Pattern: Butterick 5181, View A
Pattern Description: Misses’ Dress with lined, close-fitting bodice and slightly flared skirt in above mid-knee length with Center back zipper.
Pattern Sizing: F5(16-18-20-22-24). I made a 16
Fabric Used: 100% cotton from Joann’s and M&L fabrics
Notions Used: 14″ Zipper, Hooks and Eyes
Pattern Alterations: Changed Bust darts to gathers along the bust line. Trimmed the square shaped skirt of the dress into a slight A-line. Made View A but deleted the contrast hem and added the length to compensate.
- Love the fabric used as the skirt part of the dress. This fabric found on a whim at Jenny’s Fabrics for $1.69 a yard was the inspiration for the entire dress. I really loved this photo from Nordstrom’s and adapted that to be my theme for the Black and White collection. I love the combination of the mundane with the shock of color. I did get compliments on the dress but probably because everyone was distracted by the skirt fabric and the shoes :O)
- The shoes!!! When I found them I knew this combination was meant to be. Finding size 12W shoes that are cute and comfortable are pretty rare, findind them in YELLOW unheard of, finding them when you are specifically looking for them is ASTRONOMICAL!!! I went to the Nordstrom’s Rack large shoe size event in search of yellow shoes and after 30 minutes of searching these lovelies were found. I LOVE them and I now will be a groupie at every Nordstrom’s Rack large shoe size event
- I really like the dip in the back of the dress. Probably even more than the front
- This dress does and does not look like the pattern illustration. In theory it does, in that it has the general shape of the illustration, but the fit and drape in the picture is a far cry from what you get. The fabric even calls for light broadcloth and mine is a pretty thin cotton.
- The bodice nearly touches your navel. Ok, it doesn’t go that far but “the girls” were feeling a little over exposed so a cami will always be worn under this dress. Good thing I actually like it that way. Even more so than the original.
- The pattern sizing. My bust is a 39 1/4″, C cup. I originally made the size 18, which is 40″ bust, B cup (this is an assumption on Big Four sizing). The size 18 was given two inches of ease in the bust making it a 42″ bust in the end. Holy Cow!! The 18 was like a tent. I guess I should have known that this needed a more fitted bodice, but I didn’t think 2″ of ease would make of break this dress. Suffice it to say it does and you should size this dress for your bust size minus the ease.
- I changed the bust darts into gathers instead. I just couldn’t get the dart from looking like I had an extra nipple or that pointy bra that Madonna wore. The gathers proved to be even more of a challenge to make the bodice look good…or at least okay.
- The skirt on this is a little too pregnant lady. The rectangular cut of fabric created a huge gathering of fabric at the band, which by the way was a pain to gather, and causes it to have a large petticoat nature instead of the slimmer fit illustrated in the pattern picture. I tried to add a bit of an “A” line but I guess I needed to take out more because it still is pretty big.
I hated making this dress. In fact, I had to pick the pattern out of the garbage to remember what the pattern number was before I chucked it back in with disdain. I liked what the illustration reflected but there have got to be a gazillion similar patterns on the market that produce better results without all the trouble.
- Gather the skirt in sections rather than across the whole shabang. It makes it easier to bunch up all the fabric
- Sew your gathers very close, if not on the 5/8″ line. It will keep your gathers from becoming pleats
- Stay stitch the curve of the front bodice pieces to prevent stretching. Due to the curving nature of the bodice it eventually get a bit of a bias going on the fabric. If this stretches you can get some gapping at the bust