New Dress! Retro Butterick 5880!

Woohoo! I’ve got a new dress, and it’s gorgeous! In a continuation of my life being photographed in vintage and vintage-style dresses, here are the results of about 8 hours of sewing fun!

Here's the pattern, a vintage reprint from Butterick (B5880), and the crazy cotton fabric I found!

Here’s the pattern, a vintage reprint from Butterick (B5880), and the crazy blue cotton fabric I found!

As I’ve said, I love working with fun cotton fabric, because it tends to be less expensive and so easy to work with. This particular fabric was chosen due to the changing of the seasons. I thought it would be a lovely late winter/early spring print that would make the transition nicely. Also, I don’t have nearly enough blue things to wear!

Here's a close up of my fab hair (it did what I wanted it to do!!!), and the super neat neckline! It's got two little "v"s to keep things interesting.

Here’s a close up of my fab hair (it did what I wanted it to do!!!), and the super neat neckline! It’s got two little “v”s to keep things interesting.

It also works super well with my vintage blue starburst brooch! I did not plan this, however, one of the bursts in the fabric ended up in the perfect “brooch place” on the bodice! Splendid serendipity!

Here's the final product! Isn't it stunning?!

Here’s the final product! Isn’t it stunning?!

Another confession: The lovely swag across the front was *supposed* to be lined, and because I didn’t have quite enough fabric, I just hemmed the raw edge instead! It lies beautifully, however, since the fabric isn’t double-sided, I’ve got to be careful not to let the underside show. When I make another version (which I’d like to do immediately), I will probably choose a solid color, and add a contrasting fabric lining!

I'll also take this opportunity to introduce my pocket pup: Abe Lincoln!

I’ll also take this opportunity to introduce my pocket pup: Abe Lincoln!

Isn't he the cutest?!?!

Isn’t he the cutest?!?!

So, that’s the latest sewing project of mine! It was really special because it was my first dress at the smallest size I’ve ever sewn! I only made my standard adjustments to the waist (for petites) and the hem length (super petite!), and it fits so well! As many dresses as I’ve made, it still feels like a gamble with a new pattern, and I’m so glad this one is a success!

Are you working on a new dress pattern? What made you choose it? Which fabric(s) do you like working with?

Vintage Hat & Modeling Brunch 2.0

As promised, here’s a gorgeous sampling of my fabulous models in these dresses I made! These are some super great lookin’ ladies, and I’ve tried to match up the original pattern pictures to give y’all an idea of how amazing these dresses look IRL!

Vogue 8489 - So low cut you'll be embarrased all day at the office!

Vogue 8489 – So low-cut you’ll be self concious all day!

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Laura looked so super hot in this dress I made her take it home!

McCall's 6462 - This is SUCH a fun pattern! It's super fun, flattering and crazy simple to make!

McCall’s 6462 – This is SUCH a fun pattern! It’s super fun, flattering and crazy simple to make!

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I love this dress, and I totally added pockets! Not that anyone could look at the dress when Catherine’s making the best face ever.

Butterick 5748 - I LOVE this dress so much I made it twice! Once in lovely black linen (with bow, and pockets, obvs!) and once with a white eyelet!

Butterick 5748 – I LOVE this dress so much because it’s simple, doesn’t take a huge amount of fabric, and is super flattering. I made it twice!

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This is the first version, made of black linen, with bow and added pockets!

Version #2 - Fabulous white eyelet! It's fully lined, and so easy to accessorize!

Version #2 – Fabulous white eyelet! It’s fully lined, and so easy to accessorize!

Butterick 5603 - Fabulous retro reprint pattern that's got several choices for different bodice styles!

Butterick 5603 – Fabulous retro reprint pattern that’s got several choices for different bodice styles!

This is such a great pattern, and I adore the fabric! It looks like a 1960s wallpaper: buckin' broncos and all! It's also perfect with my red petticoat!

This is such a great pattern, and I adore the fabric! It looks like a 1960s wallpaper: buckin’ broncos and all! It’s also perfect with my red petticoat!

Vintage Vogue 2960 - Requires lots of fabric, like all Vogue patterns, but it's a lovely dress, and totally worth it!

Vintage Vogue 2960 – Requires lots of fabric, like all Vogue patterns, but it’s a lovely dress and totally worth it!

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I made this dress out of a pretty pink linen, added pockets, and closed the front opening, despite the button-closure, upon the advice of another seamstress who made the pattern first. Pro tip – if you can make a pattern after someone else, and they can help you at all, take any notes they have to offer.

Butterick 5247 - A really simple pattern that I made when I was still in my early learning stage!

Butterick 5247 – A really simple pattern that I made when I was still in my early learning stage!

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I chose the “tunic” option, and it was really simple, as well as flattering! I made it out of a silky fabric with a super bold pattern. Next time, there will be pockets!

Vogue 8409 - With some prompting by the fabulous Gertie, I made this dress as a simple sheath to accessorize and wear to work!

Vogue 8409 – With some prompting by the fabulous Gertie, I made this dress as a simple sheath to accessorize and wear to work!

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The final product is stunning! I chose a pink jersey that is heavy enough to go un-lined, and light enough to be worn in any season!

Vintage Vogue 8812 - An early 1940s pattern, this is a great simple summer dress!

Vintage Vogue 8812 – An early 1940s pattern, this is a great simple summer dress!

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I chose a fun green print, with dark green accent for this dress! The bodice is flattering, and the length could be reduced depending on how much summer fun you plan to have! Or, it could be made into a cocktail dress with a slinky fabric!

Vintage Vogue 1171 - A lovely early 1950s reprint pattern, it's simple, but can be made with so many different fabrics!

Vintage Vogue 1171 – A lovely early 1950s reprint pattern, it’s simple, but can be made with so many different fabrics!

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I made this dress specifically for the 4th of July! It’s got red buttons with little anchors on them! It’s also perfect for picnics!

Vintage Vogue 2787 - A Lovely pattern, easy to work with, but it still includes some unique details!

Vintage Vogue 2787 – A Lovely pattern, easy to work with, but it still includes some unique details!

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If you recall, I made this particular dress not too long ago! I had to make a couple of simple adjustments, but it was a great way to jump back into garment sewing after a post-holiday break.

Simplicity 5403 - Despite, or perhaps because this is a costume pattern, I love it dearly! It's a handy circular skirt pattern, and I've made it twice - so far!

Simplicity 5403 – Despite, or perhaps because this is a costume pattern, I love it dearly! It’s a handy circular skirt pattern, and I’ve made it twice – so far!

This, the first version, was made out of black and white Elvis fabric! It's glorious, and somehow subtle. The second version is less so, and made out of giraffe print! To be worn exclusively with wooden and ivory jewelry.

This, the first version, was made out of black and white Elvis fabric! It’s glorious, and somehow subtle. The second version is less so, and made out of giraffe print! To be worn exclusively with wooden and ivory jewelry.

McCall's 6083 - So, I tried the pink version of this pattern and it was not awesome, but clearly the "blue" version is WAY better!

McCall’s 6083 – So, I tried the pink version of this pattern and it was not awesome, but clearly the “blue” version is WAY better!

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Obvs Lora knows how to rock the hell out of a jumpsuit! I made this out of a silky fabric so it would drape more ’70s-like, and because I have like 20 yards of that fabric. (Always use what you’ve got!)

I am completely in love with every single lady in these photos!!! Thanks for making my dresses look so fantastic, and thanks again for coming out and modeling! And another big thank you to our photographer, Walter! We’ll do it again soon, I promise, and hopefully even more fab ladies will be able to make it. It’s a wonderful incentive to sew more, and I cannot wait!

Do you have a favorite pattern? What made you pick it? Is there one you’d like to make? One you’ve already made?

Vintage Sewing Pattern Extravaganza!

So, I was casually scrolling on the Facebook yesterday, and saw a post by We Sew Retro about a version of Simplicity 1795 done by Miss Allie Mass. Well, her version looked so nice, and the pattern seemed pretty simple/straightforward, so I immediately sought out a copy via Etsy.

Gorgeous! I want one, too!

Gorgeous! I want one, too!

As some of you may know, vintage patterns on Etsy are in pretty high demand, or at least the people selling them think they are, so the least expensive copy (which was a size 12) was about $20 including shipping! (I still have to buy the fabric and make the dress, geez.) Instead of paying monies, I thought to myself, I’ll look through Mom’s stash of older patterns and just see!

These patterns are mostly from the 40s and 50s, and belonged to either my Aunt Donna or Great-grandmother Wade.

These patterns are mostly from the 40s and 50s, and belonged to either my Aunt Donna or Great-grandmother Wade.

Quelle suprise! Turns out, we totally DO own it!

AND it's a 14! Success!

AND it’s a 14! Minimal re-sizing = Success!

While I was at it, I gently dug through the rest of the box to see what other delightful patterns I could find, and treasure resulted! There were lots of fun, simple patterns with unique neck lines:

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Love the subtle triangles!

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Such a pretty, feminine scalloped edge!

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A contrasting interwoven ribbon?! Yes, please!

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This one is a particular favorite of mine! The sleeves and the collar are so pointy!

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Some subtle tucks at the neckline make this simple dress more fabulous!

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This is an earlier, 1940s pattern, and is clearly a day dress, however, the triangular accent on the neckline adds pizzazz and uniqueness!

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This dress has an angled, button front! SO COOL!

Fun and interesting necklines aside, there were also some neat skirts:

I will have a dress like this!

I will have a dress like this, since essentially having two skirts is even better than a peplum!

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Suspender-skirt is ADORBS! Plus, a classic circular skirt, with some super cute (and slimming) bow accents!

Delightful 1940s nighties and day dresses:

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Cannot wait to elegantly lounge in this!

Plus, just in time, CAPES:

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YES!

Last, but not least, these fabulous hat and hood patterns:

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We’re having a hat making party, y’all!!!

To wrap it up, two of my favorites, the first because it’s hilarious, and the second because it couldn’t be more fabulous!

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We’re gonna need to schedule a tupperware party ASAP.

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The lauded “shelf bust” dress! When I make it, I’m going to look just like Liz Taylor! *Dreams coming true*

One of my favorite activities is going through vintage patterns for inspiration, and this Sunday was a complete success without even leaving my house! I am hoping to maintain this excitement into actually producing several of these dresses. Despite the insane amount of time and fabric some of these patterns require, I think the final products will be amazing! Plus, even when I work on a simple pattern, odds are that I’ll be learning at least one new technique. There may be time between now and New Year’s Eve to make one! Here’s hoping!

Any suggestions about which one I should start with?? Which is your favorite? Do you like vintage sewing patterns? From which decade/era? Do you have a collection? Where’s your favorite place to purchase?

Vintage-Style Photo Shoot!

About two years ago, I decided it was time to capture my gorgeous, vivacious essence in a vintage-style pin up photo shoot with Dynamite Dames Photography. I was living in the DFW area at the time, and thought it would be a fun, fabulous opportunity to have my hair and makeup done and encapsulate my 20-something year old self.

Beauty and the Book

Beauty and the Book

Turns out, it totally was! It was awesome, laid back, but professional, and everyone there shared my passion for vintage styles. They offered a varied set of clothes, however, I chose to make a dress specifically for the occasion. (Interestingly enough, it matched to photography set exactly!) I chose Butterick’s vintage reprint pattern B4919 and made the ballerina-length version, since I’m a petite lady. The theme was supposed to be a “Tea Party.”

Tea Party = CUPCAKES

Tea Party = CUPCAKES

This dress was decidedly simple to make (shocking, considering how flattering it is), and I’ve actually made another since then out of a sparkly silver jersey fabric. The bodice is straightforward, and the skirt, although full, had only four seams!

The original pattern

The original pattern

I had to make slight adjustments for length (again, I’m a petite little hobbit), and I ended up with an enormous brooch as a necessity. (What a lucky life!) Since I’m also busty, and vintage styles are complimented by a corset, I needed said brooch to cover any possible peeking of my undergarments. It worked beautifully AND I came away with a gigantic pearl brooch, but the second attempt at this dress involved a decrease in the plunging of the neckline by adjusting the bodice pattern.

Boyfriend and I went dancin'!

Boyfriend and I went dancin’ and this time I wore my pink petticoat!

In May, I submitted a few pictures from the shoot to Butterick’s Facebook “contest,” and they featured it on their page! (See them here.)

It was a delightful experience, and I would absolutely do it again. I know the Dames travel all over the Southern US, and change themes all the time. Their Facebook page boasts: cowgirl, Santa baby, party, retro home, roller girl and even 30s-40s glam pin up sets. Something for every secret, or brazen modern Betty.

Have you ever done a vintage-style photo shoot? If so, when and through who? If so, please feel free to share! If not, would you? Why or why not??