Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Done ~ that's the Butterick 5147 Dress

Yes, my version is done.  However, my photographers have flown the coop so you will have to wait to see pics of me wearing it.

After trying it on, I can see making a few more of these, I will just need to tweak it a little bit more to get the fit I like.

Okay some stats:

100% cotton jacquard from Fabric Mart

22" invisible zipper
5 yards of off-white bias binding
2.5 yards of white cotton batiste

First I cheated.  Instead of figuring out all of the alterations that I would need, I laid my TNT dress pattern down first, then the B5147 pattern piece for View D (the dress with the flared a-line skirt) and to complete the sandwich a piece of tracing paper.  I proceeded to trace a new pattern piece using the difference between the TNT and the 5147 piece to get pieces that would work for me.  Okay, I didn't want to reinvent the wheel!  

Basically this worked for me.  As I said in the beginning there are a few minor alterations that I need to make to the pattern, like the front neck is a little wide.  It sits okay but I can see myself fidgeting with it all day.  Not a good look.  So I will take two small tucks in the front pattern piece to make it hug my chest better.

The second issue is the armholes.  They are too big.  And this is totally my fault.  I should have followed my TNT pattern more closely in this area and I didn't.  So I will be raising the armholes a half inch on the pattern.  Finally, the dress is close fitting.  Not in a bad way but I think I'm going to add a 1/4" to the side seams in the waist area to give myself another inch...which should make me more comfortable.

Yeah, they fit like that on me too!
Here is where I should also state that I omitted the fisheye darts in the front and back pattern pieces.  I'm sure some plus size women can probably do darts in their abdomen area.  I'm NOT one of them! *LOL*

Finally, because my fabric is a little sheer in the flower areas, and I didn't have any white bemberg rayon lining, (How did that happen?  Time to restock the lining stock!) I used a white cotton batiste to underline the dress. 

I chose to underline instead of line because I hate the way that cotton batiste linings creep on my spanx.  I don't know if this happens to anyone else but I find that the silky linings wear better.  Truthfully, I'm not sure that I won't experience creep when I wear this dress all day but it needed to be lined and all of the tan and nude linings I had in stock didn't look as good as the white did.  So I chose look over function...and I will be on the lookout for creeping.

Also because I underlined the dress, I had to use bias binding to finish the neckline and armholes.  I could have made facings like Jackie did, but in the end I decided to just use the bias binding treatments because it's worked for me before.

The hem was shortened by 2.5" on the pattern pieces.  I really wanted a knee-length or slightly below knee-length dress.  The longer length of the dress shown on the pattern envelope was doing nothing for I shortened the pattern pieces.  After trying the dress on, I can say that I'm glad that I did!

I do have one thing that I must show you: 

Isn't it amazing how the pattern matches!  I can't believe how quickly my invisible zipper insertion skills have progressed...because I'm in awe of the pattern match...and believe me I wasn't that careful! *LOL*  Even my daughter was impressed.

Lastly, this is a great pattern for wardrobe building.  If you are looking for a great dress pattern to build a work wardrobe on, this one more than fits the bill.  As I worked with the pattern, I could imagine several variations to the pattern, as well as, how some distinctive fabrics could make the dress look completely different from the original version.

I do want to make the jacket, skirt and top that are included in this pattern.  All of these pieces will add functionality to my work wardrobe as well as a little color and make a fashion statement.  I'm seriously thinking about making these pieces part of my Sewcation...though we shall see because I'm starting to develop quite a list.

Next weekend, I will make the black linen dress that I put on hold because I can always use a black dress for work.  As soon as I can I will post photos of me wearing the B5147 dress... always, more later!


  1. I've made this particular view 2 times now. I moved in the neckline/shoulders a bit the second time. What if you did a series of three to five small tucks at the front neckline of this one and called it a design feature/decision? Would that address the problem sufficently?

    Whatever you do, I agree. This is a good basic pattern to keep in rotation. Beautiful fabric too.

    I think I need to go "shop the basement" and make another one for me!

  2. What a great dress. I can't wait to see you wear it. I need to add that pattern. g

  3. Impressive pattern matching on the back seam.

  4. I love the fabric and can't wait to see you wearing it! Thanks for commenting on my blog and I'll have to check out the Flickr photos and perhaps add mine. I think I'd read about the sew-along for B5147 but thought it was too late to join in.

  5. That dress is so pretty! I love the fabric/pattern, and I bet the color looks great on you.

  6. Great dress - the fabric sure is pretty. Oh, and that invisible zipper is top notch!!

  7. Oh that is just so lovely! And the invisible zipper with the fabulous pattern matching is perfection.

  8. Caroline, you have totally inspired me to sew a sheath dress and get a TNT. So I bought Simp 2552, the pattern looks great, it has a sweater-type jacket with a very nice neckline. I made up the top in some linen,just as is, to check fit, and started making alterations. Plenty of them, but I now have a pattern and cut out a black linen dress, which I will underline with rayon lining. Can't wait to sew this up, and fiddle with it further to get my TNT.
    Thank you for your journey which has helped me tremendously in getting to this place.

  9. Your dress is beautiful. I also missed the deadline, but have an extra day off after Labor Day, so plan to finish mine then.


  10. I also find that if i don't try too fabrics line up. It's when I care too much that things don't look right. LOL This is really cute!

  11. I love your fabric. I made a muslin of my dress and made a couple tweaks. Hopefully I can complete my dress by this weekend (time permitting) so I can add to the sew along blog.

  12. Absolutely LOVE your fabric choice! Beautiful as always!

  13. Beautiful dress. For the neckline, a length of skinny elastic inside the bias would draw it in; same for the AH. Also, if it decides to creep, a nice half slip of the bemberg would solve that!

  14. You say cheating, I say genius! I love the fabric, too.

  15. That's totally not cheating... hehe.. that's just being efficient! Why would you do double the work? :) Great dress... that fabric is just gorgeous!

  16. So pretty! The color and print are perfect. I love jacquards! I can't wait to see it on you, I know it will be oh so pretty (smile).

  17. That's a pretty dress. I wonder if you'll making the coordinating jacket?

  18. Really pretty dress. You and Jackie were on the same wavelength as she just made this dress also. Your fabric is lovely!

  19. The floral print is so pretty and looking forward to your finale' pic.

  20. That is such a pretty print, and a great summer dress.

  21. Very pretty for summer! The back seam/zip is very impressive with the pattern match. What's the wrinkle factor of cotton jacquard?

  22. Lovely fabric and sure the dress will be great on you.
    It was a pity you couldn't join us last week, but "such is work".

  23. Gorgeous print and love the style!

  24. The fabric is beautiful. I like the dress very much on you.


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