In Progress: Butterick 5348 (Drat)

Hey Everyone,

This morning I hemmed the ruffle and stitched in the gathering stitches on both the ruffle and the skirt. I then attached the skirt and HORRORS! It's no longer cute! It looks like a muu muu!

Check it out:

Hem ruffle has not yet been attached and the sleeves aren't hemmed either.

It looks a tad better in the breeze...

You can tell by my facial expression that I am less than thrilled. So, what can I do from here?

Here's what I have come up with, please feel free to add your own ideas:

  1. Cut the skirt to give it a center back seam and open up all of the center back seams on the bodice. Take the dress in a bit at the band and insert a zipper at the center back.
  2. Cut the skirt to give it a center back seam and open up all of the center back seams on the bodice. Remove the band from both the skirt and the bodice. Make the band smaller. Gather the bodice onto the smaller band. Reattach the skirt and insert a zipper at the center back.
  3. Take out the stitching on one side seam. Snug up the band and the skirt on the side seams and the back and figure out how to insert a zipper in a side seam.
  4. Buy very wide elastic and make a casing inside the band.

I am leaning toward starting with the last option. It's the least intrusive. And the neckline is just so lovely right now. Thinking about taking it apart and sticking a zipper in it makes my stomach hurt.

I retrospect, it would have been nice to use the solid color fabric for the skirt. But the only matching fabric I found was linen. And I would look a wrinkled mess in a matter of moments in a full linen skirt. (Not to mention that it would probably need to be cut on the bias in order to drape well - oh the yardage!)

What do you think? Do you have any other ideas? Sorry to hit everyone with two consecutive requests for help, but there it is.


Karin said…
I am not a very experienced sewer, but I agree that your last option sounds like a good one. You have a good fit in the neck and shoulders and it would be a shame to possibly mess that up. The dress will be gorgeous once it nips in a bit more at the waist.
mica999 said…
Oh what a drag. It looked like it was going to be much more streamlined. I like the neckline, too, and the shoulders fit well. Sometimes I have seen an underarm zipper on a sheath dress, from about the bra line to the hip. I like the contrasting solid, and I think the print fabric is great; there's just too much of it! I'm trying to remember where I saw an article about gorgeous fitted sheath dresses like my stylish aunt wore in the 60's. I'll try to find it.
Kat said…
I completely understand!

Here's what I think. I'm not a big woman, and actually rather on the smallish side. I have to be VERY careful with tops like. That band always tends to add weight on me. (I've seen this happen on other thin bloggers too.)

I've made a few shirts in this style such as this one: and this one: . I think it helps to reveal arms and cleavage, make the band narrower, and make sure you show enough leg. Emphasize the skinny parts so it doesn't add 20 lbs. to the figure.

You mentioned a casing. I wrote about how much I loved doing on casing on this dress: . It does help prevent the mumu look. And by keeping the dress long (yeah, it helped that it was a maxi dress), it made me look so long and lean. I made this dress up in a mini too. Again, it's key to show enough leg that you emphasize all things thin.

This IS a tough style to get right. I'd shorten it though, and either tighten up the side seams if you can or consider elastic. The band needs to hug the body as much as possible. A thick, solid color band, however, sometimes makes the visual problem even worse. I'm looking foward to seeing your fix on this.
Every time the pullover dress seduces me I remember why I don't make them. No harm in trying the casing elastic option first. Or even just taking the Gap Girls' advice to "cinch it" with a belt (I wear a lot of belts). But I suspect you'll be happier if you take in the side seams and add an invisible zip to one of them. No need to do a back zip if the neckhole is large enough to get over your head.
Anonymous said…
What about making the skirt an un-gathered A-line skirt. I tend to think they look flattering on everyone!

- robin
Elle Kaye said…
It appears from the photos that the "roundness" of the dress is obscuring your own figure. The scoop neck, raglan sleeves, and bodice gathers are making that muu-muu effect. The biggest problem is that the waist looks unshaped. Since the sleeves are unhemmed, they also look too long here in proportion to you and the bodice. They should be hemmed to at least as high as your bust point.

The solid bands look to me like the right size in proportion to the rest of the fabric. Your fabrics are a great match and very pretty. Since you like the neckline fit, and the pattern does have a short back neck zipper (not clear if you put that in?) I wouldn't mess with the upper bodice.

Yes, try your option 4 first. If that doesn't fix it, then try option 3. The waistband needs to fit closer to your body to shape the silhouette, but not too snug.

If you do option 3, tapering in the side seams from bra-band level to bottom of waistband should fix it. If there is too much fabric at bottom of bodice, either cut it away or add small darts, not gathers. You want to keep above the waist smooth. Left side zipper should go from top edge of bra band to at least 2" below waistline.

One other thing that may sound surprising. Notice in the pattern envelope sketch how the shoulder line appears more square than yours? The shoulders need a little shaping stay to raise the line and counteract the "raglan droop". I forget what the technical name is, a dressmaking book should tell you -- it's a little ruffle about 1.5" deep, made of something stiff like tulle or taffeta, sewn to the inside of the shoulder like a tiny shoulder pad. In this dress you could stitch it to the seam where the blue neckband meets the print shoulder.

Good luck! HTH

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