James’ company recently did a website for a *fancy cruise line,* who in turn gifted dinner cruise tickets to each team member and their sweetie. Naturally, I decided that I had nothing to wear and the only solution was to whip up a dress three days before the event. I do love to sewing with an impending deadline!
This is my sewing theme song. ALWAYS.
I wanted something classic and vintage that would use up some of my fabric stash, and finally decided on the rereleased vintage Butterinck B5032. My mother had made it 6 years ago, and I remembered trying it on and liking it. Because of my slightly masochistic sewing deadlines, I was forced purchase the downloadable pattern so I could start that night. This meant downloading from PrintSew, which was a time-intensive, counter-intuitive, gray-hair inducing process to say the least. More on this later. Here is how it turned out:
I sewed both the cape and dress in time to spend the hours before doing a fancy hair style and makeup instead of hemming and hand-sewing (which is too often the case)! For the dress and cape lining I used a lovely blue chambray-like material with big purple and blue roses. I found it at the thrift store, and realized only when I laid the fabric out that a huge chunk was missing! I had to do a lot of fancy-pants pattern arrangement to make sure I had room for everything. This proved an extra difficult task because I was hell-bent on lining the cape with the same fabric. Oh, the things I put myself through!
Here is a view without the cape:
The pattern was relatively easy and sewed up quickly. My only problem was that it turned out huge! The bust fit, but everything else was massive. I spent two nights trying to adjust the fit every which way, and ended up just taking about 4 inches off of the center back. I was so distraught that I finally put the dress on inside out and recruited James to pin me into it, mark a new zipper line, and unpin me out of it. Next time I think I will size down and then do a full-bust adjustment. Other reviews of this pattern suggested taking in a bit more fabric at the bottom of the skirt to give it a more pegged look, and I think I still might try that on this dress…
For the final touch: a vintage metal zipper.
And the cape, ah, the capelet! It is so cute and sews up in an hour or two. I lined it with my vintage fabric, but the outer fabric is a lovely linen that I got from Harts Fabrics. My button choices were very limited, so I went with a navy rose button to mimic the roses on the dress. I sent a picture to my mother, who warned that it was too similar in colour to the fabric, and would get lost in the cape. I didn’t have the selection of buttons I would have liked, anyways, so I stitched on the rose, then attached a hook on the under side and hand-couched a catch for it. That way I can easily swap buttons when the right one comes along.
The only downside to the beautiful linen is that it wrinkles so easily; the wind blows and it looks all ruffled up! Oh well, I don’t give a hoot and I’m already eyeing up a grey velvet remnant to make another cape. As for another dress, the thought of properly fitting the pattern exhausts me.