Friday, September 17, 2010

Butterick 5455

Updated with photos of the finished dress.

I made this out of cheery red "European" linen from Not sure what the European part is. It certainly doesn't mean wrinkle-free. ;)  I cut my normal size 18 but it ended up being HUGE. The other Butterick pattern I made seemed true to size, so who knows what happened here.  I took it in about 3 inches at the back (because I'd already sewn the sides of the dress and lining, and sewn the shirt to the bodice. I was lazy and just removed 1.5" from either side of the back seam). I also shortened the straps by 2" and added an additional set of pleats to the neckline because it was gaping open. This gave it more of a sweetheart neckline, but it doesn't detract from the design. I sewed down all the pleats.

Now that it fits, I'm pretty pleased with it. It's not quite as form fitting as it is on the model. I would have needed to take in the waist another couple inches for that. It's fitted through the bodice and then there is a little more ease in the waist and hips--enough to hide sins but still show off my shape. It probably would have been better a little tighter, but if I took it in any more from the back, the side seams would have crept around to the back. After wearing it all day yesterday I like it even more. It's flattering and comfortable. If not for the wrinkles (linen--what was I thinking?!?), it would be close to being perfect. On the outside anyway.

Because I don't have anything even close to red thread for my serger, I did all the possible seams as french seams. In retrospect, the linen is a tad too bulky for that. I also used ivory seam tape for the raw edges. Next time I'll get seam binding, not seam tape for the job. It looks okay, just not a polished as it would have with binding. I also ran out, so used blue seam binding for the edges next to the zipper. So the inside of the dress is neat, but by no means professional looking. But I now see why so many people spend the time to bind their seams. But next time I will buy matching thread for my serger. I would have been happier with the insides if the edges had been serged, then bound, rather than having them french seamed because of the bulk. As my sewing gets better, I am increasingly drawn to wanting to make the insides look professional. If for no other reason than the drycleaner won't know I make my own clothes. Isn't that silly?

But anyway, I am very happy with this dress. I don't think it says becky home-ecky at all. Although when Corey first saw it he told me I should sew a sunflower on the botttom edge. WTF!?! A sunflower? Hopefully he's on crack. If this dress needs a sunflower, then I'm all wrong about the becky home-ecky. (*sigh*) He means well.

I was originally going to make the waist panel out of blue linen, but changed my mind. I thought the colorblocking would limit the longevity. I love crazy colors and wild designs when I see RTW clothes, but always play it safe when I sew something. The same is true with my upholstery fabric choices. Why is that?

Update 9/17. I still need to wash and press and take a photo of the red linen dress. While you are waiting, here is a piece of eye candy. I have always been drawn to red and blue, which is why I was going to put a blue waist panel into the red dress. Red and blue plaids are even better. I love, love, love this dress. It's from Claire McCardell via the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1956.

No comments: