Subversive Femme

FO: Butterick 6815, circa 1954

I had plans on making this dress all the way back in January 2011 – funny how time flies! This year I’m continuing my focus on vintage for day wear (i.e. work) so it was time to give this pattern a go.

Here is the lovely original Butterick 6815 (I made only the dress, far left).

A fairly fitted dress, with split kimono sleeves, turn back collar and gored skirt with box-pleat at the front.
From the Vintage Patterns Wiki
My delay in sewing this pattern up was the issues I might face grading from a 34 inch bust to a 39 – turns out I needn’t have worried.
Once I measured out the pattern pieces I could see the finished bust size would sew up to 37 inches (3 inches of ease) so I only added .75 inch to the side of the bust, lowered the arm holes and lowered the bust dart points too.
It fit perfectly on the first toile!
The fabric I used was oxblood-red quilter’s homespun (I wanted something I could wear in this 35 degree heat we’re having). It has a great body – not too crisp, not too drapey.
I wore it dancing last night and it has a great swing to the skirt!
My Mods:
Only small alterations to get it to fit my larger bust and waist. Pretty much sewn as per instructions.
Overall Happiness Factor:
I will definitely use this pattern again, maybe in a gingham with contrast collar and belt. Or the taffeta like originally planned.
I think I can also use the bodice as a base to upsize other vintage patterns too.
Mental note – Next time interface the sleeve facings and try to add in-seam pockets.

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No Comments

  • Reply
    January 6, 2013 at 2:23 am

    yay! it turned out great!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2013 at 2:28 am

    That looks really great! I love the awesome color.

  • Reply
    Simone D.
    January 6, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Hey what a great job, it turned out lovely. I wish I had the sewing skills beyond Year 8 basics to do something similar. Looking forward to the cocktail taffeta version.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I love the dress, the pattern is gorgeous and I also love the color of your fabric.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I can only agree with what the Ladies before me said… very nice dress and what a super color..
    ciao ciao Christa

  • Reply
    January 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I love the fit, style and colour. You have done a lovely job! Beautiful!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    It looks fabulous.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Love this! I have to work on figuring out width at the bust of pieces prior to sewing as I'm always being confounded by too much ease, I always laze out at that since it's not as easy as the waist (with darts and such). It's a really flattering style on you, and I love that neckline!

  • Reply
    Jen (pieKnits)
    January 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Wow this is beautiful, great job!

  • Reply
    Abby Horskins
    January 8, 2013 at 4:15 am

    The colour and dress are absolutely amzaing! They both suit you completely 🙂


  • Reply
    Anita Fendrock
    January 8, 2013 at 4:40 am

    Stunning dress, and I adore the color!
    xo, Anita

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Lady – you look divine. x

  • Reply
    January 10, 2013 at 3:40 am


  • Reply
    January 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Gorgeous dress! I really love it!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2013 at 8:53 am

    What a beautiful dress! That collar detail is just fabulous! I just found your blog and loving all the sewing you've done! Amazing!! I really need to get my sewing going!!


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