Butterick 5748 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Sewing Projects

Wax Prints & Party Dresses // Butterick 5748 Sewing Pattern

It’s a given. If you plunk me down in a fabric store I will somehow find the weirdest, loudest, most psychedelic print within seconds. What can I say? I just really like when all the colours making sweet, beautiful love to each other. As I result I get positively spastic when I encounter African wax prints. I get crushes on them like boys, except they NEVER forget to call you and ALWAYS listen to you when you want to talk about the new episode of Girls. They seem to be pretty easy to come by in my fabric neck of the woods – I’ve been eye-banging some pretty ones with silkscreened gold but it wasn’t until I stumbled over these hot pink prints in Toronto a few months ago that I finally took some home.
Butterick 5748 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Butterick 5748 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns

Speaking of eye-banging…. Oh, hello psychedelic eyeballs. What are you looking at from that sea of batik? Why, HELLO giant acorns! Don’t you look awesome next to acid-eyes over there! Why don’t I throw you two together into a giant party dress and see what happens? It’s like little Henrietta housewife left that 50’s cocktail shindig, wandered over to an acid party at Tim Leary’s house and tripped right into this frock.

Maybe it’s just me?

Butterick 5748 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Butterick 5748 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Butterick 5748 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns

I cannot take credit for this African print + 50’s New Look idea. I saw this dress a few months ago and it’s been hanging around at the back of my brain whispering “Do it do it do it do it”. I love 50’s silhouettes but an authentically period dress is not very conducive to my day to day life. I liked the idea of taking this classic style and mashing it up with an unexpected textile. I used Butterick 5748; the only changes I made were making it quite a bit shorter (more modern I think and better looking with flats). It was easy peasy to assemble. I only ran into problems when I went to cut out the circle skirt and realized that 2 yards of the acorn print wasn’t going to be enough, so I finished the back with more of the eyeballs. I prefer to think of it as “fun and unexpected” rather than “poorly planned and ill conceived”.

Inspired by Gertie’s suggestion for making a nice full skirt, I lined the skirt with poly organza and the top with cotton batiste. It really does add a lot of fullness and movement. I’m wearing it with a small crinoline in these photos but it has a nice shape without it. The only problem is that in an utterly shocking turn of events, poly organza does not feel great on your bum and legs on a hot summer day. Bike shorts mandatory.

Butterick 5748 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns

And can I get an amen for my hemming foot? I’m still mastering it but I can’t imagine hemming a circle skirt any other way. It’s so stinking fast! Stay tuned next week for that green and white chevron number I posted about over the weekend. It’s finished and it’s FANTASTIC.

After I complete the 50’s style swimsuit I’m going to start working on tomorrow I may need to retire this decade for a while…