I’m a Sewist and I Didn’t Even Know It

Look at what I did. I traced a pattern.

I hear that tracing patterns are a great way to preserve the original pattern in case you want to make it again in a different size or it’s one that you intend to use often. I have so far avoided it…at first out of ignorance and then out of fear. I used kitchen-grade wax paper because I don’t actually own any tracing paper. Makeshift materials aside, it makes me feel like a bona fide sewist to finally be doing it “right” this time. And it turns out that it wasn’t nearly as frustrating or time consuming as my overactive imagination feared it would be.

This is the sheath dress from Butterick 5147. I love the simplicity and ease of wearing sheath dresses. I especially like the way fabric choices and little details, like exposing the darts or adding leather trim (as on the DKNY and Michael Kors dresses below) changes the look completely.

Michael Kors does it in leather and tweed.

Donna Karan likes it exposed and red.

I don’t know why I’m just getting around to making one but I  imagine that I will make a lot of them in the future. The fact that this is a fairly simple pattern – with only a handful of darts and other pattern markings – made me more comfortable approaching it the tracing way. It’s the perfect excuse to really focus on fit in a way that I haven’t so far. Perhaps one day, I will work up to tracing fragile vintage patterns ore the ones out of Burda magazine. A girl can dream!

Next up, I will be making the muslin for this dress, also a first for me. In the meanwhile, if anyone has any alternatives to wax paper or can see places where my tracing skills need improvement, I’m open to constructive criticism.


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