Like the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Butterick 4029 took more time than expected.
I started sewing this vintage 1960s pattern weeks ahead of a planned night out on Broadway with my husband to see "All the Way," the play about Lyndon Johnson's unscrupulous (but ultimately admirable) efforts to push anti-discrimation legislation through the United States Senate in his first year as president. My husband is fascinated by LBJ; he prays every night that Robert Caro lives long enough to write the next volume in his epic biography on LBJ. The play was incredible (but it closed last night so if you're interested, you'll have to wait for the revival).
The dress was also pretty incredible. My husband may be as obsessed with it as LBJ. He told me a dozen times it was his favorite thing I've ever sewn:
I owe all the compliments to the fit — and the neckline, which I reshaped several times before landing on this. Remember how the original neckline tried to filibuster me with this unfortunate hunchback effect?
I took some good advice from Lisa (Notes from a Mad House wife) and cut the back into a scoop. I also had to deepen the darts on the back. The results were sexy but wearable:
If you've ever done such a fix, you know there are many steps in reshaping a neckline after your fabric has already been cut out. In order, they are:
• Remove facings
• Adjust darts to take out excess
• Use curve to redraft neckline curve
• Cut (and pray)
• Trace new neckline to draft new facing pattern
• Cut new facings from your fabric
• Sew facings
• Finish facings (understitch; handstitch down facings along zipper)
|Bye bye, facings!|
I made a number of other fit adjustments to Butterick 4029 (which I most likely will not be sewing again!):
• Continued the front French dart up into the front neckline, creating (in effect) a Princess seam
• Took excess out of the shoulder seam, which of course meant that I also had to...
• Lower the armscye and....
• Find a new way to finish the armhole because the original facings would not match up now that I made so many changes. I opted for a bias binding:
Exhausting, right? Let's just look at the dress:
This is how I styled it for our night out on Broadway — with silver flats and a DIY Anni Albers-inspired necklace made from silver bobby pins and a tub stopper chain.
I had planned to make View E:
But considering the heat in NYC these days, I tossed the sleeves as quickly as LBJ threw out the Voting Rights provision. Once again, from the back: