Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An Early Spring Version of Butterick 5147

So the last couple of posts have been about what's inspiring me. I'm sure you've been wondering when you'll see something I've actually sewn. Well I've been working on this dress for quite awhile (since March 24th)...a lot longer than it normally takes me to make a tried 'n true (TNT) dress. 

Instead of being annoyed about the amount of time it's taken, I've quite enjoyed the journey.  Probably because I've added so many "details" to a simple silhouette. As I mentioned before this will be my sixth version of the dress and this time around I added even more details...

There is piping added to the neckline and armholes.  
Piping that I made myself.

A lining with a lace hem

Piping at the dresses' hemline one point during the process I considered adding a placket to the neckline front like this Talbot's dress...

...but after pulling the piping off the neckline and letting the dress sit for a minute, I decided that my original idea for this dress worked just fine and I should go with that.  However, I did decide to add piping to the hemline.

Piping at the hemline ~
Since the piping is an integral part of the dress, I decided to extend it to the hemline.  Here in pictures is how I did that...

First I measured up an inch and a half at the hemline, pressed it flat and then cut it off the hemline.

Then I serged the cut edge because 
this fabric ravels like the dickens!

I added rayon seam binding 
to the bottom edge of the band.

Pressed the band flat and folded 
the seam binding over then pressed flat

Serged the cut edge of the dress and pressed flat

Handstitched the remaining piping 
to the hem of the dress.

Pinned the band to the piped 
hem and stitched down

Topstitched 1/4" from the piped edge 
on the front of the dress

Inside edge showing hem tape which 
was hand stitched to the dress

Finished hem edge pressed flat

Other thoughts on the dress ~
  • The interesting thing about this dress is that it fits a little tighter than it's predecessors.  I know that I added a few inches to the brown & orange tweed version, however, all of the other renditions have been made straight from the TNT pattern.  I'm thinking it's the fabric I chose for this one.  
  • Other than that my only concern about this one, is that I will need to be careful with this fabric. While a woven fabric without an apparent loose weave, there is still a delicateness to the fibers, which raveled like crazy during the construction process. After handling it for the last month, I'm concerned that too much rubbing on the fabric will cause piling. I will keep this in mind when wearing the dress. I will also have to make sure that there isn't too much stress on the seams due to the fabric's tendency to ravel.
  • This is a spring/early fall dress because of the weight of the fabric and lining. Once the temps start to rise, I will need to put this one in the back of the closet. I will get at least one wearing out of it before summer comes roaring in and that's fine. It will be nice to look forward to wearing this in the fall.

Some stats ~
Pattern ~ 
Butterick 5147 - now discontinued and out of stock on Butterick's website.

Fabric ~
A linen brocade purchased from Emmaonesock

Notions ~
Piping made by me
22" invisible zipper
brown rayon bemberg lining
linen bias binding
1" brown lace

Some more photos of the dress ~

Finally ~
I will probably make more renditions of this pattern in the future because it works so well for my day job. Presently though, there are no new ideas for it on the horizon. But, if you have this dress pattern in your collection, I highly recommend that you take it out and use it, it makes a great dress. always more later!


  1. I bought this pattern when you first showed this dress. I love this shape on you. I love the way you style your clothes. You always look fabulous. g

  2. Beautiful dress. Thank you for the tutorial on how you inserted piping into the hem.

  3. This pattern has worked so well for you, and your latest version is gorgeous! I love these soft autumnal shades, my favourites, and I think you made the right decision to have no placket, with just piping to accentuate the edges. Really lets the print do the talking. :)

  4. Beautiful dress, as always.

    I've never used hem lace, and I do like the polished look you can get. Is there anything special about hem lace, or can I just use any lace? don't think I can get hold of hem lace here in the Swedish outback...

  5. Thank you for stepping through the piping on the hem! It is a beautiful fabric and a lovely dress.

  6. Another great dress. Love the details. The fabric is gorgeous.

  7. Pretty fabric and great details, I really appreciate the close up shots of how you did the piped hem too, I'm thinking my next project might have some piping on it.

  8. Very pretty, Carolyn, all your details add the wow factor to your dress.

  9. Gorgeous! The piping details really make it look expensive.

  10. I hear ya - I've been working on this trench for what feels like forever, and I feel like I'm almost slacking! But I'm really enjoying the process, even if it means it takes 3x as long :) Your dress is beautiful and absolutely worth the extra effort. The piping is such a nice touch! Also, I love it with that cardigan. I think you'll really enjoy wearing it this fall; the colors are perfect :)

  11. Nice work-very professional.

  12. What a beautiful dress. The fabric is gorgeous as are the touches you added.

  13. It is a beautiful dress. I love the piping. BTW, I love your smile. Your smile makes me smile; it really does.

    Take care.


  14. I love the rose and brown color combo of this dress. Very flattering colors on you.

  15. Beautiful job on the dress. Thanks for the tute on the piping.

  16. This is a lovely rendition of your tried and true dress. The extra details make it really special.

  17. OK, Carolyn -

    There was a time when I used lots and lots of piping on my sewing projects. Then, for some reason, I moved away from piping and either embellished differently or not at all. I did use it to embellish the neckline of a blouse I made for Christmas Eve, but that was the first time in about 5 or 6 years that I've even considered using piping.

    Now that I've seen what you have done with these two TNT dresses, I am once again inspired to go back to using piping more often. [BTW -- I love that description of your favorite dress pattern]


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