I feel pretty in pink. And not just any pink, this daring fuchsia is a dream come true for a girl who dreams in bright colors like I do! A light and floaty crepe rayon with a silk habotai lining means that this dress is as yummy to wear as it is to look at. The vintage silhouette is a little bit demure and the sassy color is anything but, and oh boy do I love being a walking contradiction.
I used Butterick 6927 vintage reproduction (currently out of print) from a 1951 pattern. I used a delightful rayon (viscose) crepe from Minerva Fabrics that they supplied for me as part of their blogger network, although it has unfortunately since sold out. They called the color cerise which I think is a prettier word than fuchsia (just as aubergine is prettier than eggplant. I need to learn the British-isms for all the colors!).
The rayon was a bit lighter weight than I was expecting which meant that I needed to line the dress so that it wasn’t totally sheer. I decided to make the back neck facing as instructed for structure and then added a self lining to the bodice. You can see that even with two layers it allows a lot of light through when I hold it up to the window! All of the seams were pinked to minimize them showing through such a light fabric.
Although I made a muslin of the dress and made a few alterations based on the muslin, when I first sewed together the dress, it was a hot mess. The waistline was uneven because the crossed bodice was pulling awkwardly and it just wasn’t looking good. I can’t even tell you what the final alterations I made were because by the time I had the front bodice looking good I was so fed up with fitting that I didn’t transfer my changes to the pattern. (Although the one change I do know I made was to put pleats into the underlapping bodice side since it originally called for gathers which wasn’t helping with the bunchy factor). I don’t think I can blame it on the delicate fabric since the pattern envelope called for similar weight fabrics.
After all of the futzing during construction, I will say that I’m thrilled with how the dress came out in the end. I think it’s quite flattering and it’s ever so comfortable to wear. The crossed bodice stays closed and it seems to have just the right amount of drape and ease to look romantic and sexy without looking like I’m trying.
I didn’t have enough of the fabric to self line the skirt, so I bought some matching silk habotai from Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics and lined the skirt with that. I made a belt from the habotai as well since I liked the change in texture to define the waist. The buckle is actually a vintage brooch that I sewed on and then wore the earrings to match.
The back of the dress fit quite nicely without any alterations, which was nice after dealing with the hot mess that was the front.
I was tempted to make the dress floor length, but thought that the below-the-knee kept it from being a piece that drowned me in pink (if that’s actually possible) and made it a bit more wearable for more occasions. I was excited to wear my mola shoes – shoes that I bought at a craft market in Seattle many years ago that are made from molas – a hand sewn textile art form from Panama.