Monday, 14 July 2014

Butterick Retro Dress - 6582

Before I review my most current finished project I have a couple of things to mention.

First off I'm surprised to find I've been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by Kychristine. How lovely, - I still can't think my blog is that interesting  to other sewists out there, but thank you very much Kychristine.  Of course I'll try to re-nominate other bloggers but squeezing this into my busy schedule may take a little time.  In the meantime pop over and take a look at Kychristine's blog - she has some fun stuff there and of course, you can see all the other nominated bloggers.

Secondly, I've put myself up for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Challenge as organised by A Stitching Odyssey, where the challenge is to make five vintage (or vintage style) garments before end of the year. Luckily my first vintage style dress was in the making when I found this blog post so I had a head start on myself.

I think it was seeing all the other vintage makes by talented dressmakers that spurred me to on try a bit of vintage myself.  That and the Mad Men Challenge by Julia Bobbin.  I'm definitely a sucker for a bit of a wiggle dress and a pair of kitten heels and already had a dress shape in mind when I went for a forage at Walthamstow Market back in May. 

What I found was some duck egg soft cotton satin that, on the roll, definitely had a look of wallpaper. At only £2 a yard it was a steal and I only needed 2 yards for what I had in mind.

 View A was the dress of choice this time
It had been ages since I used a commercial pattern.  I'm so used to my trusty Burda and Patrones and the way they work with my greaseproof paper trace-outs.  I thought the pattern pieces would fly away, they felt so delicate.  Hence cutting out took a little long than usual and with the front of the dress being asymmetric more room and concentration was needed too.

Construction was of intermediate difficulty with the challenging part being sewing the left bodice front as 4 layers.  Understitching was used to keep the neckline tidy and the facings were attached as per a sleeveless lining and then handstitched at the shoulder opening.

Not being one for making toiles -(something else I must get to grips with!) I stitched it straight from the pattern pieces and ended up taking in the dress at the side seams and darts and, my, did it take a fair bit of tweaking,  mostly at the darts.  It came up a bit large in the back and Mr P had to get handy with the pins to fix the darts and take in the zip at the back.

Once all the amendments were done a try on saw a good fit but then, horrors!  I decided to photograph my dress mid make and realised that the upper left front was cut from a piece of discoloured fabric. Ouch!

How did I not notice that?  

I realised a lot unpicking would be required to remove the offending bodice piece and, at that point, lost my mojo to complete the dress and it lay, unloved, consigned to the sewing cupboard, as an unfinished item. 

Three weeks later, and being spurred on by a dinner date, I decided to tackle the mishap and, once the dreary unpicking was done, had a new bodice in in double-quick time.

The remainder of the sewing went without incident and to finish I added bows, as per the pattern, on the shoulder 

I'm wasn't totally convinced about the shoulder bows as they seem a bit rigid, but they were press-studded on and I've now removed them and will make a lingerie guard type addition, but one that I can remove and press stud the bows to so I can wear it without if desired. I may also make new bows so they don't look quite so "boardy.  Also if I made this dress again the other thing I'd do is put a lining in, especially with such a soft fabric as I think that addition would give it a better hang.

The dress on it's dinner date 
All in all, I was pleased with my first attempt at vintage and will probably be using my Butterick 6582 at some point again, though probably with a full skirt next time

If you'd like to check out the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge there's a Pinterest Board here so you can keep up with the vintage makes.

If you're near Brighton the Scicilian restaurant visited by me and the dress is Mediterraneo Deli - very intimate with all home cooked food and tons of ambience.


Ease factor:  Intermediate. 5 out of 10.  Some experience needed here.
Cost:  Bargain 2 yards at £2 per yard from Walthanstowe Market, but obviously seconds so if you buy from the man outside Sainsbury's, it's good value but check the print to make sure you have enough good fabric.

Have you sewed any vintage?  I'd love to know.

Happy sewing.

Linda x


  1. Stunning Linda! Thanks so much for taking part ;o) I've added you to the Pinterest board -

    1. thank you Marie for your kind comment. Have checked out your pinterest boards. You have some lovely makes.

  2. The finished dress looks lovely. I do have a couple of the Butterick retro patterns but haven't used yet. As for toiles it all depends on what mood I'm in. Sometimes I happy to make and other times I can't be bothered and can't wait to start the real thing. I've just cut out the Kitchy Coo lady skater dress which does recommend you make a toile up, I've skipped this and now hoping that I don't regret it !

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    2. Thank you for your comment. I don't usually do toiles but am thinking of starting now that i want to draft my own patterns. With this one the fabric was inexpensive so I wouldn't have lost a lot if it didn't work. Your Kitchy Coo dress pattern looks lovely and not so difficult as to require a toile. Would love to see any retro patterns you make up

  3. This looks great. I rather like the bows! Your so clever knowing how to take things in through darts. Have you been sewing long? I've been sewing a year now, I thought my interest would flag but I've become more into it.

    1. Thanks Louise. I just put the dress on inside out and pin the darts already there to make them bigger. I've been sewing for 30 years on and off but this year have really ramped up my sewing time. it's something that's really easy to get involved in as you can learn so much and there's no limit to the creativity you can express. I'm just starting to self draft so there's lots to learn. Good for you for getting more involved. Linda

  4. Your drew is just lovely! I have this pattern too and you're inspiring me to get it out and have another look :)

    1. Thank you. I'm glad I could be an inspiration.