Monday, June 17, 2013

Little Black Concert Dress (Butterick 5748)

I have a significant section of my closet that is aaallll black! Black tops, black skirts, black dresses. I didn't go through a goth phase or anything, lol, I've just been performing in concerts (band, orchestra, or choir) since I was around 10, and unless we had a uniform, concert dress was typically always black. I never miss a chance to dress up a bit, but I try to keep it understated. It can be hard to find a dress that isn't too formal or too casual for my liking, that is also comfortable enough to play my instrument in, and suitable for the concert setting. I like the traditional 3/4 sleeve, and I like the skirt long enough that I don't have to worry about any flashing going on. In short, I'm picky! And good choices in stores tend to be severely lacking.

 Since I've been on such a sewing spree lately, before my last orchestra concert I decided I would make myself a new concert dress! I looked through my stash, and decided on Retro Butterick 5748.

It's sleeveless, but I have several shrugs and bolero type cardigans to layer with it for my 3/4 sleeve preference.

I really love the simplicity of this dress, the scoop neckline, a basic bodice with darts, and a full circle skirt. I decided to make the view with the notch in the front neckline just for a little interest, but I didn't use the bows or have a notch in the back. I also decided to move the zipper from the side to the center back, so I could easily use an invisible zipper. And, as I'm a firm believer in pockets whenever possible, I added pockets as well.

This was the first time I was able to use my duct tape dress form (post on that coming soon), and it was a great help! Thanks to it, after fitting the pattern on it, I decided to alter the front bust darts to a diamond shape, so that it was a more fitted look. I also decided to go with a size smaller than the pattern suggests, taking the ease into account. I adore the pattern art on retro and vintage patterns, and it seems to me the only way to get anything close to that gorgeous silhouette is to fit the bodice as closely as possible. So with the help of my body double, that's what I did!

I actually decided to wear this to a ballet my husband took me to for my birthday, and I was sewing up until the last second. I wasn't able to finish the hem, but I decided to wear it anyway to the ballet, lol. So here I am after the lovely ballet, wearing my unhemmed dress!

And here are some pics of the final product, hemmed and all. ;-)



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Easter Dress 2013 (Butterick 6582)

When I was a little girl, Easter always meant a new dress! I still get the itch, when Easter comes around, to find that perfect spring-like dress for the occasion. This year, having recently acquired quite a pattern stash, and feeling more confident about using them, I decided I'd give making my own dress a shot. I thumbed through my Retro Repro patterns, and settled on Retro Butterick 6582.

I would, of course, be choosing the full-skirted version. ;-) One day maybe I'll feel bold enough to make a wiggle dress.

I chose this lovely pink and peach floral cotton, I thought it was very happy and it reminded me of spring! My husband said he thought it looked a little granny-ish, haha, but I figured that meant it would fit my old fashioned style dress.

 The pattern wasn't too difficult, I found the instructions to be pretty straight forward. As I always do whenever possible, I added a pocket. I also took the opportunity to practice my invisible zipper insertion skills, as I was getting ready to work on the wedding dress for my friend and needed as much practice as possible. It went in without issue, so I was pleased! This was how it looked before I joined the skirt and the bodice:

I decided I wanted a sash to go with it, so I used the sash from Retro Butterick 5032. And here I am ready to head off to the Easter Vigil!

I also considered wearing it with a pink sweater I had, and I've since worn it this way, but decided to go with the sash for Easter.

 I found a darling little vintage hat while browsing around after restocking my booth at Austin Gift Company. Only $8! I decided it was a little too pink all over, so I decided to add some of the fabric I used for the sash to tie it all together. Here are some close ups of the hat, and the hair.

It was a lovely Easter vigil, and I got several compliments on my ensemble from strangers, which is always fun. ;-) Not too shabby for my second retro dress from a pattern! Each one completed has given me more confidence, and makes me look forward to tackling the next one.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Patterns Galore!

Hello friends! So since my last post, I've been super busy sewing up a storm, and actually using patterns! Can you believe it? I feel like I've finally gotten the hang of it, which is extremely exciting since it opens up so many possibilities. I hit a couple of the 5/$5 pattern sales, as well as taking advantage of a liquidation sale at one of my local Joann's which moved (closer to me, yay!) So I have quite a stash now, mostly of the reproduction retro type, and I'm so excited to work through them. :-)

I thought it would be fun to start blogging about what I'm making, so that's the plan! Since the Walkaway dress, I've made an Easter dress, a black concert dress, a blue hybrid-pattern sundress, AND a wedding dress! I'll be blogging about all of them soon, and hopefully will have more to come. I also made a duct tape dress form which has been such a big help in fitting myself. Lots to catch up on, can't wait to share!