TODAY’S POST FEATURES another garment from a vintage re-issue pattern – Butterick 6485 originally released in 1944.
I first discovered Butterick 6485 via a post on Instagram (I think it popped up on my feed via the #1940sfashion, which I follow). I found the style lines attractive, and the fact that the dress is loose fitting – relying on the tie belt sash to add shaping at the waist; especially appealed to me. My weight has been a bit like a yo-yo lately, so designs that have the capacity to span a number of sizes are perfect. After all, I don’t want to spend time and money sewing a garment only to not have it fit me a few months later.
Whilst the tie belt adds shaping, I feel that the dress is still elegant and does not look ‘clunky’ as some loose fitting dresses have a tendency to do.
I made the dress in a beautiful viscose linen fabric from Sew Me Sunshine. I actually purchased the fabric without knowing what I was going to make from it, as I just love the colours and print! I seem to be quite drawn to shades of pink lately, which apart from a complete obsession with the hue in my teenage years, as an adult I have generally shied away from the tone.
As the pattern is quite bold, I decided to break up the effect using pink bias binding as a trim around the front yokes and on pockets that I whipped up (the pocket pieces are not included in the pattern, I drafted these myself).
Pattern Information & Alterations
The main and most obvious alteration that I applied, was to create a centre front opening through the use of an exposed zipper. The centre front has a seam anyway, so this was super easy to do. In light of this, I cut the centre back on the fold minus the seam allowance, omitting the seam. I also cut the centre back facing on the fold (again, minus the seam allowance), and left the centre front facing open at the centre front below the dot. By using the zipper, I feel it gives the dress a cute, less formal look. Many house dresses of the period featured zip fronts, so I feel the zipper helps to make the dress look more authentic.
I ignored the instructions to gather the sash, and instead cut out my sash the width of the finished sash after the gathering would have been applied. I also had to cut the sash around 3 inches shorter (as I ran out of fabric!)
As I mentioned, I cut my own pockets and added them level with the sash at the waistline.
The pattern was easy to follow and I actually adore the finished garment. Now, this is important if you are planning to make this dress: I found the fit of the upper bodice, arm hole and sleeve to be WACKY. It might just be my body, but on me the armholes were about 1 inch too low, the bodice was too big from bust up to armhole, and the sleeves (whilst they are wearable) are rather tight. As I didn’t make a toile, I only discovered these issues when I had completed the dress. So I did a quick (I HATE alterations!!!) fix by just creating a new stitching line on the inside of the bodice from bust level up to the armhole. By taking out some of the excess fabric here, it created a better fit – but it is not perfect. Having said that, I love the dress so by no means am unhappy with it to the extent that I would take it all apart to fully remedy the issues described. I also found the shoulders to be about half an inch too wide on me, so this would be something I would alter on the pattern for next time.
And – there certainly will be a next time! I am already thinking a rayon crepe version with an invisible back zipper will be so pretty 🙂
I almost forgot to mention – how darn cute is the tassel on the zipper!? I purchased a load of these little tassels from V V Rouleaux last year and promptly forgot I had them – that happens a lot with me! But when I finished the dress I suddenly remembered, and thought it would be a lovely little finishing touch.
- Dress, made by me using Butterick 6485 from Jaycotts
- Fabric – Sew Me Sunshine
- Sundries, zipper, interfacing, thread, bias binding Jaycotts
- Bag – Sun Jellies
Until next time dears!