Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Butterick B5748 (Part One)

My faaaavorite patterns are always found in a company's retro section. I've always loved vintage fashion, especially the 1950's and some 1960's designs due to their extremely feminine lines. I have a somewhat hourglass shape and love how complimentary this era is to my body type.

I'm fascinated with garment construction, (especially vintage garments) & I want to master tailoring and all the couture techniques I can get my hands on. Unfortunately, my skill level can be a limitation. But that's okay! I have finally come to terms with the fact I'm a beginner and the only way left to go now is up! (:

The dress I'm going to share with you today was an unfinished project I began last....August, I think.
I bought the B5748 (dated circa 1960) pattern during a sale at Hancock's. It's actually on sale on Butterick's website right now for $1.99 [x] for Butterick club members! But, if you want you should check your local fabric store. Hancock Fabrics usually does a Butterick .99 cent sale almost once a month!

I decided to make version B in this dress. I'm a sucker for bows!

I picked out a fantastic blue and white seashell print that was on sale at the time so I bought about 4 yards of it. Luckily, my size called for 4 yards. I used to have a bad habit of just buying fabric before checking to see how much I actually needed....yes, I was a careless rookie.

Speaking of careless...when I pulled this unfinished project out from the depths of Mordor  I decided to check how accurate my progress was before I had set it aside. Woahhh Nelly, it was awful. My darts were squiggly, but surprisingly evenly spaced. I noticed I wasn't particularly careful when I had cut the pattern pieces either. So, I took a little time to rip the darts out:

Correcting crappy darts.

Once the darts were out I pressed & re-pinned the pieces to the pattern to see if anything needed to be adjusted. As you can see, when I cut the bodice out I had left even more allowance than necessary. I didn't realize that at the time since I'm always so paranoid that my garment is going to come out too small. I decided to cut down the extra fabric. I'm glad I did because eventually I had to take my darts in a little deeper than the pattern suggested!

I decided to try a technique I've never attempted before: tailors tacks.
They are a little tedious, if you're not careful the threads can slip out. Eventually, I found that making mine fairly long helped keep them from pulling out before I was ready.

My first go at tailors tacks.  I think I'm a convert!

Look at those crisp darts! I was so proud of myself.

After doing all the necessary steps for my bodice this is what I ended up with! Apologies for the bad photos. My boyfriend isn't very helpful when it comes to taking pictures!

Horizontal pulling in the back is indicating stress on the seam. It's too tight.

 After taking the above pictures I tried to figure out how to make my boobies less flat. I readjusted the darts and it looks so much better! Now, as for the back...I'm still brainstorming that one. I may just close it up. I don't like that my bra shows anyways.

Whew! You made it to the end of this insanely long post!! I'm gonna cut it off here and save the skirt, zipper & final photos for another post. I was in a car accident last week and haven't been able to do any sewing unless its handwork..so give me some time and I'll update you on the final garment :)
Untill next time!


  1. I've just bought this pattern! How much fabric would you suggest for a circle skirt option in a pattern sz16? Xx

    1. Oh you'll love it! It's a great one for sewing newbies and fun for a more seasoned sewer. For circle skirts, it really depends on the width of your fabric! This pattern suggests 3 1/4 yards for view A altogether for a size 16 buying 60" fabric. When you think about your measurements around your bust, you may need a yard or a little more for the bodice. So I think it would be safe to say you'll need 2 yards for you circle skirt (if the fabric is 60"). I hope this helps! :)