Sunday, 8 April 2018

#VintagePledge - Butterick 4384 finished!

I really need to get a bit more clever about timing my sewing projects. Last year I managed to finish a summer dress in late September, and now I have finished a long-sleeved dress in a thick cotton just in time for the (I hope) warmer weather!

When I last posted about this dress, it felt as though there had been a lot of sewing for very little effect. However the rest of it came together quite easily. As ever, I hand-picked the zip, then attached the collar to the dress. It fastens with hooks and eyes at the back.

I wasn't entirely happy with the buttons which I had bought for this dress, but they were the best I could find at home. Then when I was in Somerset in March I came across this fabulous wool shop in Wells. It looks tiny from the outside but don't be deceived; inside it opens up into a surprisingly large space crammed with wools and haberdashery, including an extensive stock of buttons. I found the perfect buttons for this dress, and for my next project, too.

Collar and buttons

Most of the dresses and blouses I make have short or three-quarter sleeves, so it's a long time since I have made anything which required sleeve plackets and cuffs. In fact, when I checked I discovered that it was almost five years; I made my Folkwear Armistice Blouse in August 2013. Happily my technique for hand-sewn buttonholes has improved a lot since then.

Perfect button and reasonable buttonhole

So here is the finished dress, and the first part of my 2018 pledge to make up at least three of my vintage patterns from the period 1960 - 1989 (the pattern dates from 1967). The verdict on my first foray into a new (for me) time period? Well, I'm not entirely happy with the braid placement; because I used five rows of narrower braid rather then four of a wider one, I think that the shaping around the bust darts is far more noticable than on the original.

How the braid placement should look

I made the dress longer than the illustration, but now that I know that it it destined to always be worn with thick tights, I might shorten it. The collar feels quite snug by modern standards, although you soon get used to it. But it is very comfortable dress, and I expect it will get a lot of wear. In the autumn!

The finished dress


  1. I think it looks fabulous, but yes, probably could be a little shorter. I love that you've teamed it with cute 60s style kitten heels. They were a favourite of mine during my Mod phase. And I notice you've made a matching headband, you just needed to the backcombed beehive to go with it! xx

    1. Thank you Cate! The shoes are actually from M&S, as soon as I saw them I thought they would be perfect with 1960s dresses. I hadn't thought about a beehive but yes, it needs to be done! xx