Monday, April 22, 2013

Finished! Butterick 5882, the Shelf Bust Dress

Whew! That was a whirlwind. I made this dress over the course of a week, flew out to Dallas to wear it to a wedding, and flew back home the next day.

To catch you up, this pattern is part of my line of retro designs for Butterick Patterns, "Patterns by Gertie." (And they are all currently on sale for $1.88!) This particular design is number B5882 and was inspired by a 50s style called the "shelf bust."

Here's how my process works: I make the pattern and sample garment (all in a size 10), send it in to Butterick for grading and photographing and all that stuff. When the pattern is officially released, then I get a copy and can make it for myself in my own size (which is a 14, for reference).

Here's the model-y version.


And the Gertie version.


I added pockets!

And just happened to have the perfect shoes in my closet, never worn.

They're by Poetic Licence (the style is called "Faithfully"), and they are black on the outside and white on the inside of foot! Perfect for my black and white dress.

It was unseasonably cold in Dallas (I spent the outdoor reception huddled in Jeff's jacket) and crazy windy. Hair at the beginning of the day:


Hair one hour later:

Yikes!

Anyway, back to the dress, with a few construction details.


I added 3" wide horsehair braid to the hem. I bought this horsehair from Steinlauf and Stoller by the 36 yard roll. That's how much I love it. It's the best quality horsehair I've come across, very firm with a strong cord for pulling to shape the braid. (If you're curious how to use horsehair braid, here's tutorial to help you! I also have a segment from It's Sew Easy if you're more of a video person.)

The unmentionables! I added bra cups to the bodice. I just tacked them in by hand.

The waist stay is a wide petersham ribbon from a millinery supply store. The bodice is steel-boned all the way around. I made the boning channels by cutting two bodice linings, sewing them together wrong sides together, and then stitching lines to make pockets for the boning. (I detailed this method on my yellow dress from 2010, the days of yore. Thankfully I've figured out a better way to cut steel boning since then, which I will share one of these days.)


I borrowed a pocket pattern from a skirt pattern I own and sewed them into the side seams.


The fashion fabric is a silk and cotton brocade with flocked velvet polka dots from New York Elegant Fabrics. AMAZING. The contrast is a silk satin shantung from Paron Fabrics. I lined the whole thing in a lightweight cotton-poly blend from Metro Textiles, and finished the hem on the lining in black contrast narrow hemming on my serger.

Lapped zipper.


Okay, about the straps. I wrote a post about how I originally intended them to be worn, which is with the band flipped down under the bust and then twisting at the upper edge of the bodice.

And after all that, I ended up sewing mine differently. I kept my band flipped down all the way around the bust, no twist. I just liked how it looked on me when I tried it on.


I tacked the band down just where it turns into the strap, to keep it in place.

Whew! I think that's it! Overall, I'm really happy with the dress. It's a special kind of thrill being able to make my own pattern design. Here's a couple shot to end with.

66 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I saw a swimsuit in a store window with a top like your dress and I immeadiatly thought, "they copied Gertie!" I really love this dress. ~Major Moma

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  2. Hey, first commenter :) Gorgeous outside and in. Seriously, shapo! I love the last pic, cause Jeff looks proud. Thanks for the detail photos, these as you know are priceless.

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  3. gorgeous! i like your version even more than the pattern one (and they did a pretty good job on that!)

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  4. Super cute.. I love the fabric choice and the shoes are great(too clever!!) I keep looking at this pattern every time I am in the fabric store but have not succumbed yet. May just need to- Thanks for all the extra tips! ~Laurie

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  5. That looks lovely. I happened to already buy fabric with a similar color scheme for my own version (haven't started construction yet though). I like seeing how well it works.
    Meagan

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  6. Heeey, the cups are the other way around on your version ;)

    It's lovely! And I'm reconsidering making it now that I've seen a not-sexpot-look-at-my-breasts (it's the red. I can't help it) version. Good thing about that sale eh :D

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  7. What a beaut! I really like the black and white floral. It's so elegant and luxe looking.

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  8. How wise of you to put in pockets! I've encountered so many vintage skirts with pockets and always wondered why they're so rare today. I need a place for my knickknacks!

    The bit that sticks up over the bust (not sure what it's called) seems much bigger on your version than on the original. Did you do anything differently there, or is it a result of scaling the torso/skirt to fit your body?

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    Replies
    1. In the model photos, the bias band is flipped up underneath the bust, hiding the bottom of the pleats. That's why it looks smaller, but it isn't!

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    2. Ah, yes, which you actually explained in your blog post. Thanks for the clarification!

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  9. Dear Gretchen,
    as always you look awesome! Whenever I'm frustrated by not being able to find clothes to buy that fit me, I seem to end up on your blog, where I will find something to make me believe that I can look good because I learned to sew my own clothes. And that it's so worth putting work into a garnment, because it will make you feel good about yourself and your body. Thank you for being an endless inspiration.

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  10. Oh! I am so in love with this dress! Everything about it and the way you wear it is smashing!

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  11. Ah, you look amazing! That fabric is stunning, so perfect with your pink hair :)

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  12. That dress is gorgeous Gertie!! What beautiful fabric. You and Jeff look great :)

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  13. that is triumphant. you are incredible!

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  14. Lady you have a style all your own! Love the dress and the black/white version looks brilliant on you. Well done!

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  15. I love it in this black and white fabric! (Looks pretty cool with tattoos, too!)

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  16. Ooh, this is gorgeous! I love your own version. The fabric is amazing. I cannot wait to get around to making this.

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  17. Wow gorgeous! I love the fabric, it's beautiful. I've just bought this pattern for myself and can't wait to make it.

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  18. Gorgeous dress! I love this style on you, and black-on-white is stunning with your hair. Well done!

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  19. Beautiful, beautiful dress! Wow!

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  20. What a lovely dress! It must be so exciting to go to the fabric store and see your pattern for sale!

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  21. Beautiful and finishings so well made. You inspire me with your creations to want to sew more and better every day.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge

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  22. Gorgeous!, it looks great:) lovely fabric choice, goes really well with your hair too..
    I bought your top pattern and recently made a version.. but I think this would be a little bit out of my depth currently:)

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  23. That black and white fabric is just divine! The model-y version of the dress sort of steered me away from it (I'm a very curvy girl and didn't think it would give me enough coverage across the bust to be comfortable) but seeing it on you makes me rethink that...it isn't revealing at all.

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  24. Love the dress. Just wondering whether you sewed a little pad to attach at the arm pits so that deodorant won't stain the dress.

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    1. No but the double layer of cotton in the bodice lining is pretty absorbent :)

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  25. That dress is so cute and I really love the pockets. More dresses need pockets!

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  26. Inspiring! Just to be sure, you're not wearing a petticoat in the photos? It's just the lining and braid that's creating the fullness?

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    1. Hi Tina, I'm not wearing a petticoat, I just have horsehair braid in my hem. For comparison's sake, the model has a petticoat but no horsehair.

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    2. Thanks for replying! I love replies from famous people. :)

      Also, the info in very helpful.

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  27. You look wonderful! I bought this pattern and I'm just waiting to find the right fabric to really do it justice. Thanks for all the photos of the inside, it's great to see how you've constructed it, I can't wait to have a go with horsehair braid.

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  28. Love it - the fabric is gorgeous. I'm inspired!

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  29. I love this dress. It is perfection! I can't wait to make it.

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  30. I love this dress. I have seen an early picture of Elizabeth Taylor wearing this style and wanted one. I may be off to a ball in the summer and will make this dress, yay that I don't have to cut my own pattern! :-D

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  31. Gorgeous! You look stunning.

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  32. Is there a large-bust variation hints you have? Bought this pattern when it was first released and am scared to mess it up.

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  33. It's beautiful! That fabric is so perfect, and the black and white looks so good with your hair. Love the shoes, too.

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  34. What a great dress. Looks amazing on you.

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  35. The shoes are perfect with it. Really beautiful dress.

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  36. That's an awesome dress. I wish it suited my body type so I could wear it, but it wouldn't work so well. But I did wander over to Butterick and buy a few of their patterns that would. Now I have an excuse to try sewing with jersey knit.

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  37. That is so beautiful. And your hair looked cute even after the wind blew it everywhere. We're always so hard on ourselves. I've found myself so overwhelmed with all I have to learn and want to learn lately and all the things I have to do to get my blog and going and get it exposure that I can feel discouraged. Then I read your blog and a couple others and watch my Craftsy classes and I feel excited and encouraged again. I realize it's all about the process and the realization that I will always have something new to learn becomes a blessing instead of a curse.



    https://steamyseamstress.sqsp.com/

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  38. Think you might do a sew along for this?! I just bought the pattern as a tax day gift to myself.

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  39. Ooh, I second that idea - this would be a great sew along!!

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  40. I thought the envelope sample was lovely, but yours is stunning! Thanks for the heads up about the sale, after seeing this I just couldn't resist any more, and scooped up this one and your other dress pattern as well :).

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  41. Wow! Super beautiful! I like that you used horsehair braid, I was planning to do that when I make my own version.

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  42. Very lovely! That choice of fabric is gorgeous!!

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  43. I LOVE your version! I wish some day I could sew like you

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  44. I absolutely LOVE the bodice on this pattern. I have this dress pattern on my list of "to do's", I might just have to move it to the top ;)

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  45. Your dress turned out beautifully. I am a big fan of the vintage shelf bust, so I hope to have the skill to sew this sometime (and a place to wear it).

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  46. Hey Gertie! The pieces look great! You look familiar- do you shop at our store B + J Fabrics in NYC, in the Garment District? (It's the pink hair!)

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  47. Fabbylous as my 3 yr old would say! I adore the pockets! Why do I adore pockets on dresses so??

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  48. I can't wait to make this dress for myself! It's so pretty. I love the fabric you picked, and the shoes, and how well your hair compliments the black and white. You're the loveliest :)

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  49. Love it Gertie! Love the pockets especially :)

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  50. Love this dress Gertie! Totally confirmed for me that I wanted this pattern and glad I put it on hold at Work. Apparently it's only available on back order just now in the UK, we can't replace the few we had! Now on the look out for some suitable fabric to make it up in :)

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  51. Love the dress! It is beautifully made. I would love to make it but I am afraid my skill level is not there yet.

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  52. I love it! Im still a bit worried about buying it and trying to fit it to my generous bust, but on skinny minnies like yourself it looks like a dream :) ♡♡

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  53. I have a question for you, Gertie. How do you clean a dress with these underpinnings/structure? Dry clean only? Even if it had been made out of cotton?

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  54. Beautiful dress. I like your new dress better than the model version, the black and white are so perfect for that dress.

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  55. This is great! Total coincidence...I just ordered that Butterick pattern when they were all on sale the other weekend. Love your post!

    http://www.bayswatergreen.com

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  57. Would like to know how to make a FBA for this pattern. Making dress for a "D" cup person.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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