Tag Archives: Butterick 5846

The Paris muslin is finished

It turns out that the Crazy Paris Dress made as a wearable muslin for Butterick 5846 is not the worst dress ever made. I even plan to wear it in public.

I don't think this looks all that bad, but maybe I've been looking at it too long.

I don’t think this looks all that bad, but maybe I’ve been looking at it too long. And would you look at that? I forgot to button two of the buttons when I put it on my dressform. 

The back.

The belt was made with a vintage slide buckle and some waistband interfacing. It stays closed with a snap I sewed on.

Although a contrast collar is one of the views on the pattern, this white one was done out of necessity. I didn’t have enough fabric because I cut out all the bodice pieces first rather than follow the pattern cutting layout, so I used some poly-cotton batiste I had in the stash. I really like the white collar, which inspired the white buttons and belt. I think all the white tones down the “novelty print” fabric.

You can get a better look at the red topstitching below. This is the best convertible collar I have ever done. The pattern calls for a hook and eye at the top of the bodice just below the collar itself, but I don’t intend to wear it that way so I didn’t bother. I also didn’t bother to interface anything because the quilting fabric seemed substantial enough and because this is a wearable muslin.

An up-close look at the topstitching. I used regular thread, not topstitching thread.

A closeup look at the topstitching. I used regular thread, not topstitching thread, which is thicker.

Here it is on yours truly:

As promised to Melissa, here I am in the dress. Photo by Maddie.

As promised to Melissa, here I am in the dress. Photo by Maddie.

By making the whole dress, I found out a few things that will come in handy when I make it out of the lovely teal and navy lawn I’ve got waiting.

  • I added too much length and width during my pattern alteration. I can take out half of the 4 inches I added across the front and half of the inch I added to the overall length of the bodice.
  • When you add length to the bodice, you must add length to the front facing. I remembered that little rule one scissor cut too late. Oops. There may be a little seam in the facing near the hem. Shhh.
  • I can’t imagine ever using the pockets on this dress. They just don’t seem like a very secure place to put anything more than a handkerchief. Since the pockets just complicate finishing the side seams, out they go for the real dress.
  • The length is too short by at least 3 inches. I’ll cut out the longer version next time around and figure out the best length when it’s time to hem. Thank goodness they still had the fabric at JoAnn’s. I bought an additional 2 yards to be safe.

All in all, I really like this pattern. Since it’s a basic shirtdress, it has many possibilities for variation. I could even make it into a shirt by extending the bodice and the tucks.

Now that I’ve got the fitting really dialed, I’m excited to see how it looks in a nice soft cotton lawn as compared with a quilting cotton. I hope to be re-altering the pattern tomorrow.

WARNING: Butterick 5846 has a mistake. The collar is marked to be clipped at the wrong spot. It should be clipped where the front facing ends. It’s an easy enough fix. KimP explains the problem and the solution well on her blog, which I found when I encountered the error and Googled the pattern to see which of us was crazy, me or the Butterick 5846. Turns out it’s the pattern. This time.

 

Progress on the Paris muslin

The Paris wearable muslin has turned into quite a project unto itself. I was mainly concerned with the fit of the bodice because I had made some crazy alterations to the pattern I was not at all sure would work. But they seemed to do what I wanted them to do.

The front:

Here is the original muslin. You can see the gap at the front edges, which means the center fronts are even further apart. And I keep the waist set at smaller than my own waist, otherwise waistbands that fit me won't fit it.

The original muslin. See the gap at the front edges? The center fronts are even further apart.

The renovated front looks good! The only issue is the stiffness of the quilt-weight fabric.

The renovated front looks good! The only issue is the stiffness of the quilt-weight fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not even attempt to match the pattern across the front. That would have been crazy, particularly for an experiment.

The back:

The back fit me just fine.

The back fit me just fine except for being too short. My dress form can’t expand to my back length.

The back is unchanged except I made it an inch longer. My dress form doesn't expand enough for my back length, so it looks too long here.

The back is unchanged except I made it an inch longer. It looks too long here, but isn’t on me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The side:

The side view shows that it rides up in front because it needs more length.

The side view shows that it rides up in front because it needs more length.

Aha! The waist seam is horizontal. This is good. If you look closely enough to see the dart I put in, you'll note that it's pretty low. That's because my dress form has unnaturally high "girls." Really, she looks sort of deformed with them up that high.

Aha! The waist seam is horizontal, and the length is just where it needs to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once I was sure the changes to the bodice were working, I altered the front skirt pattern and went to cut out the rest of the pattern pieces. I had enough fabric according to the pattern requirements, but I hadn’t used the suggested pattern layout because I just cut out the bodice pieces at first. Turns out, the front facing wouldn’t fit. I could have cut it cross grain and pieced it, but this fabric is directional. One of the pattern views shows a contrasting collar and front facing, so some white sateen that was in my stash is currently in the dryer.

Here is my mood board for the wearable muslin:

Here's the mood board for my Paris muslin: the crazy fabric, plus buttons and a slide buckle, all from my stash. You can see why I decided on red thread. The buttons were sewn to the card with red thread, and I thought the look would be perfect on my crazy Paris muslin.

There’s the Paris fabric, plus buttons and a buckle, all from my stash. The only purchase I had to make for this muslin was red thread.

I think the white accents will really pop on the fabric and calm it all down. You can see why I decided on red thread. The buttons were sewn to the card with red thread, and I thought the look would be perfect. This is an awful lot of effort for a wearable muslin, but it looks like it’s working. It should be really nice once I make it in the pretty teal and navy lawn. If I don’t run out of inspiration before I get there!

Adventures in full-bust adjustments

Well, surprise, surprise. I wasn’t sure how to handle the full-bust adjustment on Butterick 5846. The front and back bodice pieces gather into yokes at the top and pleat into the waist, like so:

There's a lot happening on the front bodice of this pattern.

There’s a lot happening on the front bodice of this pattern, so I wasn’t sure how to handle a full-bust adjustment. You can’t tell from the drawing, but the front and back yokes are separate pieces, so there is a seam at the top of the shoulder.

With the structure of the pattern being what it is, I didn’t even hazard a guess about what to do and instead went straight to sewing a muslin of the bodice. The results were surprising.

First, the back and neckline fit fine. The side seams are right where they should be, and I could pin the center fronts together at the top. Then things became wonky. The center fronts spread wider and wider from neckline to waist until they were four inches apart at the bottom.

Wait, shouldn’t the gap only be at the bustline, not the front waist, too?

It seems that I don’t need just a full-bust adjustment; my front torso from bust to waist is a size bigger than my back torso! How weird is that? I needed four more inches across the front width but not at the neck or the shoulders. Well, with the gathers and stitched pleats, I just added 2 inches in width from the top to the bottom of the bodice piece, in the space between the pleats. I also added 2 inches in length above the pleats to lower the bust point, and took out that two inches at the side seam with a dart. I also added one inch of overall length to the front and back bodice pieces. The pattern pieces now look like this:

There is an awful lot of slashing and spreading going on here.

There is an awful lot of slashing and spreading going on here. Both of these pieces gather into top yoke pieces that fit fine.

Of course, now I’ll need to add four inches across the skirt front. But not the back. This is all pretty dicey pattern engineering, to say the least, so I am not cutting my nice teal and navy cotton lawn quite yet. I have 4 yards of a bright and gaudy Paris-themed quilt fabric in my stash (purchased for a work event, long story), so I’m going to sew it up in that and see if my adjustments work out.

I told you it was bright and gaudy.

My “wearable” muslin fabric. I told you it was bright and gaudy.

After all that, I am hoping it will be clear to me how to fine-tune any problems. It will also give me a chance to see how bad the gathered sleeves might look on me. I have some off-white buttons in my stash, but I want red thread for sewing them on and for the topstitching, not that it will stand out much on this print. I’ll be heading to Jo-Ann’s in the morning. I just pulled the fabric from the dryer, so I’ll cut it out tomorrow while the boys are in Oakland watching the Giants play the A’s. Maybe I’ll get a crazy but wearable Paris-themed dress out of this experiment. I don’t know what else I would have ever done with that fabric.

If cutting up the Paris fabric means the teal and navy lawn ends up as a well-fitting dress, the Paris fabric will not have died in vain.

Mood board: teal and navy shirtdress

Good, ol’ shirtdresses are making a comeback at the pattern companies, so one of them will be my next project.

IMG_5519

Next up is View B, the version with short sleeves and the shorter skirt. 

Butterick 5846 is rather new. Online and in the catalog, the photo of the actual sample garment is shown with vintage styling. Accessories can take it either way. I plan to do a matching belt with a vintage slide buckle.

Of course, the advantage of a dress pattern with a wide skirt is I don’t have to fit anything below the waist. The finished garment measurements on the pattern indicate there is plenty of ease at the bust, but I’ll still need to make changes: lower the bust point, add length to the front, subtract length at the side with a dart. I’m getting better at full bust adjustments, but I still intend to muslin the bodice.

The fabric is a cotton lawn from JoAnn’s. Isn’t it pretty? JoAnn’s seems to have a better selection of apparel fabric these days. I can’t go in for a notion without finding something I want to get a few yards of. Recent scores have included a coral patterned cotton lawn, a blue and pink madras plaid, and a couple of linen/cotton blends.

Consequently, my stash is growing nicely. I have enough to make five or six dresses and have already matched up each fabric with a pattern.

I had been planning to do a series of vintage separates, but I am loving the idea of dresses right now. They are versatile during Northern California’s spring, summer and fall, when we have warm to hot days with cooler nights. With a natural-fiber dress, you just need a cardigan to have all your bases covered.

I washed several lengths of fabric on Sunday and traced off my pattern in Swedish tracing paper. So this project is under way. Next up is the pattern alteration and the muslin.

 

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