hand-sewn belt loops (and slightly off-centre front V!)

Then, because I just couldn't bring myself not to, I hemmed that enormously full skirt in four colours as well! Obsessive? Me?

The pattern includes instructions for a belt (without a prong or eyelets), and I decided to use one of my vintage buckles. I had quite a few of suitable colours to choose from.

Brown and blue buckles

I chose the one on the bottom right, because I liked the size and the shape.

The belt is made out of what my local fabric shop sells as 'buckram'. This isn't the same as the buckram I use for hatmaking; instead it's a tightly woven fabric, coated with stiffener/heat-activated adhesive.

Roll of belt buckram, and hat base of millinery buckram

I used the professionally made belt of the Rosalind dress to get an idea of how stiff a belt should be. In true Goldilocks fashion, one layer of buckram seemed too flimsy, while three fused together was too stiff once it had cooled (it's deceptively pliable immediately after it's been ironed), but two layers was just right. Because the buckram has adhesive on both sides it was impossible to iron the pieces together without also attaching the iron and ironing board, so I tightly wrapped the strips in a length of white cotton, and trimmed off the excess. Then I cut the end to a point and covered the belt with dress fabric, sewing it onto the cotton base along the centre back.

The belt covered in white cotton and then in dress fabric

And there you have it. Another Vintage Pledge make, and my first Vintage Sew-Along contribution (there's another one planned). I have Brocade Goddess at The Modern Mantua-Maker to thank for the neat interior; her dresses are always so beautifully finished that it's really encouraged me to up my own game.

Interior shot

To photograph the finished dress I paired it with my white net petticoat to give the skirt maximum pouf.

Big skirt, shades, and non-period-appropriate shoes

I suspect that the days for wearing sleeveless summer dresses are numbered, so my next project is more suited to autumn wear. But first I'll have to work out what fit alterations I need to make to Simplicity patterns.

Back to the 1940s with Simplicity 1777


  1. This is gorgeous! I love the floral pattern and the belt you've made is amazing! Such a beautiful silhouette on you. Well done for another great make! XxxX

  2. Sorry forgot to say do you have a follow blogger button? I think it's called 'Google Friend Collect' and you can add it when you layout your blog so other bloggers can follow you. Or is the only way I can follow you by email? XxxX

  3. Thank you Second Hand Rose!

    For now the only way to follow me is by email, but I'll certainly look at adding a button.

  4. I love how this turned out. The colours really suit your hair and skin tone, it's a perfect combination for you. Not sure I would've had the patience to match the thread to the different parts of the pattern, but well done you for doing so, the zip is barely noticeable. Can't wait to see the 1940s dress. I love that pattern!

    1. Thank you Cate, I'm really pleased with it.