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VintagePledge July Dress (Butterick 3068)

Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress 3

To celebrate #VPJuly, I sewed a 1970’s dress (Vintage Butterick 3068) from 1970’s fabric.  To read about the pattern and the vintage aspects of the dress, pop on over to A Stitching Odyssey. (And while you’re there, look at the other inspiring vintage makes she has gathered over the course of the month!) Here, I thought I’d a personal account about why I chose the fabric and pattern.

Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress neckline

I agonized about whether or not to use this fabric. You see, I totally adore this floral fabric. Like massive #fabriccrush. It’s vintage (from a stash I inherited from a friend who inherited from an elderly friend who probably bought it new back in the day) and the flowers are a combination  of printed onto the thick, loose-weave linen and then painted on top of the print. And it seemed like it would be perfect for the bodice of this dress. So why not use it? I don’t expect to be able to wear this dress more than this summer. I’m up 20 lbs and several cup sizes from normal with a post-baby belly. And I may not return to the same size and shape as before I had a baby, but I do expect that I’ll be a lot closer to my old normal by next summer. And given my crummy pregnancy and traumatic birth, right now I don’t think I’ll be having another baby (never say never). So that would mean using a treasured piece of fabric on a dress I only wear for a few months (though honestly I’ll probably pair it with tights and cardigans to get it through cold weather too).

Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress back

But, as you can see, I decided to go for it. Why? I reminded myself that I look at every day as a chance to play dress-up, and wearing clothes that I’ve made and that I love makes me happy. And those kinds of clothes are in very short supply right now as I don’t fit into most of my closet and I have very little time for sewing right now (my Flamingos Are the New Black shirt may be it right now). The more I love the dress, the more sexy and self-confident I’m going to feel in it, despite being unfamiliar with my current body. And it worked. I feel great in this dress and love wearing it! And that makes it a brilliant use of a special fabric.

bodice pattern alterations

I love wearing dresses, but there aren’t many I can wear right now as Evelyn Rose nurses all the time. I don’t mind hiking up a shirt to nurse, but I can’t really hike up a whole dress. So, the dress needed to have ready access to my boobs. A center front zipper fit the bill. I’m also struggling a bit to know what will fit and flatter my current body size and shape. I thought this dress would work well because (especially with the color blocked floral) it draws visual attention to the bodice and gives a waistline while the flared skirt gently skims over my belly. While the skirt fit nicely from the envelope, I did some extensive alterations to the bodice through two muslins. It needed a fairly hefty FBA (hefty by my usually-petite-busted standards. The extra fabric below the bust gathers into the waistline.), I raised the bust dart after the FBA (although I raised it a bit too much. Oops.), I took width out of the back, and I changed the armhole curve in front and back. But I’m pretty darn happy with what I ended up with. Usually I can just eyeball a flat pattern and know exactly where it will need changes to fit me, but I don’t know my current body well enough to do so, so it’s been interesting going through multiple muslins to get fit!

Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress 2

It feels so good to be wearing a dress that I may make another (I often say I’m going to repeat a pattern but I rarely do.) I think a button front shirt-dress would be nursing accessible and potentially flattering, so the next dress I tackle may be that!

Comments 9

  1. A jersey wrap dress is very nursing friendly and good for when your body is going through changes. I’ve also found colette’s myrtle and moneta dresses good for nursing since they have stretchy or drapey necklines. I wore a lot of shirts with gathered elastic necklines while nursing since I preferred pulling a boob out over the top to hiking up a shirt.

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  2. love this – what a great use of the fabric. perfect with the center zip. you are looking great and so is Evelyn Rose. who looks so much like Adam! plus her dress is so cute as well.

  3. Best thing about having a baby girl is that you get a chance to sew for them(boys also)! Sorry for the traumatic birth and hard pregnancy, welcome to mommy hood !

  4. I absolutely adore this 70s pattern and I love how you’ve mixed the fabrics so beautifully. It’s such a great dress style, I don’t normally go for 70s vintage patterns but am liking this one. I adore the floral top and pockets and love the story behind the fabric. Sorry to hear you had a crummy pregnancy and traumatic birth, I’m sure your beautiful Evelyn Rose (adore the name!!) feels all worth it though. It’s great that you’ve been able to make it accessible for nursing, so I hope you manage to get a lot of use out of it this summer with your little girl and are able to make more like these. What’s the best thing about it is that it makes you feel good, which is always a must when you’re getting used to a new body. It’s so beautiful and fits you well, plus I love your little ones matching outfit, adorable!! XxxX

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  5. Congratulations on successfully established breast feeding! The “nursing all the time” stage can be trying while its going on, but making yourself lots of pretty nursing friendly clothes is a big win.

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