BURIED DIAMOND

sewing

VINTAGE BUTTERICK #B4200 IN LIBERTY TANA COTTON LAWN

DIY, fashion, process, sewing, style, vintage sewingMartha PorterComment
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Oh hi! Welcome! Please come blend in with me! This is my sixth (sixth!) time sewing this pattern, making it my most-made garment. If you don’t have a pattern you do this with, I highly suggest it. You know it will fit without trying it on, you can improve your constrution techniques each time, and best of all, you can customize it to death. This is a good pattern, and there are things I love about it out of the envelope (bias cut bias, buttons up the back, hemline ruffle, big patch pockets), but at this point, I have changed it up so many ways, the original pattern is more of a suggestion.

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I chose Liberty Tana cotton lawn for this version. It was my first time working with this fabric, and it lives up to the hype - soft, with a smooth hand, very finely woven and crisply printed. It is cool to the touch and feels built to last. It is expensive fabric, and it feels expensive. I bought this on sale from fabric.com - they have an incredible selection of Liberty prints. I don’t usually go for ditzy prints, but I chose this one because last summer, I spent exactly $9.50 at my local fabric shop, and made a very similar version of this dress. I proceeded to wear it until it was stained and nearly threadbare.

Last year’s version of this dress - cheap & cheerful & worn to bits.

Last year’s version of this dress - cheap & cheerful & worn to bits.

My main modifications to the pattern this time around included adding a ruffle along the top edge of the bodice. The older version has a ruffle that goes all the way around the bodice, but it annoys me under my armpits, so the new version is at the center front only. I also made the straps straight to cover regular bra straps, plus a bow at the shoulders. I replaced the buttons up the back with an invisible sipper, and reduced the kick in the skirt at the side seams. I always have fun mixing it up with this pattern - I’ve even made it as a mini skirted jumper out of heavy cotton twill. The possibilities are endless!

The ruffle is folded in half so it has a clean top edge. Because I added the ruffle, I fully lined the bodice, instead of the facings used in the pattern.

The ruffle is folded in half so it has a clean top edge. Because I added the ruffle, I fully lined the bodice, instead of the facings used in the pattern.

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If you find a pattern that suits your body well, that makes you feel comfortable and “like yourself” when you wear it, make it a bunch of times! Cheap fabric, expensive fabric, prints, solid colors….whatever you will enjoy making and wearing. I’ll have to take photos of myself in the other versions. I have a gingham version that is a real favorite.

When I bought this pattern, I had no idea I’d love it or use it so much. In fact, I   hated   my first version of it. But after setting it aside for a while, I understood the changes I could make it create an ideal garment for my wardrobe.

When I bought this pattern, I had no idea I’d love it or use it so much. In fact, I hated my first version of it. But after setting it aside for a while, I understood the changes I could make it create an ideal garment for my wardrobe.

I also made my vase! I can never resist posing with a fresh bouquet.

I also made my vase! I can never resist posing with a fresh bouquet.

Do you have a favorite pattern? Are you curious about how to change up a pattern (adding ruffles, changing straps, converting buttons to a zipper? Leave a comment & let me know! I’m happy to share what I have learned. XO, Martha