Sewing your own clothes gives a lot of freedom. Us sewists can put together clothes however we want. We can choose colors, prints and patterns in fabric and combine them with whatever pattern we want.
We can adjust the fit. A little looser her, a bit more room there. Longer, shorter… We are only limited by our own imagination.
Ever since the B6453 pattern came out it has been immensely popular in the vintage sewing community. Ever since I made my first one it has become a favorite go-to pattern for me. In this blog I’ll show you all the versions I’ve made. They all use the same pattern yet they are very different.
1: lilac picknick dress
Ah, number one. The original. I got this fabric on clearance and followed the pattern for view B exact. And this skirt is super full! I underlined the bodice with white cotton because the fabric was a little sheer on the bodice. From the scraps I made a matching bolero but I’m not crazy about that since it’s a bit tight. I loved the fit of the dress itself and started my next version!
2: the basic black
Immediately after the first one I wanted to make a basic black one. I thought that this one would be the one I would wear all the time but I don’t. It’s made from a cotton sateen that is quite thick and whilst sewing I stretched out the waist on the bodice making it to loose. So I ended up unpicking the zipper, taking the skirt off, taking in the waist in and re-attaching the skirt. It helped a lot but I’m not loving it like I thought I would. I wear it more since discovering it looks super cute with a long sleeve top that makes it perfect to layer up for fall and winter!
Top is also me-made, it’s the Freya top from the Stretch! book by Tilly and the Buttons.
3: white and tight
Loving this pattern so much, I decided to take on view B and make myself a fitted version. The fabric was a remnant from my local fabric store, and I love this fabric so much! It is a cotton sateen that provides a little stretch for comfort. The colors are just divine. I did had to alter the skirt to fit my big hips but the result is pretty good. I do admit I probably worn this dress twice now. I love it but I just don’t grab it for day to day wear. Maybe when summer comes along. From the scraps I also made a matching bolero that makes it look a little “mother of the bride” but it looks super cute with a cardigan. When spring and summer come along I’ll have to wear this again!
4: Grey Border
I love al the B6453 versions in border prints! Unfortunately they are very hard to get here in the Netherlands. I did manage to get this fabric at my local fabric store and had to make this dress out of it. I used 2.5 meters of fabric to get some nice volume in my skirt. I’ve worn this one a lot! Because the skirt isn’t super full I wear it more then the others that have a fuller skirt.
5: Black with flowers
I made this one to attend the wedding of my sewing buddy Steffie. She had an amazing summer wedding. I made this black and floral version to wear to the wedding and added a bolero from the scraps. For this version I’ve used a 3/4 circle skirt. I did have to make the skirt in panels because the fabric was narrow and had a directional print. I just serged the panels and sewed the rest as usual. I used a black and white polka-dot for the pockets, bodice underlining and bolero lining.
6: Princess blue
I wanted to try Disney bounding and made this Cinderella blue version for a visit to Disneyland Paris. I don’t remember if this is a 3/4 circle or a full one… I did change the straps in tie straps. I made the strap pattern four times, one for each side. It wasn’t quite long enough to make a nice bow so consider making them 1.5 or 2 times as long if you want to do this. I also hand sewed some flowers to the neckline for a princess feeling.
7: Leopard print re-fashion
This fabric is one of my favorites ever. I love leopard print and this cotton is thicker then poplin and has a little stretch to it. The print is also perfect. I wish it was still for sale so I could get more of it! Initially I Frankenstein-ed a bodice to go on this dress but wasn’t crazy about it. Since I loved the fabric so much I wanted to try to get the B6453 bodice out of the bodice I made before with the scraps I had. To do so, I did have to make a center-front seam in the bodice but because of the print it’s barely noticeable. I made the facing and straps in black cotton. It’s one of my favorite dresses that looks good with a cardigan so I wear this all year round!
8: Red eyelet
I’ve wanted a red eyelet for years because I love a sculpted border. Sadly I couldn’t find one anywhere locally. During our London trip in april 2018 we visited Goldhawkroad for some fabric shopping and it did not disappoint! I was so exited when I found this fabric in multiple colors in one of the shops. I went for the red since it was in my head for so long. I don’t remember how much fabric I got, I think 2 or 2.5 meters. The best thing about this fabric was the holes in the border that I threaded light pink ribbon through. I love this version so much! The color and the fabric are just amazing.
9: Black fringe
My most recent version is the black fringe one. I’ve written a blog post about the making of this dress here. It’s a fancy version and I love how the all black is elegant, understated but still a showstopper.
The B6453 is an amazing sewing pattern. It’s fairly easy and the princess seams are flattering for a lot of people. It’s also a quick pattern to sew. Some people don’t like the way a gathered skirt looks on them, and I understand that. It can become bulky really quick. I don’t advice to gathering thick fabrics but it does work well with border prints. Don’t hesitate to switch the skirt for one you’re more comfortable with like a circle skirt, A-line or pleats.
I can’t believe I’ve already made 9 version of this dress! And for coming summer number 10 has already crossed my mind.
Did you make this pattern before or going to make your first one? I would love to see your makes!
Happy sewing, Lisa.