Posts Tagged ‘Butterick 5176’


Poor Decisions dress makes good

July 5, 2010

Well, first of all,  the weekend was fantastic. We saw two terrific plays: Peter Pan and The Tempest. I highly recommend both of them to anyone who has a shot at making it to Stratford Ontario between now and the end of October.

Secondly, the dress performed admirably as well. It was different from anything else I saw on the streets and a waitress complimented me on it. I still need to tighten up the top a little but otherwise I’d say this dress was a succcess at last.

Here is the dress. I’m outside City Hall after dinner. I’m glad I was able to find broadcloth that matched the blue on  the fabric because I really like the way it turned out. the midsection of the back part of the dress matches the sash as well.

And here it is flared out.I’m not sure if it would turn out this way using the skirt pieces that came with the pattern, but I’m really happy with this version. It’s light and airy since it’s made of cotton. It also flows and spins. I kind of wish we’d gone out dancing, but I think we’ll need some dance classes before we do that.

The dress is a keeper.


Stratford wardrobe complete

July 3, 2010

Well I finally finished the Poor Decisions dress. It was a challenge and it seemed to torture and mock me at every turn. It was too loose, and too long. Then the waist sections didn’t match up at the front and back. Oh, and then there was the moment I realized I’d put the zipper in backwards.

But it’s finally done. It’s one of the more complex dresses I’ve made for myself lately. It has more pieces and more fitting involved than some of the other stuff I’ve made.

I plan to wear it and a skirt I finished recently to the theatre today and tomorrow.

I am going here:

Last weekend I was carefully avoiding my city because it was full of world leaders, fences, and pumped up police expecting trouble. This weekend we’re off to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Hopefully there will be photos next week.


Adventures in poor decisions

June 28, 2010

Over a month ago, in a rush, I bought a pattern and some fabric in hopes of making a dress in time to wear it to a friend’s wedding. I quickly realized I would not finish the dress in time and wore something else…but I still planned to finish it.

So far this process has been dogged by problems every step of the way.

1. I have the distinct impression that the woman who cut the fabric for me, mismeasured it… either that or it really shrank when I first washed it because when I laid it out, it came to 3.5 metres rather than 4…which can make a big difference.

2. The pattern I picked was Butterick 5176 which has a nice full circle skirt. The fabric I chose in the end, however…looks like this.

I picked it because I really liked the border pattern…but a border pattern and a circle skirt really don’t go together all that well.

After some google work, I determined that if I wanted to use my pretty print, I would have to make the skirt into a gored skirt. I made a wedge pattern piece based on the dimensions of the original skirt pieces.  The size of the wedge was also determined by just how much of the border print fit into an arc. It involved my rulers and some calculations and reminded me that I always did plan to take a pattern drafting class someday.

I started to cut as many pieces as I could. I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t have enough fabric to extend the border print all the way around the dress, so the border will only be in the front.

After getting as many pieces out of the fabric as I could, I came up with the makings of a pretty full skirt. There are 14 wedges in the skirt.

I stitched each piece together directly on the serger to have the smallest seam allowance possible. I’m doing the same on 14 pieces of cotton broadcloth for the underlining. It’s not perfectly circular, but it should have some swing.

3. Since I decided that it was important to make the skirt as full as possible, once I completed cutting the skirt pieces out, I realized that I had very little fabric left.

In fact I had so little left that I’m now out of fabric and I still haven’t cut out the front corset piece or the long ties.

I stared at my situation for a bit trying to figure out what to do. I’m not daring enough to bare my midriff and turn this into separates. That wouldn’t work all that well with this dress anyway.

What I’m going to try to do is find plain fabric to match the navy blue pattern and see if the corset section and ties would look okay in a solid accent colour.

4. I’ve also noticed that my legs are shorter than even I estimated so I will need to trim about two inches off the top of my skirt to prevent the dress from hitting straight across the middle of my calves: a look that at 5’4 with a long torso and plenty of curves, I simply can’t pull off.  This is likely a blessing in disguise though as shortening the skirt from the waist will give me more fabric to gather and make the skirt even fuller.

On my way home from work today, I’ll try to find the fabric I need and see if I really can salvage this dress.

More to come.


Sewing for summer

May 26, 2010

Well since my SWAP (reviews will continue) was so winter focussed, this week’s massive heatwave has left me with the realization that I now have a shortage of summer work clothes so I need to step up my summer sewing. I was going to spend the week finishing up the dress I had hoped to wear to last weekend’s wedding, Butterick 5176, but I think that summer pants and shirts are likely more important right now as my job often involes hauling boxes of books to and fro so skirts and dresses aren’t always that practical.

So the next bits of sewing on my list are to make a pair of pants out of the green suiting fabric from my not so exciting sale and then to make

The Rachel Comey blouse from V1170.

Unfortunately family life is intruding at the moment so my sewing may slow for a bit. I hope not though. I don’t want to be going to work naked any time soon.

I will keep you posted as to my progress.