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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Butterick 5209 - Flowered 40's Dress

For my latest dress, I have decided to move backwards from the 50's and try Butterick 5209 from 1947.  It love this dress because it so reminds me of the dresses I see my grandma wearing in old family photos.  I am sure she sewed hers, too.  Of course, she had a lovely hat and some gloves to put with the dress. 
This dress has gathered skirt with a fitted waistband and looser shoulders. It has a side zipper with a fully self-lined bodice. Here is the pattern.  I did view  B, which has a full back and sleeves.  (View A has just a halter)
Muslin
I made muslin in a size 16 after reading the pattern measurements, but found it would have been too big.  My dress form is fairly true to my size.  I even tried to pin some sections and was going to try and adjust the pattern, but ended up just making it a size 14 and that made the difference.  If you are making the pattern, there seems to be a lot of ease.  I would make it a size smaller than the measurements indicate if you would like it to fit like the picture on the front of the pattern.
Front of muslin
Back of muslin
Pattern Instructions
Most of the instructions are good... except at step 23.  The picture is terrible and so are the instructions.   I gathered that the goal of this step is to sew the self-lining to the bodice front. I stared at this and re-read it and stared at it some more for about an hour until I gave up figuring out what the authors meant to do and just did it my own way, then ended up doing some hand sewing to finish the seams.  I am still not sure how they intended it to be done. If you have figured out the mystery of step 23, let me know. 
Step 23, AKA the WTF step.
Variations from Pattern
I made two variations from the pattern instructions.  The first variation is that the pattern calls for the zipper to sewn to the top of the underarm seam.   The last time I made a dress with a zipper at the armpit (Butterick 5603), the zipper rubbed against my inner arm and was so irritating I don't wear the dress.   For this dress, I lowered it a tad and put in a hook and eye at the top. This is MUCH more comfortable!  
Inside of dress
The other thing I did was to change the lining of the dress.  The instructions say to fold the bottom of the lining under, hem it and leave it loose inside the dress.  That is too untidy for me.  Instead, I added a strip of blanket binding and hand sewed the bottom of the bodice lining to it, then sewed the binding to the waist, covering up all of the gathering/stitching.
Things I Like 
This dress really does remind me of my grandma's dresses from way back when.  It is also so comfortable!   I have been watching videos on YouTube for how to put pin curls in my hair, so I just need some vintage shoes, a hat and some gloves.

Bonus for anyone who gets this far in actually reading my blog... I accidentally bought two of the B5209 pattern.  It is size 14-16-18-20.  I'll pick a random person* who leaves a comment on this post from now until 8/31/2012 and send the extra pattern to you if you say you are interested in your comment.  I'll even send it overseas.  THAT is how happy I am with this dress.  If you are the lucky winner, I'll contact you through your profile to get your address.

*I reserve the right for "random" to be translated as "most entertaining and/or useful".  Just saying.


Spring Trends

26 comments:

  1. I actually have this pattern, but have been hesitant to try it out.I really like your version though. Maybe I'll get brave enough to try it someday.

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    1. You should definitely sew it. I think I was the millionth person to review it on sewing.patternreview. Most people really liked it - it looks like only a couple hated it. I read the reviews after I did mine and it looks like other people didn't like the instructions, either. Ignore them and sew away. :)

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  2. This is adorable! Especially in the fabric you chose...it has a retro feel, as well. I would love to be in the pattern drawing! Witty comment...hmmm...I would say the dress reminded me of my grandmother but she was never that stylish...but, her sister was. Aunt Frieda was the floozy of the family. She actually had pink ostrich feather mules...and knew how to strut in them!

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    1. You are in and a contender for two reasons:
      1. You use the word floozy, which is inherently funny
      2. You use it when describing your own family (very funny)
      3. You are the only person entered so far.

      Seriously, I have had 400 page hits. Congrats for reading the blog. Clearly everyone else is just looking at the pictures. (As I guiltily look around since I am describing what I do on other blogs. *nervous laugh* #subjectchange)

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    2. Hey there ArtAttack... you have won the pattern! (you were first to reply and cracked me up) If you would still like it, e-mail me at sewinglab at yahoo dot com and I'll get your information and send it on over to you.

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  3. WOW, I am really drooling over that fabric. This dress is stunning, and yes, it definitely deserves to be worn with gloves. Also maybe a peach-colored parasol. Not that I own any kind of parasol, but I might have to buy one if I had a dress like this. And then I would top it off with a pair of sexy red heels. I would love to be entered in the drawing! :)

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    1. You are also in! If I only get two entrants, I'll send you both something. I went on such a pattern-buying spree when Vogue had a 2.99 sale, I am sure there is something else duplicate in my stash. I went to your blog and left a comment on your green dress. Love it!

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  4. I remember both my grandmother and my mother wearing dresses like this, however, none were this "fancy", referring to the material. I doubt that my mother wore long gloves w/any of her "house dresses", as they were called. BUT, I do still have a pair of her long gloves, plus several other gloves in white and pink that were worn when she "went to town". I don't know what happened to her little hats. Too bad.

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    1. I am not exactly sure what fabric my grandma's dress was made out of, either. Probably not this. I like the idea of gloves to "go into town". Now people don't even get out of pajamas.

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  5. I love the sheen in the material you chose. I was thinking how I wish I had the pattern for view A, since halters really flatter me. (* hint*hint.) I love it as pictured in black and would also make it in red and pink and pale gray and -well, basically I'd make it in every color because I love the pattern so much! (And because I'm fanatical like that.) Maybe I would start making then for other people, too, and becomr a one-hit wonder with my own fashion house that specializes in making just that dress and fabulously accessorizing it! If only I could sew! (That won't disqualify me from winning the pattern, will it?)

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    1. Thanks! I am now on the look-out for a peach parasol. I like the thought of someone wearing only this dress in every color. Not being able to sew does not disqualify you. I wish I could give it to everyone!

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  6. I think what step 23 might be saying is to pin the back of the bodice and the sleeve to the front of the bodice. Cut/trim where necessary and then sew the bodice together. Then cut/trim back the neck seam.

    Then do the same thing to the lining.

    I'm just venturing a guess because I've never used a pattern.

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  7. Beautiful dress. Very flattering. Looks gorgeous on you. Love that sheeny shiny fabric. Scrumptious.

    I'm definitely interested in the extra pattern. I'm bummed, though, because I don't have a floozy aunt to contribute as entertainment value. I'm not even imaginative enough to invent one. Woe is me.

    Great work, and may you encounter minimal (preferably zero) WTF steps in future projects.

    Shelley

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    1. Hey! Saw (and loved and commented on) your Elvis skirt on your blog. That totally cracked me up and provided entertainment value! Tee hee. Made my day. Following you on Bloglovin!

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  8. This is a great dress. A student of mine has been making it and it's a decent pattern. I'd love to be in the running for a copy. It would fit my curvy frame well. Thanks!

    As for item 23: It's telling you to attach the back of bodice including the sleeve sections to the front across the shoulders and neck. In order to have the curves lay well they ask you to clip the curves to release them. In the drawing they also show the shoulder seams split and pressed (which they always assume you'll do even if they don't say it.

    Cheers!
    Kimberli
    www.TheMacKayWay.com

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    1. Thanks for the input. It is always good to get another view on the instructions. If only it would ALSO make sense when holding the fabric pieces in my hands. Thanks for weighing in! I'll take another look at the pattern directions.

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  9. This fabric really brings a fresh take to this, I love it, makes me want to make a second one!

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    1. I saw yours on your blog and I love that you wore it to a Pink Martini concert. You look great in it! I love the dark blue flowers you chose.

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  10. this is the dress i have been working on... the one i commented about in a previous post that i have hanging on my dress form for months hahaha... i did the same version. i think when i take in the sides and reinsert the zipper i will take your advice and leave the zipper love and add a hook and eye.

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  11. Gorgeous dress. I have this pattern....must actually get round to sewing it.

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  12. The dress looks fabulous on you :)

    I am currently working on this dress & I totally agree with you about the poorly written instructions. I keep reading step 28 over & over again... So, I am definitely not buying another Butterick pattern again.

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    1. While I am not glad you had trouble, I am glad to not feel like the only one. I have had some good luck with Butterick patterns... maybe I am just less picky when I get them on sale for less than two dollars.

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  13. The dress turned out lovely! Most of the garments I've seen which were made from this pattern are just a little too "blah" looking, but it looks so much better in a drapy charmeuse! I've had this pattern for a long time, so if I get a chance I might whip one out from a similar floral satin I have.

    Happy sewing!
    Katrina

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    1. Thanks! I hope you blog about yours. I'd love to see it. I took a peek at your blog and saw you have already sewn Gertie's dress... http://www.edelweisspatterns.com/blog/?p=3627. Nice! I am almost done sewing mine and hope it looks as nice as yours.

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  14. I love the pattern. You have done a great job. Nice material too.

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