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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.