Monday, October 19, 2009

Butterick 5130, Muse Grecian Dress

My backlog of summer dress reviews don't make *quite* as much sense now that it is in the 40s (Farenheit) outside--I really hope this is a blip and we return to our regularly scheduled October weather soon--but I guess they might help for dreaming for next year and, of course, our friends Down Under.

B5130 Thumbnail

This Butterick 5130 style was all over RTW and I was pleased to see it in the Butterick catalog. A few people on Pattern Review made it and I was totally sold.

I had a vision of actually making this (*gasp*) in a solid, specifically, an avocado colored solid. I was on the hunt for such a fabric the last time I went to NYC, but couldn't find any such color at Spandex House (they tend more toward primary colors) but then I found this print on the street-level floor and fell in love. It was $8/yd, which is steep for me, but I had to have it and knew it was specifically for this dress.

The bodice is designed in several parts and the seam allowances are used for the elastic casings, which is a nice, easy way of doing things. I would quibble a bit with the design/construction order, as you insert the lower elastic into the bodice back and construct the dress before creating the back neckline/raglan sleeve casing, and I found it difficult to keep my fabric flat and create an even casing with all that elastic ruching already in place. However, after completing it I tried to figure a way around doing this (the lower elastic ends are caught in the armscye seam) and couldn't come up with one so maybe it's unavoidable.

They do that annoying thing where instead of publishing a chart in the instructions to tell you what length to cut the elastic they have tissue pieces that you are supposed to use as guides. I really do not understand this. I totally understand including pattern pieces even for things that are simple squares like belt loops--unlike BWOF, which gives you the dimensions and has you draft it yourself--because they are aiming at both beginning and experienced sewists. But the elastic guides do not fall in this category. So I have attempted to create my own. I couldn't find a WYSIWYG application in Blogger for tables, so excuse me if I have bad code. (I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get rid of the huge space--I don't see it in the code.)






















































Size 8 Size 10 Size 12 Size 14
Piece 9 (bodice upper and middle front) 13 3/4 14 1/4 14 1/2 15
Piece 10 (boduce back) 14 3/4 15 1/4 15 1/216
Piece 11 (waist) 28 29 30 1/232
Piece 14 (back and sleeve neckline) 22 22 1/2 2323.5


As Drafted

I cut the elastic for size 8.

For the bodice upper front, I shortened the elastic 2 1/2 inches

For the bodice sleeve/upper back, I shortened 4 inches.

I expected the waist elastic be too big, but it fit surprisingly well. Perhaps having something to do with the fact that it was up on top of my boobs instead of under them.


So I added another row of elastic *under* the bust, using the selvage as my casing and my duct tape double to get it approximately parallel to the floor. I don't know how well I succeeded, but with all the elastication and gathering a little crookedness isn't noticeable.



Adding An Extra Row of Elastic

I wondered if my boobs had suddenly dropped and I was now low-busted (quite a feat with an AA cup), but just about everyone on Pattern Review had the same problem and added another level of casing as well. I was a little surprised by this problem, as the pattern was otherwise well thought out, well-drafted, and well-designed, and my problem with the Big Three is the drafting for huge, low boobs that requires me to do massive SBAs. Odd.

The instructions for the sleeve are for a regular casing at the hem, but I decided to echo the topmost front bodice casing, which is stitched about 3/8" and 5/8" down from the top to create a little bit of a ruffle above the casing. I took about a 1 inch hem in the sleeve, and stitched two lines for the casing at 3/8" and 5/8" and I like the way it picks up that bodice ruffle.

In Hong KongThis summer one of my comfort-zone departures was to make shorter dresses, so I shortened this one 1.5" in cutting. Because of my height, if I cut things as drafted they are massively long so 1.5" seemed very conservative. But perhaps having to do with my additional casing I felt that it ended up *too* short. I wore it unhemmed once, but was just unhappy with the length. So I thought about it and decided to add a band at the hem and topstitch with a twin needle to make it look like a design feature. It doesn't really show much in person or in pictures because of the busy print, but you can sort of see it here. When I wore this in Hong Kong (site of the thumbnail harbor photo and the walk at the peak on the right) AllisonC noticed the hem band, but thought it was an intentional design feature so I'm satisfied.

This was a great dress for summer. I took it with me to Asia and to Spain where it worked with footless tights for cool days. The shoulders are very wide set so I had to wear clear bra straps and make sure they were tucked away inside the sleeves, but other than that it is not fussy or uncomfortable to wear as the elastic need only be fitted, not tight. I hope it's still in style next summer!

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

20 comments:

Christina said...

Very RTW looking! I, too, hate how some pattern companies give you a pattern piece for elastic. And I remember how when I was first sewing, I would always waste time carefully cutting those things out...

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I think you should continue sharing your summer dresses. You just don't know where inspiration will strike someone else! This is a very kewl dress and I love the addition of the hem band!

Lisette M said...

Very pretty! Go ahead and share the rest of your summer dresses, after all it is summer in another part of the world.

SuBoo said...

Thanks for the shout out to the people from Down Under :)

Adelaide B said...

I think that neckline is really flattering on you.

Uta said...

A very nice dress, and great colors on you. And - I love the "tree photo". The colors of the dress, the tree, your hair, in the sun play off each other so well!

Trudy Callan said...

Very beautiful.

cindy said...

Looks great on you. The fabric pattern works well with the pattern.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Very cute and the hem band idea is genius :)

amber said...

Oh, I'm so happy for your review of this dress! I have it in my stash and am hoping to make it one of these days. You know, Nordstrom's has a version of this dress with a long-ish sleeve on their site right now. I'm guessing it would be fairly easy to cange the sleeve a bit and do an exact replica as more of a fall dress. Take a look:
http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3064939/0~2376776~2374325~6014066?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=6014066&P=1
So see, this review is very timely indeed!

Carol said...

My pet hate is the separate button guide. You have no idea how many times I've actually cut them out of fabric! I love this dress and I want the fabric. I'm right into these colours at the moment.

Sew4Fun said...

Nice dress and good save x 2. :) Bring on the summer dress reviews. I need all the summer inspiration I can get at the moment. :)

Michelle said...

Beautiful fabric! I love those colors! And definitely keep sharing your summer dresses, I always bookmark for next season!

Vicki said...

Very nice dress. Love the summer reviews. I just may get inspired to actually sew something....

neighbourhood.gal said...

Sweet! And if you ever come across amazing printed knit (like this one but more jewel tones) in a natural fibre let me know!

I can't quite get my head around all the polyester. Doesn't it feel like wearing swimwear all day?

AllisonC said...

Yes I can confirm this looks just as fabulous in person. And yay I didn't cut your head off in the photos!

Anonymous said...

Cool dress!

senaSews said...

Oh, what a beautiful dress! I love the fabric it's so cool!

AuntieAllyn said...

Just gorgeous . . . looks fabulous on you and I'm drooling over the fabric! Bravo for taking the time to develop an elastic measurement chart . . . I share your opinion that those "pattern pieces" for elastic are ridiculous!

gwensews said...

That's a very pretty dress. Very becomming also.