Goings On · Outfits · Vintage Finds

Butterick 5281, My Forties’ Evening Dress

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Weddings. Everyone loves a wedding. But nothing says wedding like trying to find an appropriate dress for the occasion. The time of day, location and season the wedding will be held all dictates the type of attire to wear. No pressure, right?

Here is where the “little black dress” comes in. I find a cocktail length black dress is a near fail safe outfit for weddings. I always imagine a look like Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. One can never go wrong trying to dress like Audrey Hepburn.

I came across Butterick’s Retro 1946 B5281 and fell in love with the cover art. Like I ALWAYS do. The black dress looked very film noir, very mysterious and classic. Perfect.

I chose to make it up in a lovely black charmeuse. Slippery and tedious, so make sure you take your time and use fine pins. I did accidentally sew two blouse pieces together wrong, and I nearly had a fit trying to unpick the stitches without messing up the charmeuse. Be careful.

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I chose to make the short sleeve version, figuring it would make a more versatile dress. I do live in South Texas where a long sleeves dress would languish in my closet for most of the year.

The cover art black dress looked like it had embellished buttons on the snap side of the front of the dress. But in my mind, every amazing 1940’s gown has sequins. Sparkly, dazzling sequins. I have a wonderful family member that was amazing and sent me a bag full of beads and sequins.

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For one whole evening I sewed on each and every sequin. I decided upon a fan pattern, one on each side of the front, alternating rows of silver and black sequins.

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The front left is actually a flap with snaps so one can get their head through (with a left side zipper as well).

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My favorite part of the dress is the three folds on the right front shoulder. Ignoring the wrinkles in above shoulder (taken before pressing), you can see the way it folds and drapes.

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The bodice and skirt are lined. I used the same charmeuse and thank goodness I had enough yardage. The pattern was easy to follow and the dress took me two days total to make start to finish.

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And here is the obligatory bathroom selfie….I think I get to use the bathroom selfie at least once right?

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My lovely family member also gifted me a gorgeous black beaded and sequins vintage evening bag, which I used at the wedding. Sparkles everywhere πŸ™‚

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And alas, 2016 problems. My iPhone 6s Plus would not fit inside my dainty vintage evening bag. No matter, I think the purse was way more inportant an accessory than a phone!

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And by the way the wedding was wonderful. Champagne, dancing and merriment filled the evening. I swooned over the cupcakes with real red roses, complete with a vial of water to take the rose home. It was truly la vie en rose ❀

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