Liberty Vintage Tea Dress

I have a special little number to share with you today for my June Minerva Blogger Network post.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

The wonderful thing about the Network is that I get to push myself and try a little harder. The temptation to play things safe can be strong and it’s quite nice to challenge your fears.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

First up, let’s look at this pretty pattern. Butterick 5209 is a vintage reproduction pattern from 1947. I chose this pattern after seeing Laura Mae’s version. It has several intersecting lines to get right, a gathered bust and raglan sleeves: All making fitting that little bit harder. I’m not sure why this pattern is called Easy when there’s so many pieces and design lines to stay on top of.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

I made two toiles. The first in a straight size 12 – Let’s just say it wasn’t great. I then graded everything in the upper torso down to a 6 and blended out to around a 14 in the ribs and waist (because I used the pattern in the lower size range it stopped at 12). I also reduced the gathering on the bust by about 4cm by using the markings for size 6. Finally I lowered the bodice 1cm.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

Phew! All easy from here on? Not completely. First up I needed a nice sharp needle so not to snag this lovely Liberty lawn. This dress needs you to pay attention if you want you lines to match up. I marked all my seam allowances and pivot points clearly. I also unpicked if things weren’t quite aligned or weren’t sitting right. Here’s a close up of the centre front intersecting seams.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

Tana Lawn fabric is great to work with because it’s stable enough to manipulate and won’t shift as you’re cutting out but has flattering drape in the finished garment. Plus it feels amazing to wear due to the high thread count.

If you’re scared of using Liberty because of the cost, treat yourself to some past season prints which are generally reduced to more agreeable prices for nervous dispositions. This print comes in several colourways and at £12.99 is a definite bargain in my eyes. My decision to use this print was heavily influenced by spying Little Tailoress’ version of this dress using the navy and raspberry colourway. Or how about some of Minerva’s other lawns, like this pretty print which I saw made up as a Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress recently.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

So there we go! I have a lovely new vintage dress in a beautiful fabric. Now I just need an afternoon tea…

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  1. Looks great, a very pretty dress. Did you line it? I have some Tana lawn I want to make a dress from and can’t decide if I should line it

    1. I self lined the bodice and lined the skirt with anti static lining. I line any cotton just because I hate it sticking to tights but a lot of liberty prints are dense enough that you don’t need to line I think.

  2. I made this pattern in a satin flower print and I agree that there are a lot of steps. I didn’t think the instructions on the bodice were easy to follow. I like how the cotton gives the dress more of an every day feel. Satin made it a little fancy and I really haven’t worn it out of the house.

    1. Ooh I must pop over and take a look. I agree about the bodice instructions. I think I’d like to make it in a fancy fabric like you have for a special occaison.

    1. Yes I saw! Kept meaning to comment, I have that pattern but haven’t gotten round to making it. Your plaid looks great!

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