February 19, 2012

Mint chocolate bows Butterick Sewing Pattern 4513 Retro 1957

I am stubborn. My stubbornness reigns supreme in all things that I do, so much that it also plagues my sewing. I absolutely hate to give up on a project; UFOs be dammed in my studio (seamist lingo: Un Finished Projects). That being said I need to know when to let a project go, case in point this dress. I have stated my love for Butterick retro patterns and this one is not any different, per say. Look at the cover art: Love, right? Circle skirt I love it , little bow details I love them 1950’s nipped waist love, what more can you ask for? Well all should be grand; except this project waged war from the start.

I purchased my fabric quite some time ago in the fabric.com mega clearance section without a intended project. I matched it to this due to the print, I like to call it a barren floral, these cute little tumble weed twigs, I thought it was funny. And I love this minty background color, however brown is commonly not in my wheel house. I thought I could make it work with some minimal brown accents.
I began to plan the pattern I stayed on my natural course: 1. I shortened my skirt 2. I planned for lining as I wanted more structure in the dress and to conceal the darts within the bodice. For the lining I elected to use a broadcloth brown scrap from the Waste Not, Want Not bin, as I must get this bin used up and the scrap was a butternut brown color and I knew there was no way in hell I would ever want to use it on anything else. I knew I would have to piece the scrap due to the fact that the main fabric is 60” wide and it was 44” wide, equates to additional circle skirt width issues.
And then the issues begin: I did not have enough scrap for the entire lining and also I did not have enough fashion fabric for the entire bodice lining. My stubborn solution: I cut the bodice front and back on the skewed bias (this worked well as the skirt was on the bias and the print placement was kind) and I cut the bodice front lining out of the fashion fabric and the bodice back lining was cut out of the scrap fabric. Ok problem solved onward I went.
The ties are made of double fold bias tape the pattern calls for ½”, I had a vintage notion pack of ¼” brown double fold bias in my stash, my stubbornness demanded that I use it even though I knew this would make more work (read: not a good substitute for beginner sewers). On the plus side it would also yield a less bulky armscye and less Becky-home-ecky garment, and I knew I had the skills to pay the bills so ¼” tape I did, with much less room for error on this project.

The dreaded waistband back seam
Construction went fairly well until….the waistband back. I should have had the foresight to know I would hate the elastic back as I do. For future make I would add a zip and dart fit the back. I personally do not like elastic, I avoid it at all costs therefore I hate the inside waistband seam with the damn elastic. Raw edge vomit if you ask me, which you are not. So what could be done here you may ask: a bias tape casing for the elastic, possible but also bulky, serge the waistband seam edges but again I would hate to add more bulk to that waistline. IDK and truth be told I may not ever even wear this garment and it will go to my local thift store and be well loved find by someone else who is not so stubborn that they will not only see the flaws.


1/4" double fold bias tape paid off

Inside garment front

inside garment back

Raw edges, I do not like them 
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