In the fold

Big Vintage Sewalong B5209


It’s been an amazing year of vintage makes as part of the Big Vintage sew-along blogger tour and in this last week it’s my turn, no pressure then! If you want to find out more about The BIG Vintage sew-along then why not read our post and find out how you can get involved, all in aid of The Eve Appeal charity. We have added a list of everyone who took part in the tour this year at the end of the post so you can see all the fantastic makes!



The 1940s is my favourite vintage fashion era so I decided to make the Butterick B5209, which comes with two options – halter neck or cap sleeves. I don’t think a halter neck would suit me so I opted to make the cap sleeve version below. The dress has a side seam zipper, is self lined and has a gathered skirt. I was quite indulgence and chose a viscose/rayon fabric from Fabric Godmother called Pixy Rose. It has an amazing digital print and lovely soft drape (unfortunately now sold out).



I lined the bodice with a soft pale pink cotton voile but didn’t line the skirt as I didn’t think it really needed it. I spent quite a alot of time fitting the bodice as it’s not the easiest design to do a full bust adjustment (FBA). After making a couple of toiles I finally got there and decided to make the lining extra special by self facing around the collar and cap sleeves.


To do this I traced the bodice pieces and then measured 4cm + 1.5 cm (seam allowance) from the neckline edge all the way around the neckline. After cutting off 5.5cm from the pattern pieces, I added a 1.5cm seam allowance to both the 5.5cm self facing piece and lower lining piece (made from pink cotton voile). This would later allow me to create a seam to join the two and producing complete lining pieces for the bodice.


I really like the finish this has given the dress and there is no risk of the plain pale cotton voile peaking out (particularly around the back of the neck).



The only other tricky bit was the shaping at the back neckline, I didn’t get it right first time and had to unpick it – this did not go well. You know when you unpick and then it distorts the fabric and it’s never quite the same again!? I did my best to save it and in the end reduced the amount of curve and i’m now happy with it, phew (although it’s not quite symmetrical!)


I really enjoyed making this pattern and in a modern print such as the Pixy Rose, you wouldn’t really know it was from the 1940s. Equally it could be style up with accessories or made in a plain fabric, which I think would give it a much more vintage feel.


Although I didn’t quite get the fabric print placement right on the bust pattern pieces, i’m so happy with the back print position and the centre front!

I’d happily make this pattern again as I really like the style detail. Due to the bodice design there was quite a lot of under stitching so took quite a bit of time but this did give a professional finish. The side seam zip works well, as if it was at the centre back I think it would spoilt the style. It’s positioned a little bit lower under the armhole than other patterns i’ve used and this makes it much more comfortable to wear. Next time I might add pockets!


Thank you to The McCall Pattern Company UK for providing the pattern and fabric allowance. All views my own.

Round up of the blogger tour

1. Friday 11th March – Katie from What Katie Sews

2. Friday 25th March – Portia from Makery

3. Friday 8th April – Kate from The Fold Line

4. Friday 15th April – Amy from Almond Rock

5. Friday 29th April – Elisalex from By Hand London

6. Friday 13th May – Jane from Handmade Jane

7. Friday 27th May –  Jen from The Gingerthread Girl

8. Friday 10th June – Lisa from Sew Over It 

9. Friday 24th June – Janene from Ooobop

10. Friday 8th July –  Marie from A Stitching Odyssey

11. Friday 15th July –  Kerry from Kestrel Makes

12. Friday 22nd July – Fiona from Diary of a Chainstitcher

13. Friday 29th July – Karen from Did You Make That?

14. Friday 5th August – Laura from Sew For Victory

15. Friday 12th August – Nina from Thumble Nina

16. Friday 19th August – Charlotte from English Girl at Home

17. Friday 26th August – Gabby from Gabberdashery

18. Friday 2nd September – Rachel from House of Pinheiro

19. Friday 9th September – Elena from Randomly Happy

20. Friday 16th September – Wendy Gardiner for Butterick

21. Friday 23rd September – Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time

22. Friday 30th September  – Rachel from The Fold Line

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