I know many of you have already seen this dress, but I’ve decided to go to a more regular schedule, posting every Sunday or Monday.
Today’s post illustrates 2 points about modern sewing. The first is that it’s possible to get a vintage look with modern patterns. This is important for newer sewists who might be hesitant to try unprinted patterns or grading to their size. Another plus with Butterick 4443 is that it takes significantly less fabric than the average 1950’s pattern, just 2 yards of fasjion fabric and 1 of lining. The average full skirted dress in my collection calls for 4 yards of fabric. This makes Butterick 4443 an affordable alternative to actual vintage patterns.
The second point is about fit. I get many comments on the fit of my vintage garments. This is because I start with a pattern that fits through the shoulders and neckline, then grade up only where I need more room. This should also be done with modern patterns. Most modern Big 4 patterns are drafted for a B-C cup bra. If you are larger than that, you need to use you high bust (measure just under your armpits) measurement to choose your pattern. This could be 1-3 sizes smaller than what’s recommended on the back of the pattern envelope. If the finished measurement printed on the pattern paper isn’t enough room, you then need to do a FBA (full bust aadjustment). http://www.timmelfabrics.com/fullbustalteration.htm is a good article on how to do it. The photos below illustrate the difference between choosing the size listed on the back and choosing the size based on high bust, with a FBA. They are both Butterick 4443, the only design element changes are the neckline and inseam pockets on the second dress.