05 August 2012

Mid-Century Modern

Last month I stepped out of my era and made my first attempt at creating a modern dress--which was also my first attempt at creating something that's mostly machine sewn. I chose a Retro Butterick pattern and a heavy black cotton from Farmhouse Fabrics.

The pattern calls for a petticoat--obviously not the 18th century kind. I found this vintage black one on Etsy.

I also found vintage gloves and a beaded little purse at an antiques store for about $12.

Made by hand in Belgium! 

I recruited my 60s sewing friend for help deciphering the pattern and cutting it and constructing it.
Though it's terribly wrinkled and the one side of the bodice was sewn using the wrong side of the fabric (which you can kind of see in the color difference in this photo), it's mostly assembled.
Cutting the bodice was similar to the JP Ryan short gown pattern as the sleeves are attached and do not need to be set in. However I found the curved seams at the bust quite tricky. This shouldn't have been a surprise that it would have been hard since there are relatively no curved seams to tackle in an 18th century gown (besides setting in sleeves).

I noticed that in the Newport Art Museum's book, Newportraits, Mrs. Elinor Ingersoll's 1956 portrait by Channing Hare shows a curved seam at the bust just like my 1956 pattern.

 I really like the back of the dress...

...though I also found those curved seams challenging.

Unfortunately I didn't finish this in time for my deadline. It needs a zipper and corrections in a few spots. It has to wait because it's time to get ready for The Challenge!


  1. I accidently came across this site...I think you may enjoy it http://wesewretro.com/


Your feedback is appreciated. :)