Sunday, June 19, 2011

Butterick 5620

This is one of Butterick's new plus size dress patterns by Connie Crawford.  And the jury is definitely out on this one...


Stats:

Pattern Description:
This simplistic dress B design has front and back princess seams, a gentle flare, back zipper and finishes just below the knee. Button-front unlined jacket A with cap sleeves coordinates with this classic easy-to-wear dress. This classic pattern is fabulously feminine but has an office-appropriate look.

Fabric:
Linen jacquard border print from Fabric Mart

Notions:
20" invisible zipper
2.5 yards hem facing
3 yards white bemberg lining

First let me say that this is a wearable muslin...and I say "wearable" very loosely.  I don't know what I was thinking but I cut a size 4x in this pattern...why?  I guess I thought that if I made it bigger, it was easier to cut down than using a smaller size.  Well the joke was on me because I spent an entire day taking all of that extra fabric out of the pattern and I'm not that sure I was very successful in the end.

Barbara Emodi (Sewing on the Edge blog) wrote this article called "10 Sewing Rules to Never Break" for Stitches Vol. 19, No. 6.  Here is rule number 4:
"Remember that it is always easier to make a pattern larger than it is to make a pattern smaller"

Yeah well I should have remembered that before I started this project! *sigh*

So construction:
1.  The fabric I chose was thin and see through.  So I decided to underline the entire garment in white bemberg lining.  This was my second choice, my first would have been cotton batiste but it seems that I only have pieces of that left in my lining stash, not enough to use for an entire dress.

2.  So every piece had to be cut out twice, basted together and then serged finished before I could begin construction.  But let's not forget that since I chose to use a border print to make this, I had to lay it out so that the border print would work all the way around the dress.

3.  This dress is easy to construct and instead of nasty facings, the pattern actually instructs you to use bias binding for the neckline and armholes.  There are also very detailed instructions on how to fit the dress for a larger abdomen and how to raise or lower the armhole openings depending on how large your arm is.  I would give the instruction very high marks for helping a plus size sewist work with her particular fitting challenges.

4.  Like I said before, construction is easy and all the pattern pieces fit together well.  You just need to start with the CORRECT size to get a good fit.

So another shot of how I will wear the dress to work:

a good cardigan always
covers a multitude of sins!

I will make this again...I have to...at least to prove to myself that I can make it work!  I think I've narrowly escaped making this a wadder by using every trick in the book I know...and the fit is still a little wonky. The fabric is totally saving this dress.  At one point I almost pulled it apart and laid my TNT dress pattern over it and recut it.  But I learned a very valuable lesson...ALWAYS cut the right size! *LOL*

...as always, more later!

p.s.  I had lunch with some friends today and they thought the dress looked pretty good...I'm not sold yet...but look for the next version tomorrow...I just don't know when to say when!

73 comments:

  1. i think the dress looks good in the pictures. the fabric is really cute. the flared skirt is very flattering.

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  2. The picture must be deceiving because even the picture without the cardigan looks amazing. The fabric is gorgeous. I'm glad your going to give this pattern another run.

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  3. Like Susan said, it looks amazing in the pictures. Love the fabric. You sure do have an awesome collection of cardigans. I am a big fan of them also.

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  4. Love the fabric ~ love this with the cardi ~ It does look a bit too big through the middle and shoulders without the cardi though, but I think you saved it, and it is totally wearable. See how you feel in it. It looks like a happy and light dress and brings balance to your other more serious outfits.

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  5. I love the fabric on this dress and I think the design is very feminine on you. Definately try again in a smaller size.

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  6. Love the fabric!! The cardi does wonders for it, as it looks a bit big in areas in the first picture. I think the next time around you will definitely have it down.

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  7. Well, before I read the text, I was UBER LOVING this dress, all over the place. So I was pretty surprised to read that you are unsure about it. What a GREAT choice for this fabric. It really makes the dress and I didn't notice any fitting issues.

    I have this same fabric. Have no idea how to use mine because, you know, I am not a dress girl. ;)

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  8. OK, I want that fabric! I love the dress and I hope you'll give it a chance. The fabric is so pretty.

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  9. My immediate thought was wow, another great dress. The style and fabric really suit you and it looks good with and without the cardigan in the photos :)

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  10. The only caveat I've learnt is that the fit needs to be right at the neckline and shoulders. Then you can alter it to suit your frame. However, you've made this wearable toile a really wearable dress.

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  11. fabric, pattern, and you beautiful

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  12. I think the dress looks good and very flattering. It works very well with the border print too.

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  13. You may have struggled with the fit, but you certainly can't tell from the pictures! The border print fabric is very pretty.

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  14. This dress is very very beautiful!!!!!! Cecilia from Hungary

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  15. I think this is one of the most flattering dresses you've made! Only after I read your post and went back did I see a little extra ease in the top! Great style!

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  16. I think this is my favorite dress of yours. I love the style on you. Great fabric choice.

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  17. I like your items and am a follower now. Check out my sewn garments.

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  18. I love this dress. The style/fabric/colours look great on you. Granted it's different to your usual look, but that's okay. What's that they say about being our own worse critic?

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  19. I bought a Connie Crawford pattern many months ago. It seems like Connie Crawford does most (if not all) of Butterick's Plus Size patterns now. I've always been a little wary about her sizing - seemed a little big to me. I'm glad I got to see one of her dress made up - at least in a photo. Your dress does look a little roomy on top. LOVE the fabric!

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  20. I think the dress looks lovely! in the picture anyway. I bet it is cool and comfortable to wear. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it second time around. I SO look forward to each an every one of your posts. I can only imagine how much time and effort goes into keeping up with your blog and hope you have an inkling of how much it is appreciated.

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  21. I like it, but as you say it is a bit large. The fabric is lovely. I am going to give this pattern a try.

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  22. Love the Connie Crawford patterns as she uses real women for her test models. We had a 3 day seminar in our area a year ago and she can fit anyone. She knows that just because you may be plus size your neck and shoulders don't expand when the bust and tummy do. I use her pants patterns for all my clients from size 10-30 and they hang so well. It is like she knows your body better than you do. The key to any pattern is measuring the paper dimensions,comparing those to yours, making sure there is enough ease. Some women cannot believe that they need 4 inches of ease at the bust but that is only being able to "pinch an inch" under each arm.
    Carolyn you look amazing and so fresh and cool in this dress!
    Next time things will go so much better!

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  23. Girlfriend the dress is beautiful, the fabric is so pretty and yes Connie Crawford sizing for her patterns runs big and they have a lot of ease. I took a class with her and she advocated using the breast measurements to choose the pattern size. I love the dress is beautifulllllllllllllllllll.

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  24. I think you did a good save cos it looks fine from here. Nice fabric!

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  25. Well, in the photos it looks great! Love that fabric...you used it well!

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  26. The fabric is wonderful. And it DOES look a bit big, but around here when the temps are hovering around 100F with high humidity LOOSE looks much, much better (and more comfortable) than TIGHT. So to me it looks breezy and perfect for a hot day.

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  27. I agree with the others. It looks great in the photos and that flared skirt is extremely flattering.

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  28. Although the fit may not be quite as you would like, this dress is all about the fabric - and that makes it a winner because that fabric is stunningly beautiful!

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  29. I really like this, Caroline. The darker border at the knees and the lovely white up near your face is very flattering. I say its a keeper!

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  30. I think you might be being overly hard on yourself and this dress.

    It's beautiful. The fabric is amazing and the style is lovely on you.

    Definitely a keeper I'd say. And one to make again.

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  31. I think it looks great on you and it looks so fresh and summery!

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  32. I think you made a good save, this is a cute dress on you with your adorable fabric choices. The flared hem looks fabulous on you too! I want to go fabric shopping with you sometime....you find the neatest stuff :-)

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  33. You look awesome! I love that fabric.

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  34. The dress looks great on you and the print was the perfect match for that pattern.

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  35. This fabric carries the day. I've never been comfortable using border prints because of my protruding stomach and large bust; I don't have a dress form, and my hems are usually longer in the front. Any hints? TIA Judi

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  36. First off, I love the fabric! It looks gorgeous on you. I haven't tried the CC patterns, but I've found recently that the shoulder/upper chest area in most of the Vogue/McCall/Butterick patterns runs really, really big. I've had to go down two sizes (and there aint no way I'm a size 10) in that area and work from there. I wonder if they changed their sloper?

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  37. My first thought when I saw the picture was "why is it so big?" I love the fabric but hate the fit. What ever were you thinking. A 4X! Are you crazy? I will say that the fabric is fantastic but you needn't make that large a size again. I'd cover it up with the cardigan too. That way nobody can see how big it actually is.

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  38. It does look a bit big in the high bust. Oh well, it's a nice wearble muslin!

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  39. I think the flared skirt, the way it shows a waistline and then flares gently from there is extremely flattering on you. The skirt is not too full. And the fun light border print is perfection. I hope you are able to fit this to your satisfaction and make other renditions you will love.

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  40. I really like that dress, thought it looked very cute without the cardigan over the top. That was a really good save as that fabric is too pretty to waste.

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  41. LOVE,LOVE,LOVE it...and extremely flattering on you.(Funny how we see ourselves) Looks comfortable also! I am going to buy the pattern today. I agree, the fit in the bust and shoulders might be a bit big but that can be fixed on the "next" one!...and yea for cardi's, a must in my closet. I am always cold!

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  42. You have such a great stash with so many border prints, you must buy every one you find. Your beautiful designs with them has me looking for them but I can't find any.
    This is the first time I've heard (from you and comments) anything good about CC patterns.
    I don't understand your comment about facings being nasty. Facings give structure and support for the rest of the dress to fall from. Turning in the seam allowance and topstitching or finishing with bias is something I would only do on the lightest of fabrics.
    I too always think I am bigger than I am and cut insurance into the pattern and end up having to fit it out; makes for slow going.

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  43. I love it! I can't see the fit issues, and the fabric is really fun.

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  44. I'm in the "like it" camp, and love that fabric also.

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  45. Gorgeous dress and I love the shaping on you. I always think the dresses you make with a bit of shape really make the most of your hourglass figure. Try this one again I think so you are happier with the fit, but I liked this. Thanks for the reference to the article, mainly a collection of things I learned the hard way.

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  46. My first thought was pretty dress but isn't it a bit too big? I like the fabric and the lines of this dress on you, but you don't usually wear this much ease. It's still a very pretty dress.

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  47. It looks beautiful. The fabric is fabulous and you look happy wearing it. Maybe it needs a week in the 'magic closet'. g

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  48. I think it looks super cute.

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  49. I like the dress and the print. Just right for summer.

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  50. In her patterns you are probably a 1X. You pick hers by full bust. No wonder it was so huge on you. Love the fabric. It's cute. You saved it.

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  51. Carolyn, as far as I can see you look super adorable in that dress. I love it on you! And the fabric perfect! What a fun summer dress!

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  52. I really like it. It's a younger style than your TNT dress - and I mean that in a good way, not a mutton-dressed-as-lamb way! Sort the fitting issues and you've got yourself another TNT, I'd say.

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  53. Lovely dress! The fabric is amazing:)

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  54. I have been reading your blog for some time and now I had to comment to say that I love that dress. You look amazing in it, I hope you make another dress from the same pattern.

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  55. The colors of the dress and cardigan look great on you. You wear dress and cardigan combinations so well. Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  56. C - I love the fabric and agree that the fit could be better and I am sure you will make the next version even better.

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  57. This is the beautiful and I truly love it and I am going to try to make the same. I need a summer maxi dress this pattern will be great!

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  58. I don't know if it's the fabric or not, but you look fresh and cool and perfect for summer. The print is awesome. You know I like dots :) I also like the swingy style with the flared skirt.

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  59. Well, I like the dress a lot. The colors are great for you. Don't see you wear this turquoise/blue very often. The dress is probably a little looser than you are used to, but is is a swingy A-line and I believe that style needs to be a little less fitted.

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  60. I think in the pictures the dress looks great on you! That print is great!

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  61. The dress looks amazing to me! It's so flattering on you! And thank you for your comment on my dress on PR...I almost choked on my juice, when I realized you commented and like my garment lol!

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  62. The cut and style of the dress is very flattering on you (as others have said), and the fabric is adorable, seriously. But yeah, I think it looks just a bit too big. I'm excited to see you remake this dress, because despite the size, it still looks good on you, and with a proper fit, it'll look fantastic! :)

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  63. I really like this dress. While you may have cut the wrong size it seems that you have cut it down to a nice fit. I love the summery print too! I think this dress is a success!

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  64. I like this dress on you, it seems you really made it work out! I love the fabric.

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  65. I really like the dress on you and the fabric. It looks very nice.

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  66. The dress looks great! It says "summer chic". How long did it take you to get the courage to sew with a border print?

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  67. OK, I know everyone's said it, but I HAVE to say it as well: it's GORGEOUS!!! I LOVE the fabric, it's so fun and chic at the same time. The flared skirt is super flattering. You look great in it!
    The cardi works nicely, and how would a brown cardi look?

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  68. Some night, when you are fast asleep, Carolyn, I'm going to sneak in and pick a few fabrics from your stash. You have such a knack for picking winners. The fabric in this dress is a real winner.Too bad you're not pleased with the fit, but then one is always one's own worst critic. Wear the dress with a smile and you'll still get tons of compliments.

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  69. LOVE the fabric. Awesome dress. A keeper in my opinion.

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  70. Carolyn,
    I have that fabric in my stash and I wish I'd bought more. Thanks for the review of the pattern. I bought it a while a go and I will definitely make a muslin first!

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  71. What a classic little dress! I think it looks flattering on you, and I love it with the cardi. Good choice with the border print!

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  72. I love this dress....both with the cardigan and without...you look beautiful!

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