Monday, 29 February 2016

Vintage wing tipped dress in red: Butterick 6473

At the start of spring last year I pulled out a few fabrics that had been sitting in the stash for a while that I really wanted to use and left them on my cutting table, in the hopes that looking at them all the time would prompt me to make something. Well that didn't work because I ended up using any fabrics other than those I had picked out especially to use, and all it meant was that my cutting table was cluttered! But finally I've used one of the fabrics to make this dress:

vintage Butterick 6473 red white graphic print wiggle dress www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

The fabric is a printed cotton sateen bought from Spotlight a few years ago when their sateen was still quite thick and stretchy. I had originally planned to make a simple sheath dress from New Look 6968 because I've made it several times successfully (here, here and here) but also because this exact fabric appears on the pattern envelope - yes I am way too influenced by the pattern...

But instead I decided to use a vintage that I've had in the stash for a while now. I can't remember quite where it came from but most likely picked up from an op shop. The pattern is undated, but the vintage pattern Wiki places it at 1953:


I have been wanting to make this pattern for a long time but could never quite decide on the right fabric. I don't think I've used the right fabric in this version though, because even though the cotton sateen has the right amount of body and stretch to make it fit really well the busy print hides those special details. I think I will make this again in a solid colour, perhaps with a contrast collar and pocket to make those details stand out.

You can see below that the pocket flap is hardly visible:

butterick 6473 vintage wing collar wiggle dress in red and white www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

But, oh that collar! I do love an oversized, dramatic collar:

butterick 6473 vintage wing collar wiggle dress in red and white www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I also left off those buttons down the side. It is a key feature of this dress and I think it would look amazing in a solid colour, but the buttons would be completely lost on this dress so I just put in an invisible zip instead:

butterick 6473 vintage wing collar wiggle dress in red and white www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

This dress wasn't that easy to make and it took longer than I expected. While there wasn't any particularly tricky sewing involved, just figuring out the pattern took a lot of concentration. It's one of those very old patterns that have no printed instructions, but rather perforated dots of various sizes that you need to connect and figure out the connections.  And for all my complaints about the brevity of Burda instructions, this pattern is just as bad. One page of instructions, and one page of fabric cutting layouts and then you're on your own to muddle your way through.

butterick 6473 vintage wing collar wiggle dress in red and white www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com


The pattern incorporates an extension to the left side of the bodice and the skirt that gets folded under to form a facing for the buttons which I didn't need since I just used an invisible zip. Which meant I had to cut a few inches from the side seams and sew the side seams a few times to get a close fit, but  got there in the end. No swayback puddle of fabric and only a few wrinkles emanating from the armpit which is to be expected with cut on sleeves like these.

butterick 6473 vintage wing collar wiggle dress in red and white www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

butterick 6473 vintage wing collar wiggle dress in red and white www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

The skirt isn't as slim fitting as the pattern illustration suggests, in fact it is rather an a-line shape as you can see in the photo below. However that is a good thing, because there is enough room to walk comfortably in this dress without having to leave a split open along a side seam:

butterick 6473 vintage wing collar wiggle dress in red and white www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Overall I'm really pleased with this project. Not only did I use a fabric and a pattern that I've been meaning to use for a long time now, but I also got a very cool dress that is perfect for the still very hot summer weather we're having. And in a great coincidence there happens to be a red dress contest running over at Pattern Review that I will enter, if any of you would like to vote for me! 

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