The “Garden Tour” Dress
Fabric: Good Life Collection Organic Bird Floral Spring from Fabric.com, $26; Slipper Satin Pink from Fabric.com. $2.50
Pattern: Butterick 5206, $1.99
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: January 2012
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: ~$30
As soon as I saw that the fabric was available, I snatched up three yards. The original pattern I listed in the “Make This Look” was Butterick 5030. While I think that this pattern would be a good approximation of the original inspiration (with some sleeve modifications), I decided to work with a pattern that was already in my stash: Butterick 5206.
Since “Make This Look” is all about giving folks information on how to, well, make a look, I’m going to go into more construction detail than I usually do for this creation.
So first things first. Having sewn so religiously for the past two years, I’ve abandoned reading all instructions included with the patterns. Unless the instructions are very detailed and clear (like Colette Patterns), I find that I get more confused with them than without them. Any sort of tips I give here, may be completely contrary to the pattern instructions. Just keep that in mind.
The fabric. The pattern called for moderate stretched knits. Well, this fabric isn’t a stretched knit, but it had a slightly decent stretch. I took my chance making it up with the fabric despite it failing the pick-a-knit stretch test provided on the pattern envelope. Instead of picking a knit, I cut the pattern one size bigger to be on the safe side. This worked out perfectly. While a jersey or stretch knit would give this dress a nice hang, for the dress I wanted to make, the cotton was sufficient.
The bodice. I didn’t make the bias contrast that the pattern called for since I didn’t plan on having any contrast fabric on the belt, bottom of the skirt and neckline. Instead I cut one bias strip and that was sufficient. I also stitched the left and right sides together down the cross-over portion. I don’t know about you, but when I wear wrap dresses and tops, one of my breasts always seems to be making a break for it. The stitching made the top quite secure.
The sleeves. To be more of a cap sleeve, I doubled the hem of the sleeves. In theory, I should have just cut them shorter. I didn’t but would do that next time. Without this modification, the sleeves are significantly longer than the modcloth dress.
The sash. My sash is detachable. I simply have the bodice and skirt sewn together and use the sash as a belt. This way I can skip the sash when wanting a little more casual look. Plus, it saved me work. That said, the sash took more time to make than the dress! As my original instructions in the “Make This Look,” I used the wrong side of the fabric as the right side. I just didn’t want a satiny shine. The matte fabric, I think looks so much better. To make the sash, I used 1/2 yard of the satin. I cut three pieces, two the same width and the other twice as wide. The twice as wide piece was then sewn together, turned inside-out and pleated. I took the other two pieces and joined them to the sash on either side. Okay, I don’t write pattern instructions for a reason. Here’s an illustration that may explain it better:
In the photos, the sash is a bit wonky-looking. It just needed to be adjusted.
The zipper. Oh snap, there ain’t no zipper!
The skirt. No modifications were made, but I am wearing a petticoat underneath.