Red Sheath Dress

Pattern: Butterick 2952 Year: early 60s (my first time sewing a vintage pattern!) Fabric: 1.5 m Red Cotton-Lycra Notions: metal zipper, for belt: petersham ribbon, eyelets, vintage belt buckle Time: ca. 10 hours Cost: about 15 swiss francs (around $18)

Crossed another Item off my Mad Girls List!

I started tracing the pattern on friday evening, cut out the fabric on saturday evening (and sewed some of the darts), and basically finished on monday (was too tired to finish hand sewing the zipper). It was an easy project, but I'm still a little surprised at how fast (for my standards) I was!

I didn't make a muslin, and I only made 4 small alterations:

  • at the tracing stage: took 1 inch off the waist (an adjustment I always have to do)
  • after sewing the facing: lowered the neckline slightly (as my mom always stresses: "show off your collarbones!")
  • after sewing the skirt: took about 1.5 cm off each side of the skirt, and the bottom of the bodice (so the skirt would fit), but not all the way through the bodice, because I had already sewn on the facings...
  • shortened the skirt to above the knee instead of below the knee

I also made the self-fabric belt! Followed the instructions (grosgrain petersham ribbon!) and used one of the belt buckles I got in Paris. I really like the tortoiseshell belt buckle, but as this was my first try at making a belt I made a few mistakes: didn't know how to make holes for the eyelets without damaging the belt, ended up using an awl and screwdrivers... and I sewed the belt to the wrong part of the buckle! haha, I'll just try again.

The fit isn't perfect, but I like it, it's a comfortable dress that isn't too revealing, fancy or full of details. Good for accessorizing :) The fabric is a little annoying because it's hard to iron. It turns darker when it gets hot, and that kind of freaks me out. What I like about it though: it isn't see through, so I didn't have to make a lining! I bought red lining fabric anyway, so I might make a slip from that... or use it on my next red dress :)

The seams aren't properly finished on the inside, because I'm going to get that brother serger in the states and finish the seams after my trip. I know the quality isn't great, but from reviews on amazon and comments on my last post (thank you!), it's good for the simple things. I do plan on investing in a better one in the future (great motivation to get a job when I start studying!).