Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sew Retro

I have been consumed with finding the perfect retro inspired dress.  I have a few old fashioned threads, sweater sets, and curve hugging pencil skirts...but still I am not satisfied.  I decided the only way to have the dress is to make it myself.

How hard could this be afterall?  I designed and made very complicated  costumes while working in the costume studio at Texas A&M so surely I can make a simple dress, right?

I found the pattern, a nice easy one, actually turned out to be the dress I was searching for.   I chose Butterick 6015.  The rumor around the blogs is it is the "walk away dress" because it is so easy that you can "start the project after breakfast and walk away in it by tea time".  Well translate "tea time" to "happy
hour" and I am up for the challenge.

I did not want to spend too much on this since I am a little rusty on my sewing skills.  Also, a pattern?  I have not read or worked with a pattern since Home Ec in High School.  At A&M and after I did not really follow a pattern, they intimidated me so I designed and built my patterns with cheap fabric.  I ended up finding the pattern on the cheap and got some broadcloth at Joann's while it was on sale for 1.99 (and then I had a 20% off coupon for sale items...SCORE!!!!)  So after a few more trips to the fabric store for "forgotten" supplies, I was ready to go.

I carefully read the instructions on the pattern then made adjustments along the way.   I laid out the pattern and fabric, diligently placed the pins, and began to cut.  I chose to make the dress in the largest size, 2 sizes too big (according to my store bought clothing).  I thought this would give enough wiggle room in-case the sizes ran small and also because of cheap fabric, for shrinkage.  Plus, really?  This was a trial run and the most I would use it would be as a house dress for chores.

There were only 3 pieces, the back skirt piece was to be used twice.  Not hard at all.  After cutting, I pinned and attatched the peices. 

I could not wait.  I had to try it on.  IT WAS TOO SMALL??????  HTHeck?  I was either not careful enough with my measurements or the sizing was wonkie.  So I guess I have a cool dress when I loose more weight. 

I am not adding the finishing touches right now.  I am going to buy some better fabric and make adjustments and make one that will fit.  I saw some nice fabric that was not too costly at Hancock yesterday so I have an idea of what I will be using.  The dress is really more of a summer dress so I have plenty of time to figure this out. 

I am heading out today to figure out what I am making for Jordan's (my 13 going on 30 y/o niece) room.  While I am at Joann I am going to look for some fabric for a skirt I have my eye on.  I sure hope the sizing works out better.  it is another easy pattern so maybe I will have something new to wear by the weekend.  LOL



  1. oh what a bummer that it did not fit......I love the retro picture that you used. I have not looked at patterns in stores in years. Is that pattern that you show one that is on the shelves today?
    I am just asking because I love the old patterns and using the ladies for scrapbook pages and cards. Actually going to post one tonight, where I used part of a pattern cover. You are multi-talented. Hope you have a great day!

  2. Sandy, I will email or send you a message on FB but I wanted to answer here, as well. The pattern is available as a repro today. I think that Hancocks even has the Butterick brand on sale for .99 cents this week. If you do a search on "The Walk-A-Way Dress" or vintage patterns, I am sure you will get the exact pattern number available today as well as a bunch of other options. I like using them in scrapbooks, too. My husband and I lead a very old fashioned life and relationship so when I use them in scrapbooks, it would reflect that.