I have been looking forward to making Butterick 5672 for a while--and if you want to make it it's on sale for $2.99 through 10/9/11 as Butterick's pattern of the week (very fortuitous). Here is the much anticipated animal print dress, of the nice rayon knit I just got from Fabric Mart for $5/yd.
The fabric sewed up very nicely--actually, I've sewn up all 3 pieces of it already. It is beefy and does not seem to stretch or grow, which is amazing for a rayon. I am resigned to the possibility that it will pill fairly quickly.
The pattern is well designed and includes the thoughtful and unusual touch of a separate pattern for a full lining (well, a separate front pattern; the back is the same). You are meant to use the lining to finish the neckline and armscyes. However, I skipped the lining for this iteration. I just wear it with a slip.
Instead, I finished the neckline with picot elastic. I loved this look for my Burda 12-2010-105 biking top and have been looking for ways to use the technique again. I scooped an additional 1.5 inches or so out of the neckline--a crew neck is just not flattering on me. Then I just turned under the neckline and armscyes and twin needle topstitched over the elastic. Voila!
I skipped the zipper on this project, as it was completely unnecessary. The pattern has you put the zipper into the pleated side, which seems unnecessarily difficult and bulky to me.
The rayon has good recovery, but on the two projects I sewed for myself I had to take in the side seams by about an inch on each side to get a good fit. I don't know if it was the pattern or the fabric.
Anticipating this issue, I assembled the dress in panels. I added a center back seam to the bodice and skirt with a small swayback adjustment in the skirt (similar to this). Then I sewed the right back bodice to right back skirt, left back bodice to left back skirt, and front bodice to front skirt. Then I sewed the full length vertical seams--sides and center back. This made for easy adjusting. The biggest problem here was gaping under the arms--I assume this is a small bust issue (I made no small bust adjustment). It was also somewhat loose at the waist. Taking it in a couple inches at the side seams from armscye to high hip took care of all the problems.
This pattern is meant to be cut on the bias, with a straight grain knit lining. There may be some benefit to that if you are using a heavy double knit with minimal stretch, but it would have been madness in this drapey rayon. I followed the marked (bias) grainline on the front skirt, but put everything else on the straight of grain. The pattern repeat on this fabric is too small and the dark spots form stripes; you can see how the stripe runs diagonal on the front skirt. I wish I had cut it on straight of grain as well.
Unfortunately, I think the pleat detail is a lost in my print when you get more than 3 feet away, but I am definitely a fan of the pattern. The style is simple but flattering and gave a good fit (after taking it in). I like that it has a waist seam at natural waist. I will be making it again in the version with sleeves for Fall/Winter. Next version I need to move the shoulders in by 1/2 inch.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.
The Random Number Generator has chosen Aroura to receive the beige knit from my FM bundle! Please email me your postal address at t r e n a [dot] b at gmail (no spaces) and I will send it off.