Friday, 13 June 2014

The diary of Butterick Retro1956

This is my Minerva Kit for June. All of the blogger network were challenged to pick a pattern and fabric to wear to the Minerva meet up on the 14th June, post a little preview but keep the finale a secret...I think I am the last of the bunch to blog but I have loved looking at the other dresses, so many vintage choices take a look here.

28th April
HELP! I am cutting out this dress and it is going to be hard to construct if the cutting out is anything to go by. Honestly, this is the centre back piece!

I have been very good and cut out all the notches, marked all the dots with tailor tacks and pressed each piece - Like my mum showed me years ago.

There has been one alteration, the fabric was 58" wide and the pattern called for 60" wide and because the skirt is full it would not fit the width so I had to take a bit of fullness out of the skirt.

2nd May 
Mum came round to help me with a fitting today. I tacked the bodice outer together. Slightly unfortunate nipple placements but I shall just keep moving and chatting!!

9th May
Today I prepared the skirt pieces. I added the pockets and back box pleats to the skirt. The pockets are huge, you could smuggle a whole buffet in them.

10th May
Today I tacked and sewed up the lining, it took a long time because there is a crucial feature on the back that means both outer and inner have to be exactly the same size. I joined the front to the back (accurately, phew!) and have given it a press. It is really substantial because the lining is the rose fabric too.

12th May
Time to join the top to the bottom and have a long hard think about the zip.

19th May
Louise from There she sews calls round to discuss armpits! I can't work out how to sew the inner lining and the outer fabric together and still turn it the right way. Yep...I have read it properly now, got it, thanks Louise. I put in the zip today but the top is too big so it falls away from my back...Grrr!

31st May
A week off to clear my head and back to it. Mum came round for a post holiday catch up and a dress fitting. Put in zip, again. Hand sewed lining to dress. Nearly there...

1st June 
Today I cut the hem to match the length of my 1950's petticoat and finally I finished all the hand hemming. 

All Done! I am wearing it tomorrow at the Minerva Meet up so I will get a photo of me in it then. I will also post details of the pattern and fabric if you want to have a go at making one yourself. My bag is packed, I have a train ticket, hotel room booked and some craft action to do on the train all on 'Knit in public day' on Saturday 14th June. 

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xx


  1. Oh Jo, what beautiful fabric. Can't wait to see you in it in all your floral glory. I'm sure nobody will notice the unfortunate nipple placing er hem....xx

  2. This is looking fantastic Jo and you have put such a lot of work into it. Beautiful fabric too. Looking forward to seeing a photo of you wearing it. Hope you have a great day tomorrow.
    Marianne x

  3. Ah you've put a lot into this lovely dress Jo - gorgeous fabric - and I'm willing to bet it's a perfect fit and you'll feel good in it! have a wonderful time and I'll be looking forward to seeing a pic of you in all your finery! Well done! xoJoy

  4. Phew, that looks difficult. I would never have guessed that the first photo shows the centre back piece! I love the fabric and look forward to seeing a picture of you wearing it. Have fun at the Minerva meeting. x

  5. Jo, you are going to look splendid in it! Oh my goodness you did a fantastic job, it looks so complicated.
    Hugs to you and enjoy your new dress.

  6. Jo!!! What a stunning piece lady! I bet it looks just fantastic on you!! I hope you have a fantastic time! Nicole xo

  7. Jo, it's really wonderful. I love the fabric. It looks really complicated and I'm very impressed with your skills!

  8. Looking forwards to hearing all about it Jo :-) I'll be keeping an eye on my Twitter feed tomorrow to see if I can catch a glimpse of you. Have a safe journey and happy knitting!! I'm going to have to be creative and see if I can find somewhere to knit in public - maybe a trip to the park is in order ;-)

  9. Have a great day! The fabric is lovely and it looks fab. :)

  10. Hello Lovely Jo this dress looks fabulous and I bet you will look the bees knees in it as you always do. Jo you never cease to amaze me with your wonderful talents. Sorry for not visiting for a while the old day job has been keeping me very busy! Wonderful to read your blog Jo, always good fun. Big hugs and loves, Dorothyxxxxx

  11. I hope that you are off having a fabulous and wonderful day Jo!! I really like the fabric that you chose and look forward to seeing the finished dress and your big Ta Dah!!! moment. xx

  12. Oh Jo it's looking glorious - looking forward to the big reveal! Jane x

  13. Gosh - this is high tension dress making! Looking forward to seeing the finished product (and how that back piece 'works'). I haven't made a dress 'properly' for years (cutting around notches and tacking etc) - and you are right for me,at least, those shortcuts do not really pay off!

    I hope that you had a lovely time
    Best wishes

  14. Found you! Just to let everyone know, the outcome was fabulous!!!! Great to meet you. Hope you got back OK. Keep in touch.