Vintage Green Butterfly Dress

Our March decluttering challenge is “Office” which also encompasses anything made of paper. A friend of mine was decluttering her vintage sewing patterns and offered to give them to me. I was so excited!!!

I didn’t have to wait long for an excuse to sew one of them up! My Kindergartner was supposed to wear green on Friday for their St. Patrick’s Day activities. She doesn’t own anything green, so on Thursday I decided to whip up a green dress.

I used this sewing pattern that is copyrighted 1973! I have to admit, it was pretty neat to think about someone using this pattern over 40 years ago, about how old that little girl would be today, and about how much the world has changed in her lifetime.

1973 McCall's 3661 girls jumper sewing pattern

The patterns from this era all have drawings of girls and women with ridiculously long legs. Their styles were very short! I know this jumper was made to wear over shorts or pants, but it would not have passed our school dress code. So, I added a ruffle to the bottom to make it longer. That meant the shoulder straps needed ruffles, too.

Green butterfly dress made from vintage 1973 sewing pattern
Bodice detail made by embroidering around the print in the fabric
What I learned from a vintage sewing pattern

Of course, I changed a few other things. Instead of sewing the ruffle to the underside of the strap, I opened it up and inserted it into the side seam of the strap, topstitching to hold it in place and close the side. I also did not read the pattern to the end so I had already sewn buttonholes before I got to the step where you sew the buttons and straps to the dress- they were not meant to be functional! Oops!

Sewing from a 1973 girls jumper pattern

The fabric was part of my prize package from Project Run and Play. The fabric line is Woodland Nymph by Rae Ritchie for Dear Stella Fabrics. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to stop hoarding it. I made sure to cut the bodice pieces carefully so that the butterflies were centered. Then, because I am an overachiever, I embroidered extra details on the butterfly in the center.

embroidered butterfly fabric

Overall, I am thrilled with how this dress turned out! We had lovely weather on Friday so it was warm enough for her to wear it and we took a walk looking for some green moss and ferns to do our little photo shoot. (After I wiped off all the crumbs and icing she got on it from school, of course!)

Girls dress from a vintage sewing pattern
Flutter sleeve jumper from vintage sewing pattern
vintage jumper pattern

Thank you, Ronda, for decluttering your patterns and giving them to me! I think we can all see how letting go of things can be such a blessing to someone else. It is beautiful!

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