How to get what you see: Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit (check out my previous post for a review of the movie and screen shots of the best ensembles)

Things to look for:

  • Asymmetrical necklines
  • V-neck or wrap-tops
  • Gathering in unusual places
  • Very fitted silhouettes, especially at the true waist- look for lots of darts for fit and structure
  • Full but lightweight sleeves
  • Built-up shoulders
  • Unique details: bows, brooches, applique

Some modern iterations:

Butterick B4657

This is great for the wrap top, interesting gathers at the true waist, full skirt, and loads of opportunities for embellishments. There could be a brooch or applique at the waistline, some crystal buttons where the shoulders attach, chains tucked into the waist gathers, etc.

Butterick B5315

The darts on this dress are exactly right- symmetrical horizontal darts at the bust, vertical darts at the front waist, and multiple darts at the back waist. The fit is perfect. The collar, which is rounded, is not my favorite- pointed or notched would be better. I would also try to make the sleeves a bit longer, and cuffed just above the elbow- more like a camp shirt. Most of the charm in vintage dressing is in the details, so don’t be afraid to adjust things- make the belt a perfect bow instead- create a permanent bow by using your fabric that you’ve fused interfacing onto, make a matching sash and attach using snaps, a buckle, or even velcro. Add shoulder pads, epaulettes, pockets; convert gathers to pleats or micropleats- use your creativity to make what you wear uniquely yours.

Marfy (through Vogue) F2015

This is a bit more of a stretch, and I’ve never sewn a Marfy pattern before. It is my understanding that they do not come with instructions, and they are intended for more advanced sewers. However, I like the details here- the asymmetrical neckline and hemline are beautifully balanced, the draping in the skirt is very pretty- and potentially quite risqué without being overt. And again- loads of opportunities for embellishment.

Vogue 8556

This dress has the wrap top that could easily be adjusted to give you a deeper V if you wanted to vamp it up a bit. The long, full skirt is perfectly elegant, and the gathered, fitted waist is very flattering. I’m assuming this dress is lined, so to jazz it up a bit, you could make the waist lining as instructed- it should be smooth and fitted. Instead of making a single gathered overlayer, make two that overlap into a V at the side and anchor with an ornate button or brooch. The open back is a nice touch, but not so exposed that you would have to go bra-less.

2 responses to “How to get what you see: Blithe Spirit

    • Thanks! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog- I’m hoping to have some new posts up in the next few days, so keep coming back for more!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s