Friday, April 30, 2010


One of the first patterns I purchased after being gifted with my sewing machine was this Butterick vintage repro pattern. I was a new sewer and paid much too much for this pattern. I had absolutely no idea that this was an easily obtainable pattern. In fact, I hate to admit this now, but I don’t think I even truly understood that this was a repro pattern. I knew when I saw the pattern I would be making View C. I am always about full skirts.

Eventually, it came time to try and make up this pattern. I thought how hard can it be – a statement I still assert even though my experience would tend to make one think very hard indeed! So off I merrily went, pinning and cutting out the pattern in an interesting soft drapey cotton. This tells you it was a long time ago, before I got my pattern weights.

Now, I know that everyone and their sister has made this pattern. My pictures will not be that different. I cannot tell you the number of times I have read a review or blog posting on the net about this pattern. But never did I read of anyone have the extreme problems I had. The pattern went together nicely until it was time to sew on the facings where it gathers on the shoulder. I did not understand the direction! I stared and stared at the instructions. I played around with the fabric. I pinned and unpinned umpteen times. After a couple of days of this I started sewing…then ripping out what I had sewed. Then I would stare at the instructions and the fabric and the process would start again.

This process continued over a couple of weeks. Now, don’t think I was trying everyday. Most days I would pass by my sewing table, look at the fabric and sigh. About once a week I would give in and give it another go with resulting failure. I could not get my head around it. Finally, I gave up and put it away. For months, it went untouched.

Finally, I gave in and started the process again. I made a deal with myself, to just sit at the machine and keep trying until it went together.

To this day, I have no idea how I figured out how to put this together. When I finally got it I sat staring at the fabric, followed by some fist pumps and yelling! I know without question I could never sew up this pattern again.

Was it a learning experience…..NOPE because I have looked at the instructions and still do not get it!

When it is all said and done, I wonder if the original pattern would mystify me as much.

Soooooooo, I suppose you want to see a picture of the dress. I have worn it a lot and always receive compliments. I love the fabric.

And the dreaded bodice


Original Mischief said...

That's the dress I've chosen for my wedding... it's adorable isn't it? If I have trouble with the shoulder areas... I'll be coming here for advice! Monique xx

1912 Suffragette said...

This pattern never called my name - too much of a wiggle dress for someone who "wiggles" enough on her own!

That being said I'm so sorry you had such difficulty with it. It's so frustrating when the directions don't make sense, isn't it? Sometimes I've left a project undone for years because I couldn't work out one weird step.

Atomic Mum said...

I am pleased to hear you successfuly finished the dress in the end (even if you never plan to do it again)and it's even nicer you get lovely comments when you wear it.

Miss Emmi said...

I made this dress in the wiggle version, and abandoned all hopes of ever making it in the full skirted form because, like you, the facings made me cry. I just didn't get it! And I think in the end I just resorted to pressing it into submission (but it still doesn't fit me very well due to my narrow shoulders). Alas!

Aimee Marieee said...

You describe the process so well...nice to know I'm not the only one who stares at the indecipherable directions, pins, stare some more, and finally sews only to realize it's not correct. Ack! Congrats on getting it complete and that it looks so great!