1961 Flamingo Dress - B6318

 A post in 2020?! Be still, my beating heart.


(Like many people, I've been finding it hard to be productively creative this year! I've started a ton of sewing projects, but finished very few, and even less that's worth blogging about. This was a very simple dress, but it is also a Done Dress, so it gets a blog post.)


 It's Butterick 6318, from their Retro collection, natch. Couldn't tell you if it's still in print at the moment, especially since the overarching company switched all their patterns over to the cloying "somethingdelightful.com" (are you in fact serious)...but it's a nice easy pattern, and I recommend! I in fact picked it because it only had like four pieces, ahem.

 Side note: make a mockup or at least take measurements of the bodice pieces if fit matters at all to you...the pattern tissue claimed it would make up at a 37" bust, which would have been almost 5" of ease over my bust measurements. Which, even for this style, was WAY more ease than I wanted, but when I dutifully cut out the pieces and thread-basted them together, they fit just fine, so...I don't think ya made up to 37" there, bud. 

I decided to make the construction more difficult on myself by picking a fabric that HAD to have all the seams finished, or it would have probably shredded during the first wearing, to say nothing of a wash! It's a fun, summery cotton sateen with a border print of flamingos, from Ye Olde Joann's umpteen years ago. It has all the nice qualities of cotton and all the evil qualities of a satin weave.
Hand sewing evidence! The sash is actually top-stitched down rather than put in the side seams because I forgot the sash was a Thing til after I'd oh-so-nicely flat felled the bodice seams with teensy-tiny stitches...at the end of the day it really doesn't matter though! I can do some very nice little unobtrusive top stitching if I do say so.

So - the bodice seams are flat-felled by hand, as is the one skirt seam (benefit of a border print!), I didn't trim the darts, and the waist seam is covered in twill tape and tacked to the seam allowance. I do like to nicely finish my vintage dresses, it makes them more durable - but this one didn't really give me a choice! I also ignored the neck facing (facings are stupid, I have discovered), and just finished both the sleeves and neckline with white cotton strips of bias.

You may also notice in that IG post that the sash "tails" aren't the flamingo border all the way to the end! I had about a yard over the recommended yardage for the dress - but the flamingo border was only on one selvedge, so I just ran out of lines of flamingos...and the tails of the sash was really the only place I could compromise on that! It's fine; noticeable but only if you know what you're looking for. Otherwise it's a busy enough print that I'm not fussed about it.

 I also faced the ends of the sash tails, to about where I figured they'd end up knotting. Quandary: completely lining the sash would result in a bulkier sash than I wanted with this fabric, but it's a very obviously one-sided print that I really didn't want to show off the wrong side of! Solution: face the 12" or so of tails that will show both sides.

 And I wore this for a nice Tea On The Lawn this past weekend...when I got to see my local peeps in person for the first time in six months! We got takeout afternoon tea from a new-ish local tea house (will definitely order again; they had EXCELLENT food), and plopped on my front lawn to enjoy the unseasonably-gorgeous weather, undoubtedly to the amusement of many passers-by.


 Robin of SewLoud made a new skirt. She will never post about it so I'm including it here for her. ;)


  1. Facings ARE stupid! I agree. Bias tape all the way! (Or I just line the bodice to avoid fiddly facings.)

  2. SUPERLATIVE matching! I think this was a upscale sister pattern of the one my mom made for my first junior high school dance dress -- a cotton sateen (yep!) in beautiful cabbage rose print of pink to dark pink with dark green leaves. HUGE skirt. And a cummerbund in dark pink. Looks so terrific on you!


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