Category Archives: dress

Finished: Butterick 5606 Dress

I sewed a dress from the pattern with which I made the Young Miss’s red tunic.


Pattern Description:
Pullover dress is close-fitting at the bust, has slightly flared skirt and drapes extending into tie-ends with raw edges, wrong side of fabric will show. May be worn forward or backwards. Wearing instructions are included.

Pattern Sizing:
I used size XXL.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes this time.  I still didn’t make the wrap.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t use the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I still like that this is an incredibly simple pattern.

Fabric Used:
A 4-way stretch from the stash. I’d bought it from Gorgeous Fabrics a while back.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I added 4″ to the length, then hacked it off again.
I also removed a 2″ wedge from the front armhole on each side.
Finally I used fabric for neck and armhole bindings.


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would recommend this super simple 2-piece pattern to others.  I look better in things with more waist definition.

Or as the Young Miss put it, “this dress looks like a shapeless sack.”  Thank you, YM ;).


Finished: Butterick 5030 Wrap (House) Dress


And here we have another item that has been complete for months. When we first moved, I thought it would be good to have a housedress. I took all the fitting work I’d done out for a test drive with Butterick 5030.

Pattern Description:

Flared, wrapped dress, below mid-knee has semi-fitted bodice, front band or collar, sleeve variations. A: contrast bands and belt. B, F: purchased belt. C, D: self fabric belts. E: cuffs and single layered sash.

Pattern Sizing:

I initially made a size 22, based on the pattern envelope.   That was MUCH too large.  I had to do a lot of cutting down of the muslin pieces to get a wearable product.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

For the most part,  yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I didn’t follow them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like that the pattern is for a woven wrap dress & that the pattern has so many views.

I dislike the sizing. I originally made 5030 based on my measurements from the pattern envelope,  = disaster.   Next time, I also need to raise the armhole by 1/2 inch to increase my range of motion and maybe cut down on the sleeve head. This time, I used the bodice adjustments & a skirt from patterns I’d already fitted to get the woven wrap dress look.

Fabric Used:

I used some midweight black stretch woven from the stash.  I had to piece part of the skirt due to scant yardage. But hey, no waste!

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

Used the skirt modified from McCall’s 8832.
Used the altered bodice from Butterick 4976.  When I made 5030, it was just huge.
I raised the neckline 2 inches. Then I had to take a (fairly large) tuck in the right front bodice to eliminate gaping. That could be due to the fabric stretching while being handled.
I also added snaps at the waist to keep it closed. Then I added 2 hooks and eyes to keep covered. 1 hook and eye set was much too prominent, so I removed it after the first wear. I’m thinking a clear snap.


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I am pleased with the house dress and will definitely use the fitted pattern again. I would recommend B5030 with modifications.


McCall’s 7989 – Dress as Slip : Finished

Wow, it’s been 16 17 days since my last post & boy, things are all a-jumble here.
1.  The Little Mister has a broken finger (he and the Little Miss were arguing & she accidentally slammed his finger in a door) & spent the twins’ 11th birthday at the orthopedist for a surgical rule-out instead of at their bday party.
2. I’ve left my job. And what a relief it is.
3.  We are packing up the house for a big move!
4.  And I’ve been sewing as a distraction / procrastination tactic.
I made the following slip early last month. I’ve worn and washed it 3x since then.

Pattern Description: 1990s slip dress pattern with topper variations.
Pattern Sizing: 16, 18, 20 which was cut to 16.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t follow the instructions this time.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the simplicity of the pattern — front, back, strap, and facings. I also like the fact that I can make this as a slip (which is what I did this time) and as a dress.
Only one dislike — the facing likes to flip out of front. I think I will draft a deeper facing for next time.
Fabric Used: A super cheap, poly acetate from Affordable Fabrics.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Since I’ve had this pattern since high school, and I’m not quite high school size anymore, I added 1 inch to the seams.  I eliminated the center back seam.  I also enlarged the bust darts, lowered the neckline, added 4 inches to the hem, added 3 inches to the straps, and cut the pattern on the bias. After all that, I then took off the 4 inches at the hem and the 3 inches off the straps. Bias really does grow!
I made the slip with French seams and added a lapped side zipper. I used Angela Wolf’s narrow hem technique from Craftsy’s Tailoring RTW class.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I sewed this dress many times in high school, and now that I’ve re-sized it, I will definitely make it again. As a slip and as a dress. I would recommend it to others.
Conclusion: This is a nice simple pattern that is easy to make. I am pleased to use it as a slip pattern and can see it as a dress for me again (with thicker straps).
Lapped side zip, bust dart, & narrow hem details.

Frankenstorm and an Enforced Work Break

As an East Coast dweller, the kids and I are home due to the frankenstorm Sandy.  The kids’ school district cancelled school for Monday and Tuesday on Sunday morning so we will be home until at least Wednesday.  Thank goodness the lights just flickered numerous times last night but we still have power.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those without power and in the flood plane from this storm.  Stay safe all.

I appreciate the rest from being at home an extra day, I especially appreciate that I had time to work on sewing!  I messed up my first invisible zip application on the M6313 stretch woven version, so I ripped them out and re-applied.  Looking much better :).  I cut out two very easy dresses from Burda 7515 which I hope to sew up today.

Burda 7515, view A

Layout check for 2-sleeved Burda 7515

I also finally made my first silk organza purchase (through Dharma Trading – will definitely be using them again) and am tracing the final version of My 1 Dress onto organza this morning!  More pics to follow.

My 1 Dress – Muslin 2

Sorry for the delay, but my laptop’s motherboard and I finally parted ways. But I got the best geeky birthday gift ever from Steve – a new laptop! He’s the greatest bf ever…

By jove, I think I’ve finally got it! Of course, I did work on this second muslin 2 weeks ago…

I had to incorporate the square shoulder adjustment in a way that didn’t disturb the armsyce and add an additional 1″ for proper “rack coverage.” Hehehe
musllin2_front muslin2_back muslin2_side
But I think I’ve finally got it! There still seemed to be a little bit of extra fabric going on in the side back, but I didn’t want to overfit.  There were a lot of pins in this muslin for final fitting. I’m alone at home this weekend so I should be able to get a few hours in to make a practice (non-couture) dress.

More later gator :).

My 1 Dress – Muslin 1 Progress Continued

I’m still working on my first muslin of my 1 dress.  My first muslin – ugh!  But I really want to get this fit right, so I’m not too upset about it.  I mean, 1 dress in the year 2012 is still totally attainable.  It’s only the beginning of April! (*smile*). 
Pin fitting the first muslin led to a smooth bodice while the dress was on, but made the armscye just crazy!

There was no way the sleeve would fit into the mess I had just made, so I got out all 4 of the fitting books I have to see what I could do to fix the situation. I settled on the good old pivot and slide technique for the square shoulder adjustment/armscye fix. Here’s the result of my handiwork so far. V8648 first muslin bodice adjustments V8648 first muslin bodice adjustments!
My goal is to make a second bodice muslin this week. Wow, I must be growing up, because I would have scrapped this in pure frustration before!

A Recap of Self-Stitched September ’11

I’m proud of myself for doing SSS ’11 and proud of myself for finishing the month even after my mom’s death. I had a lot of repeats, but was happy to see how many me-made items I could wear.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I wore the three necklaces OUT! I like the brown linen dress from vintage Butterick 4125 and my grey Butterick 5260 tunic, but my favorite item from SSS ’11 are the shoes! Ok, and maybe the harem pants I’ve had since high school. The harem pants are on their third waist elastic! Who am I kidding, I like all the me-made items and refashions I wore last month.

I’m very self-conscious about having my photo taken so last month’s pictorial was an ordeal for me. I have to say that I knew I was busty, but dang! And my face is pretty fat in these pictures…But all in all, I’m glad I got to participate.