Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The wrap-around is complete and wrapping.
I finished my very first dress, and a vintage dress at that! Remember the Butterick Walkaway Dress I started months ago, which demanded a large amount of redrafting and modification to make it fit? Well, it's finished. And it fits. And I like it. Mostly.
The actual pattern is Butterick 4790 Walkaway dress. The pattern is reissued from an old vintage pattern formerly known as Butterick 6015. This is a Butterick reissue, so you can buy it in your size (if you are more normally sized than I am) instead of altering the vintage version. Butterick has reissued this pattern as a "Retro 1952" pattern, with the number 4790. You can find it at Butterick.com or at most major fabric stores.
I am proud of my work and pleased by the final garment, although I am not 100% satisfied. I think some additional redrafts are in order if I make this again. For one, I need to shorten the bodice by a couple on inches, because the dress falls below my natural waistline and from the wrong angle makes me look dumpy. As Stacy and Clinton say on What Not to Wear, always put the waistline at the narrowest part of your trunk to create the illusion of a small waist. On my figure, that narrow space of my "waist" is just nanometers long, so my clothings needs to hit it exactly to look right. A shorter bodice will help. Also, I suggest shortening the skirt a few inches to make it a bit more contemporary (and more condusive for wearing flats!). Finally, the neckline needs some more adjustment, I think it is situated too far out on my shoulders, thus my bra strap keeps sliding out.
Despite the flaws, I am terribly pleased by all of the knowledge I gained during the creation process, especially my newfound knowledge about modifying darts for a large chest. With the help of a good sewing teacher, I rearranged the dart placement by moving them to originate from the armpit and angle down toward the center of the bust instead of starting below the bust and angling up (I hope that makes some sense, but perhaps a close up of my first photo can give a visual to my words). I also learned how to increase the width of a dart to prevent "gap-osis" in the armpits.
Best of all, making the dress was a challenge and a meaningful learning experience for a novice sewing like me. I made a vintage reproduction, and it fueled my desire to go forth and conquer more vintage patterns, more garment modifications, and best of all, more lovely dresses!
In other news, I attended a Jo Ann's Fabric Store sale this weekend and Simplicity patterns were five for five bucks. Also, Vogue patterns were only $3.99, a steep discount off of their usual $25 price tag. I purchased fourteen new patterns and the majority are reissued vintage patterns. No doubt they will all require significant redrafting to fit, but hey, it makes me a better sewer, right? Keep posted for updates.