Thursday, July 5, 2012

Butterick 5601, Trendy Trifecta Triangle-Back Sheath

B5601 Thumbnail



Source: 13xing.com via Trena on Pinterest


This dress is the trendy trifecta of the moment:  colorblocking, lace, and back interest, oh my!  I got the floral print at London Textiles during PR Weekend 2010 in Philadelphia.  They were selling remnants for $3/yd.  This was a not one yard piece.

I wanted to use this fabric for the one yard challenge, but I just couldn't eke a skirt out of it.  It was a scant 42 inches wide and one of the selvages had a big hole in it that took it to about 40 inches wide, just too narrow to get a skirt out of.  The fabric is too heavy for a top, so I actually put it into the giveaway bag.  I thought it was just as well because I wouldn't have a top to go with the  skirt anyway.

Then I was suddenly inspired by/jealous of Cidell's Sailabration outfits to use it for a colorblocked dress.  With lace such a big trend right now I had been wanting to work lace into a garment and voila!  The lace is from Jomar in Philly; I've already used it in a dress and a skirt.

Upper Bodice Pattern Shape


I was drawn to Butterick 5601 because of the simple shape with the back surprise.  Although my taste runs to all the subtlety of a circus tent, I do like a simple piece with just one wow factor.  From a design perspective I'm surprised this pattern has so few reviews, though having made it up I can say that perhaps it's a mercy. 

Like a lot of Big 4 patterns, it has some not-great drafting.  The shape of the upper front bodice is just unnecessary.  Look at that sharp curve and the long point on the pattern piece, and compare it with how much survives after the seam allowance is taken up.  It's just sloppy drafting.




High Armscye as Drafted



 The bodice is cut straight across the neckline from front to back, meaning it sits really, really high under the arms as drafted (as you can see at right). That is just asking for yellow armpit stains, not to mention the discomfort.





Rounded Lower Armscye





When I sewed the lining in place I just dipped down between the front and back strap attachment lines.

I lowered the armscye about an inch, and there is still more than an inch of fabric above my bra band.



Angle Strap

The diagonal center line of the back strap was gaping when I pinned the dress together, which I expected. As a crude fix, I placed the center of the back straps beyond the upper edge of the bodice when stitching it in place, thereby shortening the back strap at the center, tapering to nothing at the side.

In the front, I placed the front shoulder straps closer to center front than marked due to my narrow shoulders.

I can't say that the straight neckline is the most flattering to my small bust. Also, when I sewed in the lining the front neckline started gaping. Not enough to do anything about, just enough to be annoying. And I'm not entirely convinced that I placed the front straps exactly symmetrically (or it could be my asymmetric body; one shoulder is slightly higher than the other but I ignore it in fitting. I am just not going to get into side-specific fitting). The right one could be shortened at CF and moved in a squidge.

Perfect Zipper Match Point





To make up a bit for my sloppiness with the upper bodice, I am quite proud of the perfect waist seam match at the zipper. It was important to get it right on this project because the two different fabrics meet there and any mismatch would be obvious.


Bodice Lining










I lined only the bodice, hand stitching it to the waist seam.   I interfaced the lining at the upper and zipper edges to give it the body needed to shape the neckline and stand up to the zipper.  The skirt fabric is thick enough not to need lining, and given how hot it's been lately I don't need any extra fabric! The skirt fabric is also stretchy enough to bike with the walking slit.





Hem Facing

As drafted, the hemline on this is quite short, which really never happens to me at 5'1".  To get it my preferred length, I had to use a hem facing with a small seam allowance at the lower edge of the skirt.

To reduce bulk at the walking slit, I ended the hem facing about half inch past where the folded-in edge of the slit would rest.





Hand Stitch Hem Facing


Once the hem facing was in place and the hem was sewn (machine blind stitch), I folded the slit facing over the hem allowance and catch-stitched it in place.

The final result is a neat finish without extra fabric to weigh down or distort the walking slit.

Snap Closure







The upper back bodice is meant to be closed with a button.  I would have to significantly narrow the pattern for the edges to just meet for a button.  I used a snap for a closure.

I would like to find a decorative button to sew over the snap, but I didn't have anything in stash.






Front With Hat




































The bad thing about colorblocking is that this dress used only tiny bits of several different fabrics, not enough to make me feel like it had any effect on the stash whatsoever!

I'm not sure I would sew this pattern again, just because it's so distinctive.  Also, it would need a lot of little alterations, adding up to a huge pain in the @ss, to fully live up to its potential--narrowing  and possibly lowering the front neckline, narrowing the back neckline, properly drafting in a shaped lower armscye, redrafting the back upper bodice to prevent gape, narrowing the back upper bodice to use the button closure, etc. etc. etc.--which is another point against making it again.

All that said, I really like this dress.  It's flattering, the different fabrics and back interest are fun, and it plays into trends without being exactly what everyone else is wearing. 

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

52 comments:

KID, MD said...

Absolutely fabulous!! I love everything about it! The fabric combo with the lace is perfect and the style is great for this trend. I always think of you when I see anything with a great back detail.

Gabrielle said...

What interesting colour blocking - I love the look of this dress and the way you've used these fabrics~!

Karin said...

This is a sharp, flattering dress! I particularly like the lice bit. I am dead impressed with how well your fabric lines match up at the back zip.

Claudia said...

It looks fantastic, very flattering, congratulations. Love your blog and ideas, great source of inspiration. And a big hello from Brazil.

Lori said...

Amazing job, the fabrics and designs are gorgeous. This looks fabulous on you.

Cynthia said...

This is gorgeous, I love how you mixed all of the prints. I just had my friend trace this out to help her make her first dress. Do you think it's too poorly drafted for that?

Lynn (YSG!) said...

This is a fabulous dress. I love everything about it. Well done, T.

chelle said...

You look so great in this dress. Love it.

Faye Lewis said...

Magnificent Trina! Your dress is summery, trendy, and classic all wrapped into one.

CGCouture said...

I really like your colorblocking--it's not a trend I've been able to get into very much, but I think something like this would be very manageable. I'm bummed that the pattern wasn't drafted very well, but I think it worked out pretty well in the end. :-) You look great in your new dress! :-)

Lisette M said...

Well, all the fiddling and changing the pattern paid off, this is one of my favorite garments that you have made!

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

wow I love the look of your finished dress. and thanks for the info on that pattern which has been marinating in my collection for ages. you have convinced me to skip it. and as stylists say " love the pop of red"

shams said...

I love the color blocking. Very cute!

Anonymous said...

Love love love this dress. I think it is my favorite dress that you've made. Good fabric choices and very flattering. Well done!

Carole Mellin said...

I think you did a wonderful job with this dress. I like that you styled it with red shoes...love the back opening. Very cute! I understand that it's a pain to sew but I think with different fabrics no one would know if you made it again.

Amanda S. said...

Really fabulous! I love the mixture of fabrics you chose and also the pattern even though you had problems with it. I want to do the other view with the twisted backs. But I will definitely keep your alterations in mind, especially the high armpit problem. That is always so uncomfortable!

Always Alice said...

This looks great! I tried this pattern last winter and it's still in my "rip apart and redo" pile. You were right about the drafting, it's like an armpit pinching baggy boob disaster. I think I'll trying making your modifications and see if I can get it to work. I had such high hopes when I initially made it. I don't seem to have much luck with McCalls patterns,

ConnieB said...

Love, Love, LOVE IT! The silhouette is perfect for you in my opinion!

cuckoochanel said...

This is amazing, girl!!! What a cool mix of fabrics. Love love love!!!

Sherry said...

What a cool dress! I love your imaginative use of the different fabrics. How crazy that the armhole was cut so high on the pattern!

T. Sedai said...

I love this one! It looks great, the fit is good, and despite having a lot of trends in one dress it looks very thought out and put together. Love it with the red accessories too.

kbenco said...

What a smart take on the blocking.This is an inspiration dress, your mix of fabrics is terrific.
How annoying about the pattern.I do wonder,when these things are on sale in the US for a dollar or two, whether product checking is something that has been abolished to keep prices so low (for US busyers). The underarm pinch is a nasty feature.

liza jane said...

This may be one of my favorite things you've made! I love the combination of fabrics. I really like the way the top sits. I think the straight neckline is nice-- it's different. I think I'm now inspired/jealous of your dress. I have that pattern, too....

MAD14kt said...

I love your fabric selections!

Marie said...

what a fun dress. I really like the fabric combination you have chosen and the dress has a fabulous back feature.

emadethis said...

This has to be my favorite that you've made for a while. I love the fabric mixing--it looks really expensive, and the back triangle bit is really a fun detail. I'm having Butterick woes myself today. Just fantastic.

Carol said...

Oh, I think this turned beautifully! I like the fabric combination and I love the back detail. I struggle with straight necklines and no matter how I interface or stay tape, they always end up gaping!

couturearts said...

That is a total WOW piece! Have fun wearing it.

marysews said...

It's very flattering, and the fabrics work/play well together!

Kyle said...

Your work is always perfection!
I also like how you've styled the tail of your belt. I have been wondering what to do with belts that are too long and that is a great idea!

Jenny said...

Nice dress! Love how you mixed the fabric prints up!

velosewer said...

You really do lots of wonderful work. Now you've given me more ideas about using some of the remnants I picked up recently.
Your dress is wonderful and bright.

Lori said...

Wow! I've been following your blog for quite a while & I think this dress is very flattering to your figure. I think you should make it again :-)

Karen said...

I love it! Sophisticated and fun at the same time.

sussexsewingsisteruk said...

Well done! This project is inspirational and I will be checking out this pattern to use some of the left over pieces of material in my stash. At present battling with McCalls 6073.
Usual story, not enough fabric so has to be tunic version, jersey fabric too filmsy so bodice has to be self lined, but your blog has made me determined to perservere.
Sussexsewingsisteruk

Sigrid said...

Wow, what a fun, fun dress. I love the mix of fabrics and the touch of red. A combination I've used before.

McVal said...

I think I learn something new with each posting you do! For me today it was the walking slit.
Adorable fashioning! Love the different patterns. They go together so nicely!

Audrey said...

I love the combination of fabrics you used on this dress. I would have never guessed one was lace until I saw the closeup. It is a very flattering style on you.

Dilly said...

This dress is awesome! I absolutely love the combination of fabrics you've used. I think it looks totally modern but without looking like a fashion victim. Totally sharp too. I now really want to make something like this, but given your problems with the pattern (and adding on the number of adjustments I normally need to make), I might try my hand at drafting something...

Vicki said...

Love it!

Mary said...

This is a super good look on you-the simple shapes, the thin belt, the colorblocking...it is glorious. :-) The lace is just too cool and the back triangle is really fun.

Crystal said...

Beautiful dress and just as you said, its on trend but not like anything I've seen.

AllisonC said...

Great pattern - I love the back especially, but you took it to the next level with the fabric combinations. It might not make a big dent in your stash, but it's a great way to use up leftovers.

Adelaide B said...

This turned out really well. It's got a lot of trendy elements, but it looks stylish enough to get you through several seasons. I'm still formulating my thoughts regarding your shopping/disposable fashion blog post.

Anonymous said...

I liked your dresses but you should iron better... please not take this offensive.. You put a lot of effort to sew them but ironing makes perfect results...

Cennetta said...

Nice incorporation of color blocking in this dress. You are so good at creating a unique look out of basic styles. The red belt and shoes makes this stylish dress pop.

MushyWear said...

I totally love the choice of fabrics for the color blocking you did in this dress. You have really knocked it out of the park with this one. Awesome job!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Trena - this is a great combo! I love what you did with this pattern!!!

Clio said...

Oooh la la! I would LIVE in this dress if I were you! It was worth all the hassle.

theperfectnose said...

Awesome. I love the colour combinations you've used.

Inkstain said...

I think this is one of the best dresses you've ever made— sophisticated in its fabric combination, very flattering to your figure to use the lighter bodice fabric against the unified dark on the skirt and it looks carefully crafted.
Congrats!

Stephanie said...

I love this dress!! The different fabrics are really fun. It looks great on you. I love the cutout detail.