To be honest, I'm not a fan of patterns, especially vintage ones. You'd think with all the sewing I've done that following a pattern would be no problem, but I much rather prefer devising my own way of doing things, be it custom plush monsters or a cupcake costume or any other weird one-of-a-kind. Fancy grown-up dresses with darts and gathering and interfacing and buttons and hidden side zippers still intimidate me. Which is precisely why I said, "Yes, I'll do it." To prove that I can. And I did!
Here's the back view. The skirt is nearly 4 yards gathered at the waist.
The only materials I purchased for this project were the shoulder buttons. I have a billion buttons in my studio stash, but not 10 identical ones.
Working with the free-form, assymetrical pattern was a bit tricky. I took extra care to line it up in a balanced, flattering manner, making sure not to let the circles be two giant bullseyes on her boobs. I thought the cummerbund needed a little something extra so I added this oversize vintage plastic button that matched the colors perfectly. I've had that button for probably 6 years now knowing it would be perfect for something some day.
And now it's done! My confidence in my vintage pattern-following abilities has grown and my customer got a one-of-a-kind, custom-fit, African batik, vintage reproduction, kokoleo cocktail dress.