Thursday, 8 March 2012

Finished Project & Pattern Review: Butterick 5455.

Nine weeks later! B5455 is finished. Such a relief, I am so ready to move on from this dress. It is such a shame that the style does not suit me at all!!! The pattern was a pity purchase, it was a 2-4-1 sale, I didn't like it at first, but it grew on me. And now I don't like it again. Luckily, my mum fits it. It's looks way better on mum than it does me. Probably because mum is petite, very petite.

Check out Mumma Neeno's black vintage patent leather pumps!
They are as old as me! 24 years!

How is it, that my mum who is smaller than me fits the dress so well? My mum is tiny. Must be the style. My mum says the pattern on the fabric is "old looking" and more suited to older people. I guess she is right. My mum loves the dress and was very impressed with my sewing, mum sews as well so she appreciates the time and effort that went into this dress. She pointed out that one side of the neck had stretched, my fault, I didn't stay-stitch it. The pocket also needed a good top stitch. We had a lot of fitting issues around the hip and pocket area. I don't want to get into that, grr.

Mum and I had so much fun taking photos of her modelling the dress, we had a good laugh at her attempts at "natural walking poses" with her arms straight out like a soldier, haha. Love my mum. We ended up talking for hours about sewing, she loves sewing and when I was a baby she sewed all my clothes, she didn't even use patterns! 

So, on to the photos and pattern review.  

Butterick 5455, View B (no piping)
Front bodice and pockets.
Back bodice, zipper is good, skirt vent, hand stitched hem.

I made View B, which is the version with out the piping. The "drawing" of view B won me over. Those drawings make all the dresses look nice. I also liked the detail on the neck and the pockets. I used fabric from Vietnam, dad bought it back from a trip there. It is cotton with... lycra? It's some sort of stretchy cotton. I chose to fully line the dress to pick up some new techniques. I made a boo boo with the skirt lining (pattern only had pattern for bodice lining) I cut the lining exactly the same as the skirt front, had to patch up the holes where the pockets were.

INSIDE - front of dress
INSIDE - back of dress.
Apart from the neck being stretched, I put a lot of care into making this dress. There is interfacing on the front and back neck.

Pattern Review: Butterick 5455 semi fitted straight dress, lined bodice

Size: Size 8 bodice, graded to size 12 waist, size 8 skirt.
Fabric: 2m stretch cotton, 2m sunsilky lining (black), 0.7m whisperweft interfacing.
Notions: Invisible zipper (black) 16", Gutermann thread (000).
    • Too many adjustments to remember... I had to take the bodice in at the side seams, take in the waist and the skirt. Sigh.
    • Invisible zipper instead of dress zipper.
    • Lined the whole dress.
Time: 9 sewing classes and some darts and handsewing at home, about 20 hours.
Total cost: $40 (lining, zip, interfacing, pattern), fabric was given to me, thread from my stash.
New techniques learned: 
    • First time making a skirt vent, yay! Will help with my Mad Men dress.
    • New hand sewing stitches (?)
    • Hand sewed the lining next to the zipper, I think it's using the same stitch as when hand-picking a zip.
    • New stitch when hemming the dress and vent (see pic)
    • Stay stitch!!!!! Around the neck, back and arm holes.
    • Be aware that there is a lot of ease built in, make a toile/muslin.
Learnt a new way to hand sew the hem so it's invisible on both sides!
Instead of stitching where the overlocked fabric is, you do a blind stitch a little bit lower. 
CLOSE UP - hand sewing the lining and zip, front bodice darts, back bodice darts, skirt vent. 
So there it is! A dress for my mum! I'm happy that I made something that my mum can wear and brag to her friends about (even if she only ended up with it because it's not my style). I enjoyed making this dress at sewing class, even though it's not my favorite pattern, I learnt a new techniques, which is what matters :)

Next up in sewing class, I will be sewing with an original vintage pattern for the first time. Will definitely need guidance with that one! It's the Simplicity 3222 party dress. This could potentially be my dress for the opera. My tutor thinks that a lot of adjustments will need to be made because I am a 10/11 junior, not a 12. I haven't got fabric for this dress yet, but I think I have a few weeks to find something. I predict it will take 2-3 classes to trace and cut the pattern and make the toile/muslin.

I hope I did not discourage anyone with the B5455 from making it, it is a beautiful dress, it just didn't suit my body and the fabric did not compliment my skin tone at all! This dress looks good on everyone but me, I made one for my sister last year and it looks great on her.


  1. Aww. your mum is so adorable! You've done such a good job with this dress, you mum must be very proud. I am loving all the details in this pattern, I think I'll have to look for it in my next purchase.

  2. Thanks Carmen! I put a lot of effort into making this dress so I'm glad it turned out well! It's a great pattern, it's actually on sale on the BMV site for $2.99 at the moment!

  3. Once again, I'm blown away by the care you put into making your insides so lovely! I love that your mannequin can just wear it inside out and it looks totally normal. And how cute is it that your mom can brag to her friends about her new dress! This makes me miss my mom.

    1. Thanks Cindy! This one had to be perfect because my sewing teacher made sure of it hehehehe.

  4. I love that:

    1) you got to talk about sewing with your mom (mine used to sew for herself but is kind of over it now),

    2) you did such an amazing job on the dress' insides! It looks PERFECT, and

    3)you're going to learn to tackle a vintage pattern! I'm personally too scared to try that right now, but I can't wait to see what you make. :)

    1. Hey Sue! I am really looking forward to the vintage pattern. I feel a little apprehensive about it because it seems so delicate! Once it is traced on to my own paper then I will be ok. I hope it fits me!!

  5. Wow - the dress looks fabulous on your Mom. What a great thing to do for her and what an awesome relationship you two have. I agree with her that the fabric is not right for your age group. The color is also not flattering on you. And, have you considered making some sort of back adjustment for the wrinkles at your back waist? You could do swayback or something else. This page describes different options:

    1. Hi SewOm, I don't think I will make any adjustments becase I imagine there would be a lot of unpicking, the dress is fully lined and it was hard enough to get the fit right (on me) the first time. If my mum is up for making adjustments, I won't mind :)


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