Two of my good friends got married last weekend. I knew for months that I wanted to make a dress to wear to the wedding, but I couldn’t decide what I wanted the dress to look like for a very long time. Being in March, I knew it would be cold, but I wanted a short dress that would be more versatile to wear again. I’m not the one getting married after all.
In terms of the pattern, I went with a vintage reprint Butterick 6582.This dress is part of their Retro ’60 collection. It features a shallow v-neck in the front and back, two pairs of double darts on the front and back, and gathering at the shoulders. I sewed view a with the fitted skirt and bows at the shoulders. On a side note: wow, I haven’t made a pattern from the Big 4 in quite a while now. The last one I made was way back in August–this McCall’s green hi-low skirt.
As far as fabric goes, I used a black and white polka dot polyester that I bought back in September with a different dress in mind. That dress still hasn’t come to fruition, but I thought this fabric would be just the right level of class.
In terms of techniques, this dress had a few firsts for me. It was my first foray into double point darts. I was intimidated at first, but found Colette’s tutorial on darts to be very helpful. Essentially, a double point dart is just two straight darts facing away from each other. If you count them up as single darts, this dress has a whopping 16 darts! Definitely a record for me.
This is by far the most successful invisible zip that I’ve ever put in. I took my time and hand basted the zip in place before turning to my machine and its trusty invisible zipper foot. Everything went smoothly on the first try. Phewf. The zipper and darts were the most complicated part of the dress. It is rated as “average” difficulty, but nothing was too tricky. There is a slight mistake under the left arm, but it’s all on the inside so no one will ever notice. The facing doesn’t line up exactly how it is supposed to, so there is some extra fabric in there, but I’m not worried. Once I have it on, I don’t even notice it.
The inside of the dress is completely finished, thanks to some ingenuity on my part. Ingenuity may be too strong of a word, but I’m pretty proud. I finished the zipper and rest of the back seam using (pink!) bias tape. Then, I used French seams for the side seams. The facings took care of the rest. It’s almost as pretty on the inside as the outside. If only the inside had bows too.
In terms of fitting, I took in the side seams around the bust area just a little bit (maybe 1/4″ on each side). Otherwise, the pattern fit great right out of the package! That’s pretty rare for me and Big 4 patterns, so I was pretty pumped. Maybe Butterick and I are meant to be friends.