Monday, January 17, 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.