It’s reveal day – here’s my final product of Butterick 5314, View C:
I am thrilled with the construction of the dress. This is one of the most well-constructed pieces I’ve made to date. It’s fully lined, and there are (almost) no exposed seams on the inside, which makes if look much more professional. I feel like I finally struck a good chord with pattern and fabric pairing. I used a sateen (not a recommended fabric on the pattern envelope but it didn’t cause any problems) that’s wonderfully soft, yet sturdy enough to hold up to plenty of wear. The fabric pattern is beautiful, a very soft and feminine amorphous flower motif, and provides a great contrast paired with the sharp modern neckline and square armholes.
I am not happy with the fit of the dress. It’s so frustrating how bad I am at getting my sizing right. The dress is definitely a size too big. And to take it in, since it’s fully lined, I would have to take the entire dress apart, take it in, then put it back together again. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. And there’s no guarantee if I take it in that I’ll get the sizing right then. So I’m just going to leave it as is. The funny thing is the first time I made this dress, I made a pattern size 10. I tried that one on prior to cutting, and decided it was just a bit tight, so I should make the next size up. But as you can see, the fit is off. So I think next time I will stick with a pattern 10 but grade it to the 12 at the waist as that’s about the only place it fits correctly. Also the front skirt darts are very odd. The darts actually poke out instead of flow smoothly into the skirt. Next time I will also make those darts smaller.
The fit is not horrendous, just not great. I like it a lot better styled with a cardigan and belt as that helps hide the flaws in the structure .
A couple notes on the pattern:
1. There’s a weird bit of hand sewing at the square armholes. This doesn’t seem like the best method of assembly, but I don’t know enough to do it differently. I would suggest when you are machine sewing, to go around the corner a little bit (instead of stop at the corner like the pattern suggests) because when I flipped it all right side out and tried to sew the straps together, I struggled with getting the fabric to fold correctly without getting frayed edges poking out of the corner.
2. Also, the directions for hemming the skirt and lining were very confusing. It could just be me. But I just winged it, and it turned out fine.
And the final verdict: it’s far from perfect, but with some creative accessorizing I think I will get some pretty good wear out of it. I’m proud of the construction, and it’s good to know that my skills are getting better. Overall, I love the pattern. I will definitely make it again, but with the adjustments mentioned above. Maybe if I make it enough times, I’ll eventually get it right.