Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vintage Sewalong: Toile Take Two

I've made the first round of modifications to my Butterick 2669 toile, the sixties shift dress:

If you read the last post, you'll notice it was a bit of a sack - so much of a sack it was difficult to know where to begin!  I did the following changes:
  • 'Ungraded' most of my grading - I basically brought it back to the initial pattern, but with 2" extra on the hip
  • Corrected the balance - the whole back needed uplifting.  I did this in two places - one at the shoulder to bring up the back bodice, and one at the high hip to bring up the skirt.  This made the horizontal and vertical grainlines hang correctly - my tailor's dummy certainly came in handy here!
So here is the improved-but-still-a-long-way-to-go version:

Now it hangs correctly from the shoulders, and fits closely enough that I can see what other changes need to be made!  I will probably:
  • Lower front neckline 1cm
  • Move bust point on French dart inwards
  • Raise back waist darts - I'm short-waisted
  • Shorten 3-5cm, and establish line of hemband
  • Take it in a bit here and there, although I still want to maintain a semi-fitted look
  • Sort out those shoulder drag lines
I'd like to make the belt, but I'm not liking the image I see:

However calico is the most unflattering fabric in the world, so I am banking on that fact being true. 

Here's a couple of images that demonstrate exactly what I did to the back - they are extracted from my swayback post and are fully explained there:
  • This is what I did at the shoulder to shorten the back bodice 1cm:
  • This is what I did at the high hip line, which was the level the skirt side seams began to swing forward, I overlapped 2cm:

Now, on to those last adjustments so I can finally get cutting!


  1. This is really looking good with your pattern improvements. As for the belt, have you tried a wide belt with it? I like the look both with and without the belt. Keep at it!

  2. I believe it's the fabric that makes the garment - I'd stick to it too. My question is - how do you fit yourself, as I find this the hardest thing to do.

  3. ~Evelyne - with a lot of contortions and pinpricks! I press under one seam allowance of the zip seam, and pin them together by feel. I pin up to the waist area with the opening at the front, swing it around to the back, pin the CB neck edges together, and somehow get a pin in the shoulder region!

  4. Big improvement from last time. I quite like the belt. If you want to make it, what if you narrowed the shoulders a little? Would this help the overall look?

  5. I think your garment needs to be more figure hugging to be flattering. I agree with Sew4fun that the shoulders should be narrowed. It also needs to taper in at the knees.

  6. This is looking great Sherry -can't wait to see more!

  7. It is looking great! And I think it actually looks really chic when belted -- maybe it is just the calico that is making you dissatisfied with how it looks belted?

  8. It looks like it's taking shape! I agree with Rachel -- when you make it up in the final fabric it will drape more when belted.

  9. It's looking good! I wasn't aware of the Vintage Sewalong but I'm going to have to join, it looks like fun. Oh, and it burns me up when I grade or alter a pattern then end up undoing my work after I make a mock-up. It's frustrating!

  10. Your dress fits exactly like a vintage 60s shift dress I have! I tried to duplicate it once and nipped it in a bit at the waist --just for my taste.

    I hope when you "sort out those shoulder drag lines" you tell us how. I have trouble with that myself and don't do a good job at fixing it.


Thanks for commenting!