If you’ve been following my instagram stories, then you know I got an unstoppable itch to block print some fabric a few evenings ago. I tore a page out of my sketchbook - a butterlfy doodle - carved up some quick blocks, and got to work. It took about 3 hours start to finish, and I had 2 yards of very wide, soft cotton canvas with a 4 color butterfly print. Now what!?
I did a quick flip through my vintage patterns (I knew it would have to be a vintage one), and this was the obvious winner. I bought this a while ago and I adore the envelope cover. The girls are so cute! It turned out to be a really interesting and well drafted dress pattern. I enjoyed making this, and it didn’t take too much time to sew up, and it is ideal for any fabric you don’t want to chop up too much.
I had to make a few modifications due to the vintage drafting. The armholes were teeny tiny, and the neckline was high in the way that makes you feel strangled. Those were easy fixes. I omitted the facings and used bias binding instead, because my fabric is on the heavy side, and I prefer not to have facings flapping around. Once I opened up the armscyes, I added a tiny bust dart to keep from any gaping.
I still haven’t decided on the hem. The previous owner lengthened the dress a half inch, so I followed her lead. I don’t really wear mini skirts anymore, but maybe I will shorten it a couple inches? Thoughts?
The only tricky thing about this vintage pattern, or any pattern with a lot of tucks and darts, is transferring those markings to your fabric. I used Clover Chacopy paper and my tracing wheel and it was a snap. That way, the markings are very accurately marked and you can just sew it right up. In this pic, you can also see the tiny darts I added to the armscye, and my invisible zipper. Oh, and I added pockets. Gotta have pockets.
I couldn’t stand to have scraps left over. When I used hand made or hand printed fabric like this, I have to use every little bit!! This dress reminds me of my grandma Violet, and the pocket bags are made from muslin from her stash, so I thought, WWVD? and decided on a matching hat! Hats were her go-to accessory, and I love wearing them, too. This hat came out great, but it’s a bit too big. I’ll tweak the pattern, and write my next post about that.
Let me know any questions you have about this project in the comments. XO Martha