Sunday, May 15, 2011

Butterick 5558 A Spring Dress on a Cold Day

I just put the finishing touches on B5558 this morning. I actually finished the dress late last night (hand sewing the lining down) but I decided to go ahead and make the sash today.

It's taken me a while to make this, not because it's hard, but because there's just a lot to do, and lately my schedule has been all over the place with work. I'm just happy to have it done.


I made View B, the contrast bodice version, with the sash from View A. The only real difference between the views is the contrast bodice. Otherwise, the pattern is exactly the same.



This is a Maggie London pattern. I must really like her because I have quite a few of these in my stash. This is the first one I've completed.


You can read more about my trials with perfecting the muslin here, but just to re-cap my adjustments:


I cut a 14 through the neckline/shoulders and a 16 from the bust down. I moved the bottom of the V-neck up 1.75" which made the lapels smaller. I added 1" of length to the waist, making my pleats longer, and 3" of length to the skirt body.

I was quite surprised that I did not have to add length to the bust. The V-neck, however, was much lower than the pattern photo seems to suggest. Even with my adjustment, I still feel like it shows too much at certain angles. I'll have to be careful when I wear this.


Also, this dress is drafted quite short. I added a total of 4 inches to the length and it still barely reaches my knee, even with the scant 5/8" machine hem I ended up making. The pattern envelope does show it finished well above the knee, but it would have been scandalously short, not to mention extremely unflattering on me if I hadn't added all the extra length.


The pattern is well drafted and goes together easily. It is not a difficult pattern, but it is time consuming: There are 15 pleats in the skirt, each of which must be topstitched; the bodice and skirt join with a point at center front, which requires some precision sewing; and the dress is fully lined.



I used seersucker for my bodice, linen for the skirt, and coordinating poly satin for the lining. I like that the dress is fully lined- it gives it a luxurious feel. And thankfully, the skirt lining is a simple A-line with darts (so you don't have to make all those pleats again!) But the dress turned out quite heavy. There is a lot of fabric in the skirt, two fabric width's worth, and the waist area is rather thick due to all those pleats. The dress closes with an invisible zip in back. (I still need to add a hook and eye at the top!)


Overall, I'm pleased with this dress and I can't wait to wear it... when the temperature goes back up a little. We've had some surprisingly cool days here lately. I also need a little sun on my arms and shoulders so I don't look so washed out.

I don't think I'll make this again. One is enough, and I have plenty of other projects in queue. If I were to do it over, though, I'd interface the neckline/collar area better. I only interfaced the facing pieces (I almost forgot entirely) and I feel like it needs nore structure. My neckband doesn't want to stand up crisply at the sides and I had trouble getting a good press at the bottom of the V. I'm sure this is partly due to my fabric choice, but it's something to think about if you plan to make this.


I'm on to a new project now, but stay tuned- I have another summer dress to show you....

13 comments:

Linda said...

Very pretty dress! Very summery looking.

Belinda said...

Very good style for you! I like the spring colors too.

Karin said...

Perfect! It fits beautifully, and the style suits your figure. It really shows off your teeny-tiny waist. You look very pretty in it.

Goosegirl said...

Shannon, this is a beautiful dress! I LOVE yours. I like it much better than the pictures on the pattern. The colors are wonderful and the waist pleats look lovely. Thank you for showing the inside too! It helped me to visualize much better.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

What a great new spring dress!

Beangirl. said...

what a wonderful dress! looks great on you!

Audrey said...

This turned out so pretty. Just the colors and style for spring. I hope your weather warms up so you can wear it.

Amy said...

Love this spring/summer dress. Looks just perfect for warm weather.

Peggy's Closet said...

What a pretty dress!

Linda said...

Shannon - this is a winner. It is very flattering on you. The hem length is perfect. Love the color.

angie.a said...

I love this, it's so pretty! How did I miss this post?? I'm losing it. ;)

montanachic said...

Wow I really love this dress, you did a great job on it. It looks great on you :)

Renee said...

It looks so cute -much cuter than in the photo. Congrats on such a flattering outfit :)