Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Social Studies Dress- Butterick 8128

This is my most recent vintage sewing project- I probably started it a month ago. (I took this out of my drafts folder dated 7/29, so i started it beginning of july). I finished almost all of it, then went to Oregon, then came home and began the apartment search, found an apartment, moved, started my first year teaching, and 10 weeks into the school year finally have a chance to start sewing again. WOW!

I made view A, with the 3/4 sleeves and the scarf neck. B shows the back, which looks very similar. The pattern is undated, but I think it's late 40s or early 50s. The wikia estimates 54-56.

The is my fabric, again, a quilter's cotton. From far away it looks beige and bland, but up close, you can see the tiny pattern of world maps. Since I teach Social Studies, I though "How appropriate!" Now however, I think it is way too beige-tastic. It's not like my skin isn't pasty beige as well. I look like a chameleon on a beige wall. Bleh. Look how cute the buttons are!

Now, I have decided I love the instructions on Butterick patterns. It has boxes, each with one step, like the back of the skirt. And a diagram, with arrows to give you the actual instructions. It was so clear and easy, wonderful!

I only screwed up one time on this one! I decided to top stich the neckline instead of doing the facing because I am lazy. Of course I was punished for my laziness. It looked ridiculous, and of course I had set it on a super tiny stich. I was very close to cutting the whole thing out, but I took it with me to Oregon and my mom picked out the stiches on the drive to the beach. Thanks!

My two changes:

1. If you look at the girl in green, the back bodice is darted but loose. I stiched down all of the darts, so they make a fan over my back. It looks cool, and has the bonus of snugging up the bodice for a better fit.

2. Drastic shortening of the skirt. I didn't shorten the front piece for some reason, and it went to my ankles!!! hahahha. I probably cut off 5-6 inches and made a 2 inch hem.

This is after parent-teacher conferences, standing by my cart ( I move from room to room each period)

Overall, I like it a lot. It has pockets, nice details, I did a good job sewing it, the side zipper is flat! In the end, I was even sold on the kimono sleeves. It got quite a few compliments for only having worn it one time.


  1. That looks great! I'm not a huge fan of vintage sewing, but this dress looks much more cool than retro.

  2. Wow! You look fantastic. What a great job.

  3. That dress looks fantastic on you - love the print and the button!

  4. The dress is terrific, you did a wonderful job of sewing it. Love the collar and the back pleat detail. You should make it again, in a blue or deep pink graphic print. Looks like the perfect dress for teaching.

  5. I love it, and I bet the kids thought it was a fun way to "wear" your subject.

  6. The dress looks great! I love the collar.

  7. Oh I like this one! And bless your heart for moving from room to room. I did it myself for the better part of 5 years. I have a room now and don't move at all. Woot!

    Oh, and dates...definitely not a 40s dress. The skirt is the wrong shape & style. I think the wikia estimate is right, it's mid 50s. I'd guess 56 is exactly right, since its leaning toward that wiggle silhouette.


Thanks for your thoughts and feedback!