My my my… I sure have been absent around here haven’t I… The month of February and March have just been flying by and they have been rough to say the least. This time of year has always been hard for me- the holidays have ended, winter is in full swing, and my husband is often gone for 24 or more hours with winter storms. My schedule always feels out of whack and I long for spring. I have managed to take advantage of my new sewing room (that is still under construction) at least a little bit though. Even sewing is a challenge because my new sewing room is located in our very very cold, unheated and unfinished basement. We are making some slow progress to warm it up down there and finish the walls, but we have not had the time or money to insulate it yet. Being that I am a new(ish) self-taught sewist, I have been gathering some retro patterns that I’d like to try. To date, I have made 1 wearable muslin, and a smattering of unsuccessful muslins that reside in a heap in the bowels of a cabinet… Today though, I’d like to share with you a success, as well as some challenges I had along the way.
I tried my hand at Butterick 6055- a lovely retro number that just screams 1950’s housewife… I was admittedly apprehensive about the giant patch pockets because I was afraid of them looking too “costumey”. I also realized however, that they were the very thing that caught my eye about this particular pattern, so I was certain that they COULD look cute if done correctly. I have found (as someone new to sewing) that skirts are not difficult in the grand scheme of things- it is the bodice of a dress that has to potential for being a dealbreaker. I started with the bodice (as always) and knew immediately that the collar was not at all my style. I decided to modify it to a slightly less theatrical size before sewing it into place.
The construction of the collar proved to be a little fiddly for my tastes, but I put it on according to their directions anyways and decided it wasn’t awful. And who am I kidding? Of course I followed the directions… I am certainly not skilled enough yet to attempt to draft a new collar construction but I digress… On my dress form, the bodice muslin actually ended up looking pretty good but that all changed when I put it on my body…
Oh hell no. It had this giant, boxy, shelf-like appearance that stopped me dead in my tracks. I knew it was a matter of tailoring and fitting it to my body, but I neither had the knowledge, nor the bandwidth to attempt to fix it, especially because I was already afraid that the dress would be a fail due to those pockets… not to mention I was absolutely freezing down there in the basement. So, like any logical person, I tossed it into the “come back to me if you dare” pile and walked away. About a month later, I came back to it, still as unknowledgeable as before and decided to focus on the skirt and pocket portion instead. Surely I could draft a waistband… right?
DAMN SKIPPY PEOPLE! BEHOLD!!!
I really can’t explain just how thrilled I am with how the skirt portion came out INCLUDING the glorious pockets!!! The fact that the fabric I used (which was a thrifted bedsheet by the by) had an understated but relatively busy design, led to this amazing “there but not in your face” effect. These pockets people- I swear I could fly in a plane with a cat and no one would know- they are huge! The skirt itself is full but sleek- very classy indeed, if I do say so myself! I may not be a fan of the dress in it’s entirety, but this skirt (and it’s fabulous pockets) are DEFINITELY going to find a home in my “make again” pile. The fabric print, in my opinion, lends itself a little more to cooler weather so I will be putting this skirt away until the autumn returns, but I may very well make another version of this skirt in a more warm-weather inspired fabric. Just imagine how many snacks I could stuff in those pockets when I go out with my kids (or husband, for that matter). Honestly, If I went out on a date night with my prince I could probably just leave my purse behind entirely!!!
Have you discarded any dress bodices in favor of just the skirt? Let me now!