Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Butterick 4918 Retro 50's evening gown

So I decided to make a retro 1950s dress for the Vampires Ball PDX this time around. I wanted something ankle length and easy to dance in. After going through my pattern stash I decided on Butterick 4918.

Circa 1952 evening dress. Fitted boned bodice with fabric drape across the bust. Full gored skirt, floor length. Sizes 6-20.

I was gifted with 8 yards of excellent quality blue/black shot taffeta. Yay! I decided to add some sparkle with a net overlay that was studded with faux sequins. You can find this stuff at JoAnns in their novelty netting section. It is fairly inexpensive and I was on a budget.

Sizing and alterations:
I chose size 20 based on the finished garment measurements. I figured I would need to take it in just a bit in the bust and let it out a bit in the waist. I was exactly right. From the bust apex up I took it in about 3/4 of an inch. I let out the waist 3/4 of an inch. I shortened the skirt by 2 inches, I'm 5 ft 4 inches barefoot. However, I did neglect to make a corresponding bust adjustment to the bodice drapes along the top seam line. So that part became a bit fiddly when I attached it. But I made it work.

Putting it together:
Easy. The instructions were easy to follow and it went together quickly.

End notes:
This is a really pretty dress! It was easy to wear and I received many compliments. Flattering for a broad size range. Again, if you are expecting it to look like the envelope art you will need a very fluffy crinoline. I used Simplicity 3737 view C. It really makes the dress look fabulous. Also the wider/fuller the skirt the smaller your waist looks.

I made a cummerbund (no pattern). It closes with hooks and eyes. I used Decades of Style Sleek Sleeved bolero pattern circa 1940s. A very easy make. I had run out of the blue taffeta so I just used black broadcloth and a layer of my sequined novelty netting. I made my headdress using a headband, roses, leaves, butterflies, netting and feathers. I decided on blue and burnt orange for my headdress colors. My shoes (not shown) were a 1940s style peep toe platform. 3 inch heel + 1/2 inch platform = 2.5 inch heel. That is as good as it gets for my middle aged feet.

We had a great time at the ball. As a retired goth it's nice to dance to some good music and have a couple drinks. My BFF and I will definitely go back next year.

The picture on the right shows the dress with a nice full crinoline. What a difference it makes.

 My sexy BFF! Patterns I used, McCall's Shape Shifter corset, Harlots and Angels hobble skirt and Vogue 9016 view C bolero.
 Melody Ballrom Portland Oregon

 Me and Ms. Smolder ;-) Rawr!

1 comment:

  1. This dress is absolutely amazing. I'm looking at your blog came from the pattern review looking at the Cinderella simplicity pattern you posted pictures of the godmother dress. I made the Cinderella one, encounter the same problem with the skirt fullness. So far your blog is awesomeeeeeeeeee.