Yesterday I told you the story of Grandma’s $4.50 blue hat, and Butterick 8044, and how I had always wanted to make it up in blue wool.
Sewing it up was a dream. I had to size the pattern up a bit because I don’t have a 30″ bust, but everything went together perfectly and fit beautifully. A made View A with short sleeves, because it looked like that was the version Grandma had made (though she might have made both bodices – there were no obvious alterations on the bodice pieces).
The only alteration I made to the top was getting rid of the side button placket, as I could pull the bodice over my head without it. With the skirt, I finished the yoke by cutting a second set of yoke pieces and bag lining it, so all the raw edges will be finished on the inside. The pattern had it finished with only a waist stay, and I was afraid that wouldn’t lend enough stability to the yoke in my thin, draping wool.
I have a dreadful habit of mixing up the front and back of garments like skirts and tap pants and pyjama pants. I usually mark the back with a little bow, but I didn’t want the lump at the back in this skirt, so instead I machine stitched a little bow motif in the back in light blue thread. I’m quite enamored of it.
Inspired by the bow, I finished all the insides of the dress with pale blue bias tape hong kong seams and pale blue hem tape.
So here is my blue dress. I’m afraid it’s not quite done in the photos: I hadn’t let the bias skirt hang long enough to feel safe hemming it, so it’s unhemmed. It’s done properly now, and I’m madly in love with the outfit and the pattern: you’re going to see so many more versions of this (in fact, I’m working on one right now!).
For the photoshoot we went to the Old Museum Building at Massey University, which is my standard go-to photoshoot location when it is raining in Wellington. It’s also where I teach, so I got to pose in front of some of my students textile designs (while hoping that none of my students came along to wonder about how crazy I am). Also, it’s just a fabulous building.
Shell excelled herself at catching the light perfectly, and I was really happy with the garment, adding up to a fabulous photoshoot.
Just the facts, Ma’am:
Fabric: 2.5 metres of dress weight wool, thrifted ($3.00)
Pattern: Butterick 8044
Year: early 1940s
Notions: Metal skirt zip, thread, buckle, jet buttons, all inherited from Grandma (and, of course, the all-important hat)
And the insides? Finished with bias-binding in ocean blue, for extra blue goodness.
Hours: 5.5 I hand-sewed the hem and sleeves, which took a while, but was worth it.
First worn?: Wed 26 Sep for the photoshoot, and then again Oct 2nd for swing dancing
Wear again?: Oh yes! I love it! Best dancing outfit ever!
Make again?: Yes!
Total cost: $3