Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Naughty Librarian Dress

I have been meaning to make this pattern (Butterick 6582) for a while now. It's a retro repro from a 1960's pattern. I think I actually picked it up at a yard sale last summer and it has just been sitting in my pattern box waiting for the right fabric (and the motivation to make it!).

I chose to do View B (in blue). I did not have enough fabric to do View C (in yellow) and I really feel very anti-bow lately, so View A (in black) was also out. The problem with doing Views A or B instead of View C is the fact that I am a curvy girl. That means that my measurements for bust, waist, and hip are often out of sync with pattern measurements for a straight sheath dress. For this pattern, View B had one pattern piece for the front panel and one piece for the back panel, so I had to figure out a way to incorporate my body measurements onto the one pattern piece for each panel. The pattern I purchased was sized at 12-14-16. I went for the smallest size for the bodice, then I eased my marking pen to the middle size around the waist line, and then gradually marked a line to the largest size at the hip line. I cut the dress out of yard sale fabric, so it would not be too much of a financial setback to make a dress that absolutely did not fit.

There is quite a bit of interfacing used around the neck line. I do not know what possessed me to use heavyweight interfacing, but I did. This just means that the neck lines are a little stiffer than the rest of the dress. The directions called for quite a bit of understitching and I just could not recall the mechanics of that technique. (I think I've only used it once or twice on other dresses.) I just ended up topstitching the top seams of the bodice and the armpit holes to make up for my brain fart on understitching. I kept missing the directions to clip the curves because they just said "Trim" instead. Trim? Trim what? Curves, apparently. I also had some difficulty deciphering the directions on how to attach the shoulders of the front to the shoulders of the back. The simplest way to think of it is that you have to pin the parts with the interfacing together and then the parts with the fabric together and then sew one long line from one end to the other. (I had to read the directions a bunch of times before this made any sense.) The directions also said to put the zipper in right at the beginning. This made it difficult to sew the back facing onto the dress, because you had to open up the zipper to match and sew the seams. As for the hem, the dress was about four to five inches too long in its raw state. I ended up chopping off 3 inches and having about a one inch finished hem.

As it turned out, I did not err in my reasoning behind using all three sizes in one dress. I think the results are quite surprising and definitely accentuate the curves I spend so many hours lamenting. So here it is, the Naughty Librarian Dress:


Kricket said...

Super cute on you!

I made this dress (view B too!) a few years back and it turned out waaaay too small for me. I also used a very lightweight cotton so it was completely see-thru... yikes! It has been sitting in my closet ever since I made it, sad and lonely. I hope one day to find someone who can fit in it (with a slip underneath) so it can be worn as it should be.

I can't tell from your pictures- did the bodice of the dress turn out like the picture on the pattern package? I ask because mine didn't turn out as angular and overlappy as the picture and I was a little disappointed about that.

Great fitting job, you sexy sewer!

Rachel Eloise said...

It was a solo photo shoot and I don't have a mannequin yet, so I was not able to take a good pic of the neckline. The neckline on the pattern package seems a lot lower than mine. My neckline is really close to my neck. The gathering at the top of the shoulders came out pretty close to how it looks on the pattern package, but I feel it could be a little more tightly gathered.

And what a bummer about your see-through dress!!

ellie said...

Somehow I don't think it's the dress that made the librarian naughty!

Arielle said...

I have this pattern and I wonder how tight it is. It seems very close fitting in you picks (or is that secretary out to get a raise?)

Re: neckline. It seems gathered at the shoulders. Do you think if you gathered it more, it would be more comfortable? It does seem really high.

I need to take a second look at the pattern when I get home! (And maybe check the reviews at Pattern Review too)

Arielle aka LaKaribane

Rachel Eloise said...

I'm actually wearing the dress today in an office setting (as opposed to a mini-fashion shoot in my home!) and it is so comfortable. It is definitely quite close-fitting, but not unbearably so. The shoulders probably should have been gathered a little bit more, because the neck is too high. No matter how I fiddle with the neck and shoulders, though, I can't seem to figure out where I went wrong.

Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

I don't be mean, however, she looks so damn horney! I have had some sex fantasies, where the main character is a naughty librarian whore who is very needed.
Anyway, Great stuff!