To be honest I am not really one for vintage sewing or having my photo taken so this is a real treat. I bought this pattern at the Knitting and Stitching show a few years ago from Sew Lah Di Dah because I liked the style of the dress which I though would be flattering for a pear shape like me.
It is described as the perfect go-to day dress and I love it. I love it so much that I have made 3 of them. It is superbly flattering for a pear shape like me. I made the first 2 versions a couple of years ago but they never made it to the blog. Since then I have put on a bit of weight but the dresses still fit well.
This is the first version made in a red floral fabric which I thought went well with the vintage look:
I didn’t have much trouble with the pattern although I did a muslin first and there were a few fitting issues requiring some editing. As you can see below my finished bodice pattern was vastly different from the original. However this is not unusual for me as I have a narrow chest and shoulders but am full busted:
The instructions were clear and some nice photos although there were no instructions about inserting the collar. I hope this has been rectified in later pattern edits. It wasn’t a problem as I used my common sense. I fully lined the dress in a white polycotton. I did have some gaping in the central bust area at the seamline where it joined the skirt but I inserted a piece of elastic to pull it in. I still can’t recall why I put a dart in instead of gathering but there you go!
For my second version I decided to make a sleeveless version – I did like the sleeves but wanted to make it a bit different:
I like this version but not as much as the red one – not sure I will keep it. It may end up in the charity bag.
Having left the pattern alone I came back to it this year for my latest version. This is where I made a fatal error and cut the front on the fold along the seam line. This left me with a problem on the front which I solved by adding a placket – my newly found technique from Butterick 6099
I bought this material from a market stall in St Ives on the last bank holiday. This stall was a real find as I have seen the same fabrics in John Lewis for double the price. This is a cotton fabric with a bit of stretch in it which I managed to overstretch on the sleeve hem but this is still my favourite version.
From Sew Lah Di Dah:
And in case you thought Blitz was only suitable for daywear, think again! Use silk or velvet, and get creative with the collar using vintage or embroidered lace – or better still, remove it altogether and finish with a ribbon bow fastening – the possibilities are as endless as your fabric stash!
This is very true. I ha thought about making another version in a posh fabric. For the moment I have a sewing queue as long as your arm so will revisit later.
Well it has been a busy few months – my lovely Mum died and then I lost my job through redundancy and then I moved house so all in all quite a trying time. The plus side of losing my job is that I have had time to sew but not blogged so I have made a resolution that at the end of every project I will:
- Tidy up my sewing room
- Put up a blog post.
Unfortunately the house move meant that I lost my dedicated sewing room and am now using the dining room which is not ideal considering the amount of stuff I accumulated over the last 3 years. I packed 32 boxes not including my fabric which is stored in plastic containers. I am sure I don’t need half of it but most of it is new enthusiasms which are picked up, equipment bought and then discarded. I also have lots of bibs and bobs of things made that somehow never got out of the sewing room plus all those UFO’s. I have been a bit ruthless with the latter asking myself if I am ever going to finish them. If not then I have binned them.
Anyway having a wardrobe clear out at the same time meant that I deduced I was short of a few tops to wear with my jeans. Not being able to purchase anything (my new year resolution was no buying new clothes in 2016 and so far I have stuck to it!). I pulled out Butterick 6099.
I decided to go with View D and purchased some lovely chambray fabric from Plush Addict who recently opened a new store in Peterborough – of course I was there the first week although restrained myself and went on the second day after opening.
I decided not to make a muslin for this as it was quite a loose fitting top and didn’t really anticipate any fitting problems having chosen a size that was correct for my bust, waist and hips. HOW WRONG WAS I?
Having duly made up the top it was HUGE! The garment was hanging off my shoulders by a good 2 or 3 inches. Of course I hadn’t put it on before I inserted my sleeves. At this point I was about to give up and shove it on top of my UFO pile but then knowing I would never get around to finishing it – see above – I decided to push on. I painstakingly removed the sleeves (which were beautiful by the way) and narrowed the shoulders. I took 4″ off the length as it was more of a dress than a tunic top – it certainly didn’t look that long in the pattern drawing. Having shortened it I had to remove the pockets as they were now hanging down past the hem. I could have made them smaller but I am not keen on pockets in my clothes as I think it tends to spoil the line of the garment. I didn’t add the top pocket as I didn’t like it.
Anyway here is the finished article – it still isn’t a perfect fit but just as good as anything I get from shop bought clothes. The sleeves aren’t lying perfect but that is probably as a result of my edit:
I learnt a lot from this make – how to sew a placket although I don’t think the pattern method is the best for the sleeves. If you make this pattern I would recommend research into better ways as mine turned out a bit messy. I also used covered buttons which I think really adds to the garment.
Another few tips/feedback for me:
- Make sure you have enough thread before sewing an automatic buttonhole as there is no going back once you have started.
- Interface goes on the top collar piece not the under collar.
- Try the garment on as you sew and make adaptations early in the process and do not adopt a “it will be fine” approach when it clearly isn’t.
I probably will make this again but with a lot of pattern modifications.