Guys, this is one of my favorite sewing projects of the year and I’m so excited to tell you all about it. A couple weekends ago I was revisiting my spring outfit ideas page on Pinterest and on a whim did a search to see if one particular vintage sewing pattern (Butterick 6079) may be floating around on ebay or etsy. In a stroke of amazing luck, I tracked down the exact pattern I wanted in my size! Plus it was uncut and never used, so for six bucks I placed my order and waited patiently for it to arrive.
In the meantime I did some sketching and brainstormed ideas for fabric to use on the project. I’ve been wanting to do some seventies stye prairie dresses a la Gunne Sax, so the idea of using little ditty print cottons was one that would have definitely vibed with the pattern cover illustrations. As I jotted down ideas I started to think that chambray could be pretty, maybe in various shades. Since I’ve been thrifting multiple times a week lately, I also knew there were a lot of plus sized skirts just waiting to be used for fabric.
I visited both Goodwill stores in my town and bought four different skirts, all size 18 or larger. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but I picked up two of the same skirt (one slightly more faded than the other)- one at the east side location and the other across town.
While I waiting for my mail carrier to deliver the pattern, I started picking apart the skirts. The elastic waistband on one had amazing depth from color loss after washing (that’s what I used for the top band and straps!) The pair of matching skirts had these tiny eighth inch pin tucks and a nice one inch hem that I picked out. Although I didn’t have any full yards of fabric, by sewing panels back together in an alternating triangle pattern (hem up, hem down, hem up) I was able to get plenty of usable fabric with the grain running straight. I even picked off the back pockets of the darkest chambray which you can see closely if you look! I love this detail!
Once I was able to open my pattern and start cutting I ended up finishing the dress in the same day. I mean, as I saw it coming together I just couldn’t put it down! This turned out even better than my greatest expectations. I love that I refashioned and upcycled second hand pieces, used thread and notions I already had and got use from a vintage pattern that would have otherwise sat in someone’s attic for years. I am so proud that my self made wardrobe is at least half made from repurposed fabric and truth be told, it’s the only way for me to get really unique and high quality fabric where I live.