Monday, January 17, 2011

Butterick 5454, Knit Wrap Dress

B5454 Thumbnail

One of the projects in my purple and green wardrobe for my trip to Turkey last Fall was this Butterick 5454 wrap dress. It is definitely a winner!
The gorgeous border print knit was a gift from Marji and I wanted to find just the right pattern for it.

Pattern Adjustments I altered the pattern with my usual adjustments, broad back and small bust. For the broad back adjustment, last time I did this change I noticed that it added length to the back bodice so that it didn't match up with the front bodice. Which, duh, but as I've mentioned before I do *not* have a 3-dimensional mind. So I shortened the back bodice above the waist, as the lower set of red lines shows.

I did my normal swayback adjusting, similar to this.

I also shortened the front crossover for an SBA. In the Big 4 I find that I need to take out at least two inches of length (only about 1 inch is usually necessary for Burda). The reduced length, along with twin-needling over slightly shorter clear elastic along the neckline, keeps it nice and snug with absolutely no gapage.

Gust of Wind I wish I could say the same about gapage for the skirt, LOL. I was a little trepidatious about taking a wrap dress on vacation because the split skirt can make it a little fussy to wear, but I loved it so much when it was finished I couldn't leave it behind. I wore it the day I visited the Acropolis in Athens and asked a friendly German fellow to take my photo. Well, an inopportune gust of wind came along just as he snapped the shutter. Whoops! I convinced him to take another shot.

As an aside, clicking on the photo will not enlarge and it is not otherwise available on the internet anywhere--I put it in my flickr and it was instantly set upon by the flickr nasties. I hope that you pay attention to who has favorited your flickr photos--if it is someone unsavory, click on their name and it will give you an option to block them on their profile page. Blocking someone means they cannot favorite your photos to easily find them later and cannot add them to galleries. I choose to make my photos publicly available and understand that I am allowing the unsavories to see my photos and can accept that. However, I do not want them to be able to aggregate them and flickr provides the tool to prevent that in the block feature.

Shoulder Pleat

The only thing I don't like about this pattern is the shoulder pleat. It kind of opens up into nowhere and looks weird. Because I thought it would just be too much with the large motif of the fabric, I did not cut the bodice on the bias as directed, so it could be related to grain. It also could be that I should have sewn it down further, my small bust, or just bad design. When I make this pattern again, I will convert that inverted pleat in the front shoulder to a gather.



B5382

Marji sent me a little over 3 yards of this fabric and I was determined to make the most of it. It was a HUGE pain to cut, because not only was the fabric a double border print but the non-border motifs changed direction at not-quite-the-center-fold of the fabric. It took me hours to lay out and painstakingly make sure all the prints would match. Hours! I had to skimp on the tie (would have liked it longer and ending in the border), but the print matches at every seam on every piece. Scraps

I had only tiny scraps left at the end, as you can see at right.

In the end it was worth it, as I managed to get another Butterick 5382 pleat neck dress out of it. Though it is sleeveless, I've actually had a fair amount of wear out of it this winter with a sweater over it. It's my go-to casual party/festive dress. I cut the facing out a print part of the fabric and it doesn't look great at the neckline as the print facing peeks out over the brown neckline, but whatevs.

I also got a skirt out of it, but unfortunately it's not wearable. The fabric's stretch was along the crossgrain with very little on grain--but the border was printed along the selvages. So there is pretty much zero stretch when you use the border along the hem. I didn't think to put a zipper in the skirt to compensate for this, and I'm afraid it's going to pop a seam in putting it on and off. It is serger constructed, so I don't have enough seam allowance to put a zipper into it.

Front

I think I have found my wrap dress pattern for the ages. The Vogue 8379 DVF knockoff that is so great for so many people just doesn't do it for me. The pleats in the bodice make a little too much room for my bust and are angled wrong for me, and the bias of the circle skirt--in addition to taking up huge amounts of fabric--drapes a little too well over my saddle bags and emphasizes them. The virtually unshaped bodice of B5454 and the straight cut skirt (with additional width added in the form of inverted pleats) are much more flattering to my small-busted pear-shaped figure.

Based on the identical line drawings and pleat details, I'm pretty sure B5546 in the lower-priced See & Sew line is the exact same body with a slightly different flutter sleeve and minus the wide sleeve, for my non-US readers who don't get the cheap pattern sales we are lucky to have here.

The pattern review is here and all photos are here.

51 comments:

Trudy Callan said...

Very pretty. I love the fabric.

senaSews said...

This print is so you. I love it. And i love both of your dresses. You did well in fabric tetris and made the best out of that piece of fabric.

Anonymous said...

I love both of them, especially the neck on the sleeveless one. Reading your post inspires me to sew more, so thank you:)

chelsea said...

That pleat neck dress is AMAZING. I can't even describe how much I love it.

amber said...

I'm seriously impressed at how well you used the fabric. While I love the wrap dress (and plan to add it to my collection - I'm also a small busted pear gal), the pleated neck dress is just FABULOUS!!

Sew5280 said...

Great print & perfect choice of patterns. The time you spent laying out and matching was worth it - beautiful results!

cidell said...

Totally digging the sleeveless Butterick! You got a lot out of this print. I love love love border prints.

Надежда said...

Very beautiful fabric. The second dress - super, underlines a print and elegant simplicity of breed.

daiyami said...

That sleeveless version is super-flattering. Beautiful work!

Myra said...

Both are wonderful on you. Salvage the skirt into a layering camisole, it's a great print.

Lisette M said...

I love the print, you got two really cute dresses out of it!

Debbie Cook said...

Love them both! Great use of a great fabric.

Marie-Christine said...

Perfect! This print matches exactly a bowl I got in Bodrum, so it was totally the right outfit for Turkey :-). Your funny pleat problems are almost certainly a matter of grain, don't worry about it.

Clio said...

The pleat-neck dress looks amazing on you! And what a great use of the print.

The wrap dress is great, too, despite wardrobe malfunctions. (Ick and eewwwwww about the cyber-creepo on flickr. Yuck!)

Little Hunting Creek said...

Love the pleated neck dress! Love teh wrap dress. You could totally retro-add a zipper to that skirt. I'd try that and save that gorgeous print. All these pieces are so pretty!

couturearts said...

The 5382 neckline looks amazing in the border print. I love seeing border prints adding interest at the neckline.

AuntieAllyn said...

You are such a lucky girl to have TWO fabulous dresses out of that WONDERFUL print!! Can't decide which one I like better!

Digs said...

The sleeveless version is uber-flattering. Great job!

marjoriekh said...

Astoundingly clever how you placed the print in the sleeveless dress to make the most of your figure. I'm making a note of that one, since I'm a small-busted pear like you. I really like both dresses, and am in awe of how much you manage to get out of 3 yds.

I'm thinking about trying Butterick 5454, removing the shoulder pleats at the pattern stage. Wonder if that will work?

Karin said...

What a great print! I particularly like the way you have cut the print around the neckline of your sleeveless dress. All the dresses look good though.

KID, MD said...

Fabulous use of the print!! I love that the sleeves of the wrap dress are cut in the border section. The sleeveless pleat neck dress us uber fabulous! The way the pleats at the neckline interact with the border print is perfect. Great use of an amazing fabric!

Victoria said...

Just beautiful! I love the little sleeveless number! You definitely maximized the potential of this fabric with the gorgeous garments you sewed:)

Eilane Vida Costura said...

Dois vestidos lindos e tão diferentes um do outro que você os poderá usar o tempo todo. Parabéns.

Abraços

Eilane

Elizabeth said...

fantastic print, and dresses! I have the Vogue pattern and hear it is a winner. I can't wait to start on it.

Debbie F said...

Love the dresses and I understand completely about the unsavories. Had an experience myself with that last year. I posted some T-shirt photos from a review that I did, and sure enough I got this weird note in my email box that sent me to an obnoxiously pornographic flickr site...my headless t-shirt photos were on it! EWWW

Uta said...

This fabric is so gorgeous! And you really made the most of it. My favorite is the pleat neck dress, I love the brown edges!

Jenny said...

Both dresses look great! I really like the neckline on the sleeveless one. Sorry about the skirt, but you could always wear a thicker sweater or top over the sleeveless dress, and you'd never know it's a dress!

Vicki said...

Great use of the fabric. Beautiful matching too!

Carol said...

I love the way you used the print on these dresses. It's always tedious to cut these things out but it's well worth it in the end.

emadethis said...

What great fabric! And the pattern is really flattering on you too. Thanks for the tips about Flickr...I had no idea, but that makes sense. People who choose to be creepy always are--well creepy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Trena, I've been reading your blog for some time, but this is the first time I am commenting :) I have the same body type as you, pear, small bust, and I find great inspiration in reading your posts, and I thank you for that.
I love both dresses in this post, especially the sleeveless one, it looks great in that print! However, what made me de-lurk today was the SBA you did for the wrap dress: I thought that if I have a small bust, choosing a smaller size for the top would be enough. Now I realize it is not? Do you usually combine the two: smaller size and SBA?
As you probably realized by now, I'm not an experienced sewer, I only made tops that didn't require much fitting, but I am interested in understanding this adjustment.
Unfortunately, I don't have another way to receive your answer other than giving you my email address or following your future posts/comments, and I hope you prefer the second option too :)
Thank you, Trena, and I apologize for my long comment. Olga

Angela said...

That's such pretty fabric! I'm glad you were able to get two dresses out of it!

McVal said...

Gorgeous fabric! And you did an excellent job on matching the patterns. Spending hours on it really pays off!

yoshimi said...

You are amazing. Both dresses are so very beautiful on you. Thanks for the inspiration!

meli88a said...

Oooh, I love the two dresses from this one print! They look fabulous on you, and the placement of the smaller print at the midriff is so flattering.

AllisonC said...

Wow you did well to get two great dresses from one print. these really show the different looks you can get depending on pattern placements (not that you had much choice by dress #2 I guess!).

Jenny said...

I love, love, love both dresses. You did that gorgeous print justice in both cases! I love how you used the placement of the print!

kathy said...

This is darling on you. I love the colors on you.

Faye Lewis said...

I love them all, but the butterick is the best!!!

Cennetta said...

Two great looking dresses. The pain was worth it. Fabrice beautiful.

Adelaide B said...

Booth dresses are super cute. Too bad the skirt didn't work out.

Eugenia said...

Fabulous fabric and you have turned it into two very gorgeous dresses!

SEWN said...

Wow, two very different dresses from the same fabric. I love both of them. The wrap dress is very flattering on you.

badmomgoodmom said...

I am in awe that you were organized enough to pick a color scheme for you travel wardrobe and sew one for it.

Looks like a nice trip, too.

The dilemma last week is my boss suggested I submit my research to a conference in Athens this Fall. I want to go to Athens, but for fun, not work. What to do?

mochimo said...

Both dresses look GREAT!
And thank you for the tip about flickr.

Noile said...

What great results from what might have been a difficult-to-use fabric! The dresses look just smashing on you -- love the neckline on the sleeveless one in particular.

It's more than a little weird that a skirt flying up, WITH LEGGINGS UNDER IT!, has attracted the nasties. A flying skirt doesn't necessarily make for a great picture, but gee, it's not as if anything inappropriate is on view, intentionally or not!

Andrea said...

I love both of your dresses. I will have to try and find the Butterick pattern. I have made the DVF knockoff from Vogue. I do like it, but every time I walk down the street in the city, the front flies open and I have to hold the dress in place with my hand. Totally not cool.

Sue said...

Your dress is beautiful. Love the fabric and how you have utilised the print. You always do such great write-ups on what you make - thanks so much!

Jacquie said...

Both dresses are fantastic! I can well imagine how much work was involved in pattern matching, but what a great result. And a super great result to get 2 terrific dresses out of 3 yards, despite need for pattern matching.

Kathy W said...

Slapdash Sewist so you say, but there's nothing slapdash about your cutting skilz, lol. These are pretty dresses. Thanks for posting on your many pear appropriate creations- it helps me to figure out pattern and fitting issues.

McVal said...

So hey! Is that a green screen behind you or what? Are you actually there??? Way cool...
For me, the back drop around here would be a snow drift.