Added Aug 6, 2011
Butterick 6175, Retro 1952: Misses’ Dress: Fitted, partially lined dress, mid-calf, has shoulder drape with stay and back zipper. Purchased petticoat and belt.
This pattern is rated easy, and I would agree with that – there are only two pages of instructions including cutting layouts! I actually made this dress quite a few years ago, and while doing a closet overhaul this past weekend, I rediscovered it.
I especially love the off-the-shoulder look – the shoulder drapes really add a special element to the dress without adding much difficulty to the pattern.
Instructions for a simple waist-stay using grosgrain ribbon are included, which is an excellent step for a beginner to learn. I find that my favorite sewing patterns are ones in which I have to learn a new technique, and this is a perfect one for a beginner to learn.
The zipper is located in the center back seam, but the top few inches of the seam are sewn together. I have seen this construction before in vintage patterns. It is not my favorite, because, like a side zipper, it makes getting in and out of the dress a bit more difficult. Thankfully, this dress has a wide neckline, so it is not quite as difficult as getting into some of my 1940s styled dresses can be. I substituted an invisible zipper for the suggested regular zipper. One thing that would have added a vintage touch would be a hand-picked center back zipper, but those instructions are not included (really the only negative I have for the instructions included with this pattern). If you end up going the invisible zipper route, make sure to insert your zipper prior to sewing the seam to make your life a whole lot easier!
With my leftover pieces, I made a bunch of fabric petals and sewed them to a pin. Because of the size of fabric brooch, it was falling forward on the dress. To remedy this, I added a couple of thread tacks keep it in place, but it is still easily removed for wash day.
To finish the look, I made a simple skinny belt out of my remaining fabric. The pattern suggests a purchased belt, but I did not want to break up the pattern with a solid color, and could not imagine finding the perfect color anyway!
I would highly recommend this pattern to anyone who has it in their stash – it really is uncomplicated in construction, but has enough nice details to make it look like more than a simple hand-made dress.
I have rediscovered another treasure in my closet – love when that happens!
*Quilting cotton *Invisible zipper
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