#VintagePledge: Butterick 2315

Vintage Pledge dress

A quick note firstly, to say thanks very much for your comments on my silk Anna. It was really interesting to read others’ views on whether perfectionism in construction and finishing are important to other sewists. To be honest, the comments changed my own mind on the matter. I’d like to think that a big pro of sewing my own garments is that I get something with more care and love attached to it than if I bought RTW clothing, and part of that surely must be making sure it’s beautifully made, inside and out. There is also little point in choosing sewing over RTW from a sustainable/ethical standpoint if your garments fall apart quicker than RTW due to poor construction, or never get worn at all. So from here on, I really am going to make more of an effort to take care of the little details. Thanks, guys!

Vintage Pledge dress

So onto a new make, and back in my knit fabric comfort zone I have no problem with making garments well-made and -finished. I have Marie to thank for this frock, since I came across the pattern as part of her wonderful Vintage Pattern Pledge project. I’m not usually a big vintage sewing fan – I prefer a modern silhouette over the 40s/50s look that a lot of sewists love – but when she posted about the project, one of the patterns from her stash caught my eye with its interesting detailing. Luckily the very same pattern – Butterick 2315 – was up for grabs on Etsy close to my size, so a couple of weeks later it was mine. I’m not sure that buying a pattern especially for the pledge is quite in the spirit of the idea, but never mind.

Vintage Pledge dress
Vintage Pledge dress

This pattern has very few pieces and some design details that feel surprisingly modern: the casual loose kimono sleeves, bias-edged neckline, gathered skirt (including options for a straight or full skirt), and the clever front bodice that splits to form the ruched side panels. It seemed a slightly unusual twist on the simple day dresses I like to wear a lot, a bit prettied up but still casual enough for everyday wear.

Vintage Pledge dress
Vintage Pledge dress

Putting it together was simple enough, but I had to make a few adjustments to make it fit properly, perhaps because I used a stretch fabric (my lovely rose print knit from Tel Aviv) instead of the recommended woven. I had tons of loose fabric in the upper back so added princess-type seams to suck in the excess, which melt right into the print. I also had to take a couple of inches off the bottom of the bodice to make it hit my waist at the right point, so unfortunately some of the ruching effect got lost. Making these same adjustments over and over is making me realise that I must be narrow-backed and high-waisted. I need to get into the habit of making these adjustments to my paper patterns before cutting into my fabric!

Vintage Pledge dress

I was very tempted to swap in a skirt with pockets (when aren’t I), but thought I’d stay true to the vintage pattern this time. I cut somewhere in between the straight and gathered skirt for a semi-full shape, and took about 4″ off the hem. I did my usual elastic-gathered waist to keep it all snug.

Vintage Pledge dress

I love this fabric: the colours are my favourite palette, it’s super soft, and a nice thick stable knit, ideal for a spring day dress. I didn’t pattern match as I didn’t have much to spare, but I did centre a rose nicely on the front and back bodice.

Vintage Pledge dress

See what I mean, tidy tidy guts. And I do feel extra great in this dress knowing it’s well-made!

I’m grateful to the Vintage Pattern Pledge for giving me the nudge to try this pattern, and it’s definitely reminded me to keep an eye out for vintage patterns with interesting techniques or style lines that could be made to work in a modern wardrobe. Thanks, Marie – keep an eye out on her blog as her take on the same pattern might pop up there too ;) And check out the Vintage Pledge Pinterest board for lots more vintage makes.

19 thoughts on “#VintagePledge: Butterick 2315

  1. emily

    This is a beauty. The colours look really lovely with your hair too. I should probably wear more soft browns – I always seem to head towards black which does nothing for me at all.

    This looks like it’ll get lots and lots of wear. Home sewn all the way! x

    1. Katie Post author

      I’m always drawn to brown because it matches my hair – I like to be matchy-matchy! Don’t think black does much for me either.

  2. Youanna

    Looks very good on you! I wonder how the details on the ruched side panels would look in a plain fabric. They are rather lost in the prints of this fabric. Still a wonderful project!

    1. Katie Post author

      Definitely, I meant to mention I would do it in a solid next time so the style lines show up better.

  3. lisa g

    this is adorable! i loved the side rouched detail. i’m not usually that into making the vintage stuff either, though i do love admiring it!

  4. Allison

    I’m super curious about how you did the elastic on the waist. It looks so nice and clean. I feel like I’ve seen it in other posts, but is there a specific post that walks through your technique in detail?

  5. Fabric Tragic

    It’s lovely – great job on converting from woven to knit! It looks really good on the inside! I think half the reason I love tidy insides so much is that I don’t have an overlocker/serger, so untidy insides on my things really look awful (I remember once my husband was hanging out a pair of trousers I made as a wearable muslin and he said why is it all so messy and zigzaggy inside – you usually make things nicer than this! I told him to buy me an overlocker then!). That’s why I’m obsessed with french seams! But your point about things being longer lasting if better made is an excellent one too.

  6. Sally

    This is SUPER CUTE! Love the fabric! Love the pattern – that bodice shirring detail is awesome :) I reaaaally want to buy this pattern, but the only one on Etsy (while exactly my size) is $25! Ugh – is it worth it? Lol – I’m similar to you in that I go for more modern patterns instead of vintage, but this is cuuuuuute!

    1. Katie Post author

      I paid similar actually. I think it’s worth it as it’s so unique! I saw a beautiful vintage Vogue pattern the other day that was $40, ouch.

  7. Maris Olsen

    What a great dress! I love wearing well-made garments – kudos to you for stepping up your construction game a little. Sewing is a journey, and as long as you are still striving and working to improve it is all good. Congrats!

  8. sallie

    This is so cool! I love that you took a vintage pattern and made it feel… well… not vintage! It really shows how powerful things like fabric and styling are in these matters. And speaking of fabric… this print is GORGEOUS! I’m loving how neutral the fabric appears from far away, but up close it’s so full of color!

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