Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Butterick 8404: My Dapper Day Dress

Sigh. Today is the last of the Dapper Day posts! At least I have a very fun dress to show you, with lots of interesting construction details. That lessens the blow a bit, don't you think? This beauty is Butterick 8408, a 1958 pattern. I look almost exactly like the pattern envelope!
Source
I couldn't find a pattern for this one in my size, which happens from time-to-time with vintage, so I ended up purchasing one a size down and figured I could grade up. Oh, what a chore that ended up being! 

I followed a Threads tutorial on grading, which was incredibly helpful, then did my regular pattern adjustments, then tweaked a bit more after the first muslin. In the end, I think I over-fit a bit as the bodice is bigger than it needs to be. It's still a great dress, and at least I had plenty of room for all those Mickey ice cream bars and Dole whip. 
The material is linen, and it feels so nice and sews great. I was worried about the red bleeding into the white when I washed it, but I used a tip from a fabric shop owner I learned last year. Put salt into your washing machine! It helps the colors stay put. It worked beautifully.

Construction Surprises

A Zipper in a Dart?!

I had two things that surprised me a bit on this dress when I was sewing it. The first was the zipper insertion. Remember this picture form my inspiration post? I was showing how much skirt there was to gather in the bodice. 
Well, there are no side seams on this skirt. There are 2 seams that actually sit up at the front of the skirt, I suppose because it could be more full that way. The zipper is actually inserted into a dart that's way up by Oxford's head in the picture above (see that triangle?). You create a placket so there's a nice clean finish, and then insert the zip just like you normally would into the dart/placket area. Funny, huh? 

A Belt Instead of Trim

The second surprise was the bow and trim at the waist. The trim at the neckline is acting like a decorative facing (is that at thing?). So it clean finishes your neckline while also providing you with the trim. The trim at the center is just top stitched on. The trim at the waist is actually a belt, which I was not expecting. 
I used 2 snaps to connect it together, and I quickly realized upon wearing it I should have used hooks instead. Snaps just can't withstand the pressure of you getting up and down and sitting all day. A good lesson! 

The belt works a lot better than the trim at the waist, as I didn't have to navigate matching trim there with the zipper. I don't think I would repeat the construction of the skirt, though. I love the fullness, especially with a petticoat (I have one on in these photos), but it was a bit fussy for my tastes. I think you could easily reposition those seams from the front to the side and keep the fullness. I couldn't resist trying out the technique, though! 

The End

And that's a wrap for Dapper Day posts! I so hope I'll be able to attend again in the future. It was such a magical day, and the preparation for it really stretched my sewing skills. I got to work on fitting someone other than myself and adapting a pattern I drafted to them, as well as a couple of interesting vintage sewing techniques. 

I leave you with a quintessential picture with Cinderella's Castle and Mickey and Minnie behind me. If I close my eyes, I'm almost back there… 

17 comments:

  1. I am in love with your dress! And thank you for bringing Dapper Day to my attention! I live 40 minutes from Disney World and I had no idea! Added to my list of things to do!

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    1. You lucky duck! I'm glad I could share the Dapper Day love!

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  2. I sense a sewing blogger dapper day in the future.....?!?! We can plot at Gertie's next month!

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    1. OH MY GAD YOU ARE BRILLIANT!! That would be a spectacular meetup!!

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  3. Lauren, what a fun dress! Great way to end the series. I loved seeing everything you made.

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    1. Thanks so much, Madalynne! I've had a ball doing it!

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  4. Sooo jealous! We are never near the mouse for Dapper Days- I would love to do this!!! You look great!

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  5. You are so stinking cute! I adore your dress and your glasses, too! That color really suits you!

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    1. Thank you, Tanya! Red is my absolute favorite.

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  6. Those enormous snaps you see in the notions department will hold in a hurricane. They also give a nice, smooth line to construction at the waist. The photo of you on the merry-go-round is quite beautiful!

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  7. Beautiful! I was at dapper day in Disneyland last month and I loved it! Your dresses are fantastic and how awesome that you designed that one yourself!

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    1. Ooo, that sounds wonderful! It looked like there were so many more events for Disneyland than World. I'm anxious to try it in California, too.

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  8. You look perfect and the dress is fab! I have made a couple similar era patterns with the same zip insertion I really the enjoyed the end result where the zip is camouflaged within the fullness.

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    1. Fascinating. I knew side zips were really popular, but not this particular method. You are right that it hides it! Perhaps I'll reconsider the technique...

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  9. wonderful job! i do like the sweet little bows at the front! and you know the good thing about that belt - you could wear it with other outfits!

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