FO: Butterick 4790

I am well over due for a blog post. This may be a bit rambly, I am out of practise 😉

It’s been a crazy few weeks around me lately, work has been ridiculously busy and at home Demolition Husband and I have been ripping into our house and starting to put our own personality into it.

I have been sewing, but working on a new project that’s a bit top secret so when I get the all clear I’ll share it with you. This project interrupted my current dress project and then I interrupted it again. You see I needed a new vintage dress, don’t we all?

On Sunday there was scheduled another Wellington Sewing Bloggers group date, this time at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea with the intention of checking out the pop-up Britannica exhibition. “Vintage” was decided upon as the non-compulsory theme for the morning.

I love vintage fashion, any era really, but I’ve never really worn it or sewn it if I am honest. I guess this has been mostly due to lack of confidence so the idea that there is safety in numbers (as opposed to looking kooky all by myself!) now was my time to give it a proper go!

I was initially planning to stitch up this:

Home Journal 5609

It is a Home Journal pattern (5609) which I acquired during our very first blogger meet, you remember, the creepy one with no mouths.

It would need some grading and the idea was already forming in my head to choose a  modern looking fabric for the pattern. I managed a sneaky lunchtime dash to Fabric Warehouse with accomplice Nikki where we both scored a couple of bargains at their 40% off sale but I found nothing for the dress.

Wool for a winter skirt and a lace/mesh starburst was being cut for the lady beside me so I snagged some of that too.

The following week I went into Arthur Toye but since they had just finished their 50% off sale for the season and were in the process of swapping the whole store over for Autumn mode I came away empty handed from there as well. Spotlight in Kaiwharawhara also let me down…what was wrong with me? I never have this much trouble finding fabric normally!

I was running out of time and with work so busy I was also losing the battle for time to grade the pattern so I decided to reduce the stress and swap it out.

Instead I selected the everyone-else-has-made-a-fabulous-version-but-me Butterick 4790, aka “The Walk-away Dress”. I’ve had the re-issued pattern in my stash for so long that when I pulled the tissue pieces out of the envelope I was surprised to find it mostly already cut out in my size. Did I do that? I can’t remember but it saved me some time! 😉

Butterick 4790

On the Saturday morning before our meet I raced out to Spotlight in Porirua and found the perfect printed cotton sateen (on special too! Which was awesome since this pattern is known as a fabric-hungus!!) and contrast cotton for the bias.

Now here’s a little Spotlight employees say the darndest things! tale: I asked the cutting assistant how wide the bolt was since it didn’t have a tag. She measured it as 127cm. My pattern envelope gave me meterage for 115cm and 150cm wide fabric and I mentioned this out aloud and then said, “I think I’ll still get the 115cm meterage since the skirt pieces are really big, I don’t think the extra width will help me save any fabric at all”…to which the assistant replied, “Well this fabric does have some stretch…”

Umm what? How is that going to help me?

Moving right along…4.5 meters was purchased, I drove home and got to work.

I’ve read a lot online about fitting issues for this pattern, but I just dived right in with the hopes that all those darts would give me enough flexibility to correct any fit issues. I tried the dress on regularly during the construction and believe me or not, it fit perfectly right off! To steal a quote from one of the Wellington girls, I must have a 1950s “historically accurate ” figure!  I am not kidding, just lucky, this pattern is definitely drafted for me!

So I worked on and off from 11am on Saturday and gave up just before dinner (husbands apparently need regular feeding) with everything but the closures done. On Sunday morning I got up early and attached the back button, snaps to the front, and buttons over the top to hide my super awful hand stitching.

I don’t hate hand stitching, I do find it tedious, but mostly  I just seem to be really un-co and terrible at it. I bought some beeswax recently which I tried for the first time. It really helped stop the treads from twisting up and getting in the way but I guess I still need practise.

So, enough boring words, you want to see some photos? Aww it’s a shame I don’t have any…just kidding! The great thing about the Sewing Blogger girls is we all appreciate a good garment photo and I got lots on Sunday! Big thanks to Kat and Nikki for their excellent photography skills:

If you are wondering about the Britannica exhibiton…well we kind of never got around to looking at that. We were having far too much fun chatting, overwhelming the part-time barista, trying on all the crowns and playing with the green screen camera, photos from which will hopefully get emailed to us sometime soon.

I quite enjoyed my little dress up, I never thought I could pull a vintage/retro look off but it’s amazing what a bit of red lippy will do for your confidence! 😉

This dress was really comfy to wear all morning and early afternoon. The only thing I need to change, and it is an easy fix, is to snug up the waist a bit more. I did get a little bit of bra showage through the arm holes but that’s because I forgot that the centre front and back have no seam allowance and I was overlapping while trying it on. So I just need to remove the bias and buttons, cut them both down about 1cm each side and re-attach everything.

If the neck looks a bit funny on Scarlett it’s just because she doesn’t have “historically accurate” shoulders like I do 😉

And some detail shots:


We are famous now by the way, taking over Wellington with our crazy stitching ways so watch out for us next month! 😉

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The Invasion of Cuba Quarter (or When 7 Sewing Bloggers Meet)

First of all, I just want to say a huge thank you to Wendy & Katie for helping me (pdf and photo instruction links no less!) with the RNHS Rugby Jersey button placket. My post was up less than 30 minutes! Isn’t the internet great?

I’ll tell you what else is great about the internetz, meeting other sewing bloggers from your city!

It began with an idea that quickly became a blog post or two, there was a whisper on Twitter and emails were shared. Not even the threat of rain could deter the 7 gorgeous sewing bloggers from (greater) Wellington (plus one cute baby) the chance to meet IRL.

The promise of tea and cakes probably helped too 😉

We began at the super girly tea room of Martha’s Pantry in upper Cuba, (they have a boys version across the street called Arthur’s…Arthur & Martha, cute no?)  for afternoon tea.

Martha’s Pantry tea and cake (and milkshakes)

It was a difficult choice, the selections on offer all looked so tasty. In the end I shared a pot of tea with Juliet and my cake selection was pink and sparkly!

Introductions began, tea was drunk, along with milkshakes, lunch was consumed and there was much chatter and laughter.

Kat’s Creaming Soda Milkshake in all its shaved chocolate and hundreds & thousands glory – it almost needs a halo of light surrounding it! 

Myself, Juliet & Joy (photo by Nikki)

After we were all fuelled up we left with the intention of heading down Cuba Street to Minerva where they specialise in craft, fashion, textile and quilter’s books.

On the way however we got a little distracted by the cute display outside of Unearthed so in we went. One box of vintage patterns was spotted, followed by another, and then another and we played musical pattern box swapsies around the table.

Pattern digging at Unearthed (see what I did there?)

No one’s eftpos card was spared, here is what I came away with:

My Unearthed pattern finds

Yes these are mostly little girls patterns, don’t judge me, and don’t get any ideas, they were just too cute. I like the Home Journal pattern too, check out that gathered collar detail, but I am also a little creeped out that she doesn’t have a mouth.

Now I can’t un-see it and neither can you 😉

Global Fabrics Invasion

Global Fabrics was next  on our radar (Australian readers will know this as The Fabric Store) but despite their huge selection and much stroking of fabric we all left empty-handed.

The faux fur was so soft! (photo by Nikki)

And then finally we made it to Made on Marion and were reunited with Maryanne who owns this wonderful shop.

If anyone else is freaked out by the For Sale sign on the building, I know I was, don’t stress, Maryanne has assured us they are not going anywhere, yay 🙂


Stash Swap!

There was much on offer at the swap table and quite a lot of it found a new home.


More stash!

However despite all our best efforts to coerce donate our stash to each other we still had quite a bit left over at the end of the day so keep your eyes open for an exciting announcement this Saturday…

My Stash Swap selections

A future meet is already in the planning and there is discussion that we must wear an outfit using a pattern or made from some fabric that we acquired during this meet. I am thinking about what fabrics could make the Simplicity “walk-away” style dress pattern look fabulous!Or I can see the cotton as a pencil skirt…

There is always one who has to dash away early and misses out on the group photos, errm, that would be me! I was considering a Photoshop job but I don’t want anyone to think I was weird or anything 😉

Joy, Maryanne, Jo, Nikki, Juliet, Kat and Drake (photo by Nikki)


Joy – A Charm of Magpies

Maryanne – Sent from my iRon and also of Made on Marion

Jo – Making It Well

Nikki – Nikki’s Stitches

Juliet – The Crazy Gypsy Chronicles

Kat – Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So many talented ladies all lucky to live in the same amazing creative city!

I had a fantastic afternoon and after a recovery nap I was feeling super inspired and finished off all my piping for the Birthday dress. My enthusiasm lasted all weekend and on Sunday I sewed all day long. My dress is still far from finished and I’ll share some progress photos with you soon but I am really happy with it so far.

Thank you so much ladies for an amazing afternoon, I can’t wait for our next catch up! xx

Calling all Welly sewing/crafty bloggers! Let’s meet – for real – on November 24th for much sewing chatter and fun. Please click through to Kat’s original post for more info and we’ll see you soon! xx

Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Hey there wonderful people! This one’s a post for those of you who live in Wellington (or near enough to Wellington to want to come here for a day).

Juliet, Nikki, Mrs C reckon it’s about time we all meet up and see who the “real” people are behind the blogs. So, we’ve organised a meet up for Saturday 24 November!

There’ll be tea and cake, browsing of sewing type stores, a fabric and patterns swap, and lots of awesome chats with other sewing/craft bloggers.

You know you want to be there! 😉

We’ll be meeting up at 1pm on Saturday 24 November, in a nice central Wellington location.

Want to join us? (Coz we’d love to meet you all!) Send me an email for more details: macska at gmail dot com

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