Project #4 – Retro Cocktail Dress

I only had one weekend day left until my cocktail party, so today would have to be the day if I wanted try to replace yesterday’s dress. I chose to make Butterick 4792 mostly because it had only 3 pattern pieces and I figured that I could put it together quickly. I should have looked at everything more carefully because it turned out that I would need two of the pieces out four times each.

I shortened the skirt by about 5 inches to get the whole thing to fit onto 3 yards of emerald green dupioni silk. I shorten and lengthen a lot of skirts, so I have a handy little compass-y contraption made of two colored pencils in my sewing box at all times. I just adjust the rubber band to lengthen or shorten how far from the hem I can trace.

I’m not quite done with this one; I need to shorten the underskirt and hem the whole thing. I did spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to unwind the tavern puzzle top every time I sewed a new seam, but I managed to get it to this state after about 6 hours of sewing.

I’m wearing a bra in the picture, one with straps. I used a elastic hair loop to bring my straps in front together so that they wouldn’t ruin the neckline of the dress. It’s still comfortable and a lot cheaper than the $19.95 the folks on TV are charging for a Strap Perfect, though this solution doesn’t come with free boob tape.

I’m also wearing my big pink crinoline for my project picture. It’s been getting lots of use lately with my recent run on 50′s era reprint patterns, but it’s got a bit too much length and volume for this dress. I would likely have to make another by this coming weekend, which might be a deal breaker with all of the overtime I’ll be doing this week. I kind of want to save this one for springtime when it will finally be warm enough for me to wear it outside without a jacket.


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