23 August 2011
Butterick 5451, from their "Cut Line" series, which are patterns featuring the exact same design in different lengths (top, tunic, dress). I think I stumbled onto someone's blog and they were wearing this as a top, then I decided to get the pattern and try the dress. I wanted something I could use to practice making bodice adjustments and this looked like a good candidate, as it has a fitted bodice and wrap skirt.
So I got out the pattern and some stretch sateen that I had just ordered on clearance in an otherwise ill-fated order. I get a lot of my fabric from Fabric.com, but I get annoyed sometimes when they have sales, because the site doesn't update in real time, so often I will order something but by the time they get to filling my order they have run out, or only have odd yardages (like, I'll order 4 yards of cotton lawn and they'll only have a 1 1/2 yard piece and a 2 1/2 yard piece). I pulled out the pattern and started adjusting with abandon. I cut the bodice much smaller than I would think I needed so it would fit my shoulders and neck properly, and did a full bust adjustment and took in the back waist and side seams. I also had to move the skirt darts over. A couple don't match up perfectly, but you can't really see that.
I forced myself to not rush this time. I tissue fit the bodice, then cut and stitched up two muslins before deciding the pattern was where I wanted it to be and then cutting the fabric. I even hand-basted the skirt on TWICE: once to see if everything fit and lined up and again after making adjustments and prepping to sew it on. I started sewing before I started my job, so I have been working all year to get out of the expectation that I can get something done in a couple of marathon sessions. I simply don't have the time. And rushing never nets good results. This dress took me about a week and a half to complete, including a birthday weekend where I left work early on a Friday and took two days off.
After cutting out the dress I realized my leftover fabric was not big enough to accommodate the frankly HUGE one piece collar. Seriously. You need about a good two yard piece to cut it. I am kind of obsessed with the white collar, so I used some white stretch poplin I had around. Attaching it was a pain in the butt, but once I had it on and neatly bound with white bias tape I became super excited about what was otherwise just an ok dress. I think it's a lot of fun, it actually fits properly (I didn't even need a camisole!) and was comfortable and people kept stopping me to ask about it all day long, not knowing I had made it.
This weekend I'll be working on the suit from the last post. And more quilting.