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Life in a Grass House

Added Nov 18, 2012

by pambox

Sydney, Australia






I can’t entirely claim this as a ‘new’ project, given the only things I did on it in the last five years were to sew the hem and the red sash. I’d made all the rest of it years ago, but wasn’t completely satisfied. The pattern is Butterick 4513, one of their retro rereleased patterns, and I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that the pattern is from 1957, or if they’ve done something weird in resizing it, but I didn’t like how the bodice sat. It’s a bit loose (late 50s – maybe I’m meant to wear a bullet bra with it?), and I might take it in later, I’m not sure. The back is elasticated and there is bias binding around the bodice edges and then tying at the shoulders. The dress has a lot of fabric in it – a hem circumference of 5 1/2 metres, but it’s light fabric so it’s not too hot to wear.

The photos were taken at Harvest festival in an art installation: a house made out of turf – hence the name of the project.

Material Notes

5 metres lawn cotton
1 metre heavy cotton
bias binding




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Romantic, Vintage

7 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Dec 8, 2012, 12.21 PMby sewmehow

    awesome!! i want a grass house!

    dress is lovely too. ;)

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    Nov 22, 2012, 02.22 AMby Irina Schwab

    Tell me abou hems! I never get them 100% because i lose my patience. Anyway, gorgeous dress and what a clever idea!

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    Nov 20, 2012, 09.05 AMby mollykatherine

    It’s Lovely! I really like the colour contrast :) I have this in my pattern stash and also thought the elasticated back waist was a little odd for the era – but it looks lovely on you!

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    Nov 19, 2012, 12.46 AMby MissHickory

    I love the full skirt…. and the red contrast.

    1 Reply
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      Nov 19, 2012, 12.07 PMby pambox

      Thank you – the sash wasn’t part of the pattern, but I thought the dress really needed the break in the middle.

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    Nov 18, 2012, 11.44 PMby laikadoll

    Naww you look like a perfect little garden fairy hehe

    1 Reply
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      Nov 19, 2012, 12.07 PMby pambox

      I shall have to get some fairy wings then!

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    Nov 18, 2012, 07.38 PMby Irina Schwab

    Hi Pambox, it is a lovely dress and lovely colour combination. Try pressing that hem until it is straight and flat life a knife’s blade, then add a petticoat underneath (search online for a pattern for a 3 tier petticoat), and then you will make it look so glamorous. You are right, I can never get those Butterick patterns right in terms of size… However I have the opposite problem, the bust is too small :-)

    1 Reply
    • 100_1411_2__large

      Nov 19, 2012, 12.04 PMby pambox

      The hem definitely needs a proper pressing, but my goodness it takes ages to press so much fabric!
      I do have a tulle petticoat, I should wear it with this next time.

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    Nov 18, 2012, 01.52 PMby Mary Athey

    i.m glad you finished it as it looks so good on you x

    1 Reply
    • 100_1411_2__large

      Nov 19, 2012, 12.06 PMby pambox

      Thank you, Mary!

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