Sunday, October 6, 2013

Butterick 5849 - Almost There

The dress is pretty much done. I just need to stitch the sleeve hems and decide on the overall length, probably chopping at least 6 inches off the bottom. But I'm going slow with this because I'm not highly motivated at the moment. It's still 90+ degrees outside and this dress is (1) moleskin and (2) high- and closed-necked, which is kind of suffocating in these temps. It will make a nice autumn/winter dress ... when we finally have those seasons in about 2 months. :-)

The fit is almost perfect. The only thing I'd tweak if there was a next time (not sure yet if there will be) would be an erect back tuck since the back neck does hit me a little high. But my hair covers it so I'm not going to sweat it. As long as I wait for the temps to drop. ;-) I thought about that alteration as I was cutting the tissue because it's fairly standard for me with wovens but then I forgot so I really only have myself to blame. I didn't do aany other alterations to this except to morph between cutting lines and make my usual square shoulder fix before cutting the tissue. I started with a straight 16 at the shoulders/neck, blended to a 20 at the waist and then 22 for hips/butt. I figured with all the panel seams (they are not really true princess seams in the front), I'd have room to adjust. I basted it together and, of course, I needed NOT ONE seam adjusted. Of course we all know that iIf I had skipped the basting, I'd be cursing that. Murphy's Law. No FBA was done or needed in case you're wondering.

The back also has panel/princess seams which are invisible in this print, and calls for a center-insert zipper. Part of my basting was also to see if the zipper was really needed, since the moleskin does have some stretch and the wrap front allows some wiggle room. After trying it on basted but without sleeves, I decided the sleeves would mean a zipper would be needed if I didn't want to work myself into a lather wiggling into the dress in the morning.

It's not a fancy zipper application and I debated a lapped zip instead, but laziness won out and it came out perfectly, which is what I was after.

The pattern calls for a 22" zip. I didn't have one and didn't feel like hitting Joann's on the weekend. The one I had was just fine. I think it is about 16".

I toptstiched the panel seams front and back. It doesn't stand out too much in the print but it does keep the seams nice and flat.

A somewhat better shot of the tucks at the side.

Inside shot where you can see the underlayer of the wrap is not double-layer all the way down. This is per the pattern and works just fine.

For the collar pieces, instead of turning under a narrow hem and then slipstitching per the pattern (a/k/a icky handsewing), I stitched in the ditch from the right side to catch the facing edge underneath.The ditch sewing would show a whole lot less on the underside if I bothered to change my bobbin thread to match the collar. This should really be in the instructions instead of the slipstitching method.

And now a little confession and a rant ...

The thing I like the absolute LEAST about sewing woven garments? Setting in sleeves with cap ease. I can do it. I can even do it well. It just bugs the crap out of me that I have to ease in a sleeve when it's something the pattern drafters can, and should, eliminate. These sleeves went in fairly well. But there were 3 puckers total that I had to pick and restitch because there was 1" of cap ease. Stupid. I know I've sewn a pattern or two with a woven sleeve and armhole that  fit together perfectly. I need to rack my brain and remember which and use those for every future woven sleeve/armhole.

The sewing community seems to have spoken loudly enough for the pattern companies to offer more and more vari-cup sized bodices. I'd like for us to be heard about the unnecessary cap ease drafting.


  1. That dress looks gorgeous. I love the fabric and how you have done the contrasts. Lovely.

  2. Absolutely agree on sleeve ease. Things are better than they used to be, but too many patterns for wovens still have ease that's not a design feature and not needed for fit

  3. The fabrics looks good together and it looks like it will be worn a lot (when the weather gets there).

  4. Looks like it's going to be a lovely dress. Like the contrasting collar with the busy print.


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