A brand new pattern put out by Butterick has everyone all ‘atwitter on my Costume Pattern Review group on Facebook. It’s a Retro Butterick 6093 that follows the lines of 1912-1914. The red version with the big white collar they have on the website is kind of throwing people off. “In my own opinion”, I think it’s ugly. http://butterick.mccall.com/b6093-products-48788.php?page_id=147
But if you look at the other photo, you can actually see the pattern line, without that ugly contrast white collar, and it starts looking really good.
I spent a lot of time looking through my computer folders of collected pictures and on Pinterest for dresses of this style or ones that could be made using this pattern. And I came up with enough that my Pattern Group really got inspired.
So the race was on to make one. I was in the middle of another project, my 1770s short jacket, but decided to drop it and go forward with this. I had the fabric, a cotton purple plaid that only cost me $3 yard, and perfect for testing it on. I kept trying to buy the pattern at JoAnn’s during their sales but every time I went there were none in the cabinet, which everyone else complained about too. Surprisingly if you went on a non-sale day, they suddenly appeared, but only about 3 of them. I also tried the $3.99 sale that Butterick had online but all they ever had was the small size group. So I caved in and bought one on ebay, paying $7 for it. Right after I bought it I saw another for $4. So I let the ladies know there were some out there if they were desperate like me.
Ok, so, my fabric. It’s cotton, kind of dense, with the feel of a linen blend, so it has a nice body for this.
This was my idea of the dress I would make. It looks very fresh and Summery. With the weather the last two weeks of temperatures ranging from 100-110, it was nice to look at.
When I got my pattern in the mail and pulled it out to begin, I noticed it has a side opening that called for a zipper. I don’t do zippers. Period. And they didn’t have zippers back then on ladies dresses. During our discussion on the Pattern group, different ideas were posted of doing hooks & eyes, and snaps, or buttons, or being very daring by changing the opening to the period correct version of closing in the front. This would require changing the way the skirt operated. It’s similar to another pattern I’ve done, Hint of History 1914 pattern #101, although it had a similar problem where the giant shawl collars were throwing me off.
The two patterns are similar but H of H has a waistband, and a faux front, a rather simplified version. Butterick has a belt that goes over the dress, and the skirt is in three panels.
I decided to make the Butterick as it was originally designed, minus the zipper. Since so many of the ladies want to make their pattern too, I’m going to share how I’m making mine, although it will be in two parts because I’m only halfway done with it. But this will be more of the construction part to help them with theirs.
The bodice was pretty easy to sew, and you have to remember to keep the left side unstitched to about 3 inches down from the armhole where the top half of the closure will be. The other half will be on the skirt where they line up. I had to add 1 ½” to the waist on the pattern and I use 1/2 “ seam allowances. This makes the bust area a little blousy and there are no darts but this isn’t a fitted bodice, rather a gathered loose one.
I don’t normally do a bag lining (sewing the lining right sides together with the bodice & turning it right side out) but I wanted to do this faster. Once it’s sewn together the bottom edges are basted together then you cross it over to the front to match the dots on the pattern. Then you do a gathering stitch all around. It will be blousy, and I think I may be taking mine in a bit under the armhole, because I never quite fill out the bust area where it crosses over. The bib insert will help with the gappiness I have. *More on that later as I finish it*
I sewed a placket on one side so when both edges of the opening meet up, it will cover that portion. This is where the hooks & eyes / snaps will go and be covered up. Another idea is to do buttons and buttonholes there. But your buttons will show.
Once this portion was done, I sewed the sleeves together but will attach those later. Sewing the skirt panels again was easy, and the left side is open 10” down from the waist (to the dot on the pattern). The one panel that has the pleats is sewn on top of the front skirt.
On the left side opening I sewed another placket to the one side too. On the opposite side I just turned up a narrow edge. Since this will just have the hooks I think that will work, but can always add a placket on that side too if it’s too flimsy.
Another question came up on the Pattern group about this being a tight, almost hobble skirt. At least with mine having the larger hips, that’s not going to be a problem for me. We discussed putting a kick pleat in the skirt if needed. I see on the pattern and directions it has you leave an 18” opening at the bottom of the seam (where the second dot is) which I assume is for a kick pleat opening. But nowhere does it say what to do with it. I’ve reread the instructions to the last page 5 which is only the French translation of the directions. So I’m making that assumption and going for it. I’ll just finish off those edges with a facing.
So that’s where I am with this so far. I hope it helps others attempting to sew this pattern.