Finished: Butterick 5490

Note the fabulous (autographed!) Liberace album, complete with tribute candlesticks, on the mantle in my studio.

Pattern: Butterick 5490, view A

Fabric: Silk/cotton/lycra twill print, available from Gorgeous Fabrics here

Notes: I have a complicated relationship with stretch wovens.  They are comfortable to wear, but at best they seem unpredictable to sew.  Sometimes I wind up with crinkley seams, or zippers that refuse to go in nicely.  As stretch wovens go, this was actually quite nice.  It sewed nicely, without stretching, and the zipper went in fine after stabilizing the fabric.  But – I had to take the dress in by 2 inches all the way down after I was finished.  Did the fabric stretch while sewing, in spite of obsessive amounts of stay stitching?  Perhaps.  I did make a muslin, which fit, but the stretch factor is so hard to predict.  I will say though – the fabric is beautiful.  It has lovely drape, and it’s wonderfully cool and light to wear without being at all sheer.

It’s also possible that this pattern was drafted for a C cup.  I’m wearing my most padded bra, but I still don’t quite fill out those pleats.  I think, in general, the straps/cups are a bit large for my frame, but I should have thought of that – I know that I have to watch the strap size on sleeveless dresses because my ribcage is so small that the proportions get off easily.

I’m very proud of my pattern matching!  You can see the waistband is still a bit big.  I would add stronger interfacing to this section next time.  The dress called for a half lining, but after a pinking shear disaster I had to turn it into a facing – I used an ivory cotton batiste, and lined to the waistband, but not the band itself.  It probably needed that extra reinforcement.

Matching nailpolish again… I love this color!

The pattern was easy, but it does have quite a lot of pleats.  It is not, therefore, the most slimming thing ever, particularly in the back.  I’m ok with that, but I think it’s something to be aware of and plan for.    I didn’t follow the instructions, to be honest, because I didn’t like their lining instructions, so I’m not sure how they were.  If you’ve made a dress before this one is really straightforward.

I’m wearing this out this weekend – Hitchcock festival at the Palace theater!  They do a summer movie series every year… there is nothing like watching old movies in an Art Deco theater!

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38 thoughts on “Finished: Butterick 5490

  1. Looks great, love the colors on you. Seeing all the pleats I agree with you that it may add bulk. I was planning to make this sometime. I think if I do I will change the back to have a V neck similar to the front, that would lighten it up a bit. And maybe just gather the fullness in the back instead of pleats.
    I wonder how it would make up in a lightweight silk? hmmm.

    and nice nail polish!

  2. Wheeeee! So, so pretty. I love that mink nail polish – I have something very similair (and enjoy painting my very short nails, too). You are so slender, your frame can accommodate any extra bulk – I might find it more problematic. I’ve never sewn with wovens.

  3. You look stunning – and everything matches up beautifully. The piping is perfect.

    I don’t think that the pleats add bulk – your fabric choice is perfect for them – they drape beautifully.

    I have never used piping before – is it difficult to work with?

  4. Gorgeous dress! Have fun wearing it for the rest of the summer. I know what you mean about stretch wovens being difficult to work with. I avoid them entirely.

  5. I really like the pleats on this. The color and print are beautiful and the fit looks superb. Glad you were able to adjust it when it came out too big. You will look gorgeous at the festival. Have fun!

  6. Oh this dress is so lovely. I think the pleats look great on you, especially the way they hang in the front! The picture of you outside is especially pretty.
    ps. Love the shoes too!

  7. That dress came out beautifully! I LOVE that print. Gorgeous! And I love the piping. I’m so into piping right now. I don’t think the straps look too big for you at all! The whole thing is beautiful. Love those pleats!

  8. I agree about sewing stretch fabrics! I’ve been battling a beautiful stretch wool/silk blend- the zipper sewed so wonky I almost screamed in frustration. Glad to hear this fabric sews nicely, though, as I’ve been eying it for a long tome (I’m a Gorgeous Fabrics addict) and the dress came out lovely!

  9. This is SO pretty! The fabric is great. As is the matching polish.

    BTW, you are the fastest sewer ever. I don’t know how you turn out so many great projects in so little time. No sleep?

  10. Hatty says:

    Yes, the dress is gorgeous as all your dresses are, but am i the only one noticing the Exorcist reference? I mean, is there something wrong with my screen resolution or is your head on backwards in the first picture?

  11. gorgeous! I’m a brand new sewist, and believe me… everything you mentioned about stabilizing stitches, and crinkly seams just makes me gape in wonder! I have no idea what those might look like, much less how to do them (or avoid them) myself!

    I shall bookmark your blog in an effort to absorb more sewing knowledge. :)

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