Fashion comes and go and sure enough, if you bag up all the clothes you have in your wardrobe right now and put them away for a few years, they will eventually come back into fashion. When I was first learning to sew many years ago, I wanted to make a babydoll dress but make it tropical. Gertie had just released this stunning floral sateen with bright pink and yellow hibiscus scattered all over it. Very similar to the short Selkie dresses that are popular today, I sewed up a baby doll dress in this fabric and then thought it was just a little too much. I’m sure wearing it today would be fine but several years ago, baby doll dresses just weren’t popular and I didn’t feel like it was something worth keeping. In order to save fabric, I pulled the fabric apart and left it in the back of my fabric stash where it has sat ever since. In early October, when I realised I was leaving for my honeymoon, after shuffling my schedule I realised I only had a day and a half to complete any sewing I wanted to do for the trip. Although I originally wanted to sew up an entirely new wardrobe, circumstances meant I had to complete relatively quick projects. When I was going through my fabric stash, I knew I wanted something delightfully tropical and very soon, my eyes fell on my left over scraps of my tropical sateen designed by Gertie and sold at Spotlight.
Because this fabric was left in scraps, I didn’t have too much of it to use so I knew I couldn’t use a pattern that needed to be self-lined or that had too much gathering but also something fun for a tropical holiday. When shifting through my patterns, I spotted Butterick 6682 and after a quick look at the pattern description, I realised it had no lining and the edges were bound with bias tape. Butterick 6682 is a reprint of a vintage pattern that originally came out in 1952. The pattern features two garments, an unlined dress (A) with a close-fitting halter bodice, waistband, and a hook and eye closure at the back of the neck. The skirt has a horsehair-lined hem and is finished with purchased bias tape. The second garment is an unlined jacket (B) which closes with thread-linked buttons and has shaped cuffs finished with purchased bias tape. For this sewing session, I will just be making the dress and as I had no spare horsehair braid in my stash, I will be skipping this set.
Well, I’m sold on the pattern but let’s see if all the pieces I need can fit on my scrap pieces. After a bit of shuffling, I decided to keep the skirt piece from my original babydoll dress as the skirt piece for this pattern even if it’s an inch or so shorter than what the pattern recommends. From the other scraps, I had just enough for the two halter neck pieces and the waistband. I breathed out a big sigh of relief when I realised this idea was going to work and that I could finally use up the leftover fabric from a failed project. Never did I think this fabric would be part of my honeymoon sewing but I’m so glad it was. I’ve also always wanted to try this pattern and have recently wanted to sew a halterneck because it’s not something I make a lot of (I did make this one earlier this year though).
Sew, let’s get started! I wish I had discovered this pattern earlier because this pattern is so quick and easy to whip up. After a bit of gathering on the halterneck pieces and attaching them to the waistband, the part of sewing that took the longest was adding the bias tape to the edges. As I didn’t have enough fabric to make my own bias tape, I just used some plain white bias tape as I didn’t have a light blue. If you are wanting to make a halterneck dress, or even just a top, this would be a really easy pattern to work with. My fabric had a little bit of stretch to it so I knew I could sew it just a little bit tighter so when worn, it would sit perfectly snug and delicious against my body. I must say that this fabric was a dream to sew with and I’m so happy I didn’t have to worry about it being see-through or showing undergarments especially when I just wanted to wear it down to the beach and back.
Attaching the skirt was pretty easy as the original gathering stitches were still left in the skirt piece. Attaching the skirt was quick and easy so I’d definitely recommend this pattern to all beginner sewers. I feel bad that I don’t have much to say about this pattern but once the halter neck pieces were gathered and sewn onto the waistband and then bias taped, the skirt was attached and she was done. The back was then sewn up and a zip was added. Easy peasy, she’s done… or was she. As I was frantically throwing things into a suitcase, I grabbed this dress and tossed her in, it was then that I realised I had forgotten to sew the hook and eye on the back of the halterneck pieces so I ran to my sewing room and whipped on the pieces I needed. Phew, good thing I noticed this issue now because it would have been awful to reach the Maldives and not finish a garment (if only I had double-checked this garment).
Fit; I wish I had discovered this dress sooner because it is so comfortable, flattering and fun to wear. I had no issues with wearing this dress and only wish I got to wear it more. The halterneck pieces fit me really well and I never felt like my bosoms were going to fall out the sides or the top. This pattern would be suitable for girls with an even more ample bosom than what I have as there was enough room inside the halter pieces. Having a stretchy fabric also helps with this so I’d recommend a sateen like the one I used to keep the structure of the bodice and also to support your body whilst wearing it. The only thing I will be changing about this pattern would be to add a pocket because I need somewhere to carry my snacks.
This pattern is going straight to the top of my ‘next in sew’ list because I want this pattern in at least 2 different fabrics. This pattern is just so quick, simple and easy that you could whip it up in an afternoon and go to a fun cocktail night the very same day. I will note that as I was shooting this dress in the Maldives, there was a huge tropical storm coming in so the lighting was a bit off. We didn’t have a lot of time to shoot, as we really wanted to just relax and take it easy, but it just means the colours are slightly off on the dress and it looks a lot duller. I do plan on wearing this dress during the summer months so you will be seeing it on my social media a little more.
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