June Cleaver Dress, Butterick 4790. And Happy Birthday to my dear Dad. And hey, I got free rick rack!!


Hey all. The week of FO’s is off to a great start. I finished this Butterick 4790 last night and wore it to work today.

As you probably know from seeing it around and about on blogs and Pattern Review, it’s a retro pattern from 1952, and is just doggone cute and old school housewifey looking. Very easy construction. I love the flowiness of it. This thing takes five yards of fabric, most of it skirt. I made it from some broadcloth that I found at Jo-Ann’s for only $1.99/yd. When I saw that price I got my Sewing Kit App out to see if I had any patterns that recommended broadcloth, and there she was. I immediately bought five yards of red red red.

According to the sizing chart I was a 20 (still getting used to that whole crazy sizing thing), so I cut accordingly, except, inexplicably, at the waist, where the back comes around to meet at the front. Sounds confusing if you haven’t worked with this pattern, but it all eventually makes sense. I still don’t know how I totally brainfarted and tapered that part of the pattern, because that is my number one icky spot. My waist size isn’t even on most sizing charts. Ugh. Other than that major screwup, most of the dress fit great, especially the front section. The darts make it so form-fitting and flattering. LOVE. As a matter of fact, I want to somehow make this dress without the wraparound because the front fits so well. Maybe I could duplicate the front and somehow draft a back, but keep the original back as a cape. 🙂

So anyway, the waist issue. I could probably have forced the wraparound waist part to meet, but it wouldn’t have been pretty, so I did what any overeating enterprising sewist would do–I made a fancy panel.

This is a groovy trim that I got from Esthers Vintage Fabric on eBay, and this was my first opportunity to do something with it. I HIGHLY recommend her as an eBay seller, by the way. She has fun stuff, and always throws in buttons and other goodies with your order. My love has officially been bought. 🙂
I’ll probably have to reinforce the hooks and eyes because this woven material has a lot of give to it and wants to fray, but it has held up through a workday so far. I like that it’s entirely adjustable and removable.

So here’s the entire dress, taken this morning as I dutifully made coffee for my honey while wearing my 50s housewife dress. Not the best photo because it was taken with my boyfriend’s phone, but I love it anyway.

And because he didn’t adequately capture my wonderful shoes this morning, I did a reshoot with my real camera after work:

This is one of my few dresses that isn’t a fairly noisy print, so it allowed me to accessorize viciously, with my splashy Marc Fisher shoes and this great necklace and earrings set that I spotted in the amazing town of Rockport, MA.

Another fun frock. If you have the pattern, treat yourself to a fun sewing experience and whip one up soon.

And as it is still September 4th in my neck of the woods, Happy 72nd birthday to my cute dad, Gary. I took a machine to his snowbird place in Florida for my first ever sewcation, back in April, and decided to make him a shirt. I bought this Kwik Sew 3421 based on the great reviews, and it didn’t disappoint.

Here he is being my model. He is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, hence the intense eagleyness of the print. I highly recommend this pattern if you have a guy that you want to spoil. I hadn’t been sewing two months when I made this, and it has collar, pocket, buttons, etc. Truly easy-to-follow pattern.

One last thing, if you’re still here. I got a goody in the mail today, from the wonderful Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones, as a fun part of the Colette 2.0 sewalong. The lovely hostesses are being kind enough to sponsor giveaways after each project. How amazingly sweet and generous is that??!!

Yay! HOT PINK RICK RACK! (and my shoulder-riding Teddy cat)

May you all be currently experiencing incredible sewing adventures, with or without rick rack.


26 responses »

  1. This is not my favorite pattern, but you look so good I am rethinking my opinion! All that bias tape, you deserve a medal. 2 medals actually, one for a perfect birthday gift make.

  2. What a great save!! It looks lovely on you and the fit is great. Please don’t tempt me with any more online purchasing… it’s too easy to just ‘click and buy’!! LOL

  3. I recently made this same pattern, twice! I went with the wrong size the first time and had trouble getting the front to come together as it should have. I think I will take your panel idea and bring it back out. I love the front darts too, it was a fun dress to make. Yours looks beautiful, you did a wonderful job!

    • Thanks so much. Yeah, definitely try to modify yours. It was easy to whip up that panel, and you can always change it up, adjust it, or remove it. It gives the dress a little more versatility. Have fun with your panel. 🙂

  4. Lovely dress! Watching you in it in all the glorious red with your wonderful shoes makes me feel very silly: I had that pattern with me all summer long and didn´t get around to make it. Read some reviews saying it was a bit tricky and I got deflated somehow…Well, what´s a year for a vintage pattern?
    You look great!!!

    • Thanks a million, Merche! The pattern does have really mixed reviews. I’m glad I didn’t see the bad ones when I bought and made this. 🙂 The hem instructions were weird for me, but once I figured them out I LOVED it. It’s a huge skirt, so you have to spend a lot of time on the hem, but it flows so pretty.

  5. I read a bunch of horrible reviews of this pattern–AFTER I’d already bought it of course. So, I’m really happy to see someone who made it work! It’s looks lovely in that red.

    • Thanks so much! This pattern has definitely earned its mixed reviews. I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone, but it’s not too bad. I just got lucky, plus it was fun to finally make something in a solid color and play with that nifty trim.

    • Thanks. It’s funny, I was just thinking about you about five minutes before I saw your comment. I was pre-washing fabric and discovered that I had bought some pretty sateen. I was standing at the washing machine thinking “More Sateen, Please”. 🙂

  6. You look marvelous in that vibrant color! Love all of the accessories and especially love the fancy bit of trim you added – it turned out beautifully!

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