Vintage Sewalong 2011 – what I’m making!

Remember a couple of posts back I was trying to decide what to sew for the Vintage Sewalong 2011?  Well I’ve finally decided – it’s the ‘safe’ option, and also the Quick n’ Easy option!  Here it is again – Butterick 2669 – the basic sixties shift dress:

I’m going to make it in some dark grey linen that I acquired at Christmastime, and do red topstitching just like the picture of View B on the pattern envelope.  I presumed the topstitching was done by machine, but it is actually hand sewn saddle stitch using embroidery floss, so I might copy that idea too.

I chose this pattern because:

  • Both the pattern and fabric are stash so I don’t have to spend a cent!
  • I really need more summer work clothes and this will be perfect
  • I’ve always wanted to see how a french dart that goes down to high hip level fits
  • It gives me the perfect excuse to buy some red shoes (the real reason he he!)

But now I’ve made my decision, I have a little predicament:

A 15cm predicament, to be exact…

I could shorten the dress, but I don’t like showing my knobbly knees. So a little creative thinking was required, and ding-ding-ding:

My dress is going to have a hemband!

And I think I prefer this anyway.  Although I like the simplicity of the original, I think the extra saddle stitching adds a bit of balance.  I’m not generally a fan of placing design details only on the front and leaving the back plain – it often looks like cost-cutting and design compromise to me.

I want this dress to be hand-washable, so I’ve put the linen through the washing machine on a warm machine wash to take care of any shrinkage.  First I overlocked the ends of the linen, because we all know how much that frays, and I need more fabric not less!  Because linen can stretch slightly and ‘seat’, I am going to line the dress with viscose lining, also preshrunk.

OK – now I’m off to cut my toile and whizz it up on the machine!

And if you haven’t joined up for the Vintage Sewalong 2011 yet, it’s not too late:

Just click here!

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Designer, Patternmaker, Blogger Of All Things Sewing. Follow as I share projects, patterns, and my favourite tricks of the trade.

5 thoughts on “Vintage Sewalong 2011 – what I’m making!

  1. Hello Sherry, I agree with you… I hate design details on front but not back as I always think it looks cheap.I think your dress will look amazing as ever but personally, I don't need any excuse to go buy red shoes! (I do need excuses to buy nearly everything else, but so few red shoes around if I find them AND like them, they are mine!) Go to the red shoes; go to the red shoes … say in mantra fashion and go get them!


  2. I think hembands are really neat looking most of the time, so that should be an awesome design detail 🙂
    and i really like the top stitching down the front seam in that pattern!

    happy new year 🙂


  3. I agree with the hem band. After seeing your sketch and then going back to look at the original picture, I think the original design looks a bit unfinished. I can't wait to see how this turns out!


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