Sunday, November 20, 2011

Butterick 5457, View E

Butterick 5457, View E
Pattern Description:
Pattern Description: Fully-lined special occasion dresses with pleated bodice and midriff and skirt variations. All views have a fitted bodice with boning and back zipper closure, View B has a contrast midriff and View C has a contrast bodice. The gathered skirt falls about 2" above mid-knee, View D has a contrast underdress and View E has a “bubble” hem.
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Due to the design changes the finished project was not an exact replica of the illustration on the pattern envelope but, it does closely resemble the illustration.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t notice any “glitches” in the instructions.  They were straight-forward and easy to follow however, I didn’t follow the pattern instructions verbatim--I rarely do. For the zipper I used an invisible zipper not the centered/topstitched standard zipper called for in the pattern instructions and I completely assembled and attached the lining as the final step before the finishing touches (in the instructions the lining is assembled and attached in a “piecemeal” fashion). After attaching the lining there was a tiny bit of hand sewing needed to complete the dress.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: I liked the design silhouette and the skirt variations.
Dislikes: The pattern seems to run large and the sweetheart neckline on the pattern piece is not as well-defined as the pattern illustration.
Fabric Used:
The fabrics used were: “dull” satin, organdy, and lining (all 100% polyester) purchased at Hancock Fabrics. The organdy was used as an overlay for the spaghetti straps, midriff and “bubble” skirt. All of the fabrics are from the “bff” collection by Lauren Hancock and the satin was an absolute dream to sew with, it’s very soft and not too slippery. The organdy left lots of “whiskers” everywhere.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Alterations: I removed a total of 4” from the bodice at the side seams and shortened the skirt length by 1-1/2”.
Design changes: DD did not like the pleated bodice on the muslin and she wanted the sweetheart neckline and midriff piece re-shaped. I folded the pleats and taped them close and re-shaped the neckline to draft a new pattern tissue for the bodice. Also, I removed ½” from the lower edge of the bodice piece at center front (the piece is cut on the fold) and gradually blended back into the original design line using a French curve. I drafted a new pattern tissue for the midriff by raising the upper edge design line ½” at center front (the piece is cut on the fold) and blending back into the original design line on this piece as well. DD wanted spaghetti straps added with a decorative knot detail that she saw in the April/May, 2011 issue of Vogue sewing magazine.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would sew it again and I do recommend it to others with the following warning: check the fit of the bodice before permanently closing the seams because the pattern runs large.
Conclusion:  The dress is gorgeous and I liked working with special occasion fabrics for the first time in a long time.  I really loved the finished project and DD was very pleased.


  1. Hi Belinda. Stopping by from your ASG Chapter. Welcome to blogdom -- you are off to a terrific start! Your beautiful dress is slightly upstaged by your even-more-beautiful daughter! What a fine bit of work. I will look forward to seeing what you are up to in the weeks, months and years to come. Congrats!

  2. Your daughter is so cute! I love the dress and she looks very pleased with it. I can't wait to see more of your creations on your blog!

  3. Looks great, good job. I always feel challenged with slippery fabrics.

  4. Hi Belinda,
    I was so happy to find your blog and your description of making this dress. I'm beginning the same one for my daughter, who has a dance in a couple of weeks. I've "tried" on the pattern itself to see where I need to add or take in. The top (at this point) seems like it will be okay at the size I'd originally planned but my daughter is a little bit bigger in the midriff area than your daughter, so I may cut it a little bigger and then take in as needed. I'm altering the pattern a bit because she likes the bubble skirt but wants the bodice and midriff to be different colors from the skirt(ivory on top, brown at the midriff area, and green below). One question I had and maybe you can answer for me: the pattern doesn't specify what type of material to use for the lining, so I've just gone with using either a similar color (a little lighter) in the same material (for the skirt) or just using the same material as I am for the dress itself (satin). Does that seem like that should work okay?

    I'm also going to attempt to sew a bra cup into the bodice itself. This was an idea given to me by one of the sales ladies at JCPenneys believe it or not. I was looking for strapless bras but most are pretty big and this is my daughter's first strapless dress. The sales woman suggested I try sewing in the cups directly into the dress (this is something she has had done for strapless bridesmaids dresses she's had to wear). I'm hoping it works and I can make the bodice tight enough to stay up without making it look lumpy.

    I really like the straps you made. Now, are there a set on each side or is it kind of a asymmetrical pattern (i.e. the straps starting almost mid center and then going to one side)? I couldn't tell if there was another set on the other side under her hair. I like the asymmetrical look if that is what it is. The dress came out beautiful (and your daughter is gorgeous). She looks really happy with how it turned out as well :)

    1. Annie, thank you for all the lovely compliments. The lining fabric that I used was purchased at Hancock's and worked very well. It did not add weight to the garment nor did it "peek out" along the upper edge of the bodice. My daughter purchased a strapless bra from Kohl's, coupled with the boning and the snug fit through the bodice everything was held in place (-_-) The straps are asymmetrical-starting near the center front, crossing over one shoulder and to the back. They are attached at the seamline, sandwiched between the lining and the satin. If you need a copy of the Vogue article that I used for the straps please send your email address and I will forward it to you. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog please stop by again I have several reviews in the queue that I plan to post soon. Belinda