Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pattern Review: Butterick 5320

My cousin recently asked me to help her make a bridesmaid's dress for an upcoming wedding. They could choose their own pattern, but not the fabric. Good thing she is a gorgeous blonde with bright blue-green eyes. I don't think I could pull off this electric blue as well as she can. As far as the dress itself goes, I think it is a really feminine style. I love the ruffled collar, but I'm just loving ruffles right now. The collar is not a simple ruffle. It has a a lining underneath that is almost a spiral. I've pressed the collar down here, but you could get pretty dramatic with this collar if you let it stand up a little. The dress is fully lined, and has deep pockets at the side. I felt like I was cutting out pieces forever, but once I started sewing it came together pretty quickly.
My least favorite part of the dress is the sleeves. I don't think half sleeves are very flattering. I was worried that they'd look like football shoulderpads. Luckily, again, my cousin is very petite and can pull it off. Sleeveless was not an option, and I tried a couple of different sleeves, but decided, too late, that to get the sleeve I'd like I'd have to alter the entire arm hole. So, I stuck with the original sleeves this time around. If I were to make it again, I'd try a different sleeve making adjustments to the pattern BEFORE everything is cut out. I'm imagining it in a charcoal with long, non-puffed sleeves, over a turtleneck and boots... kind of like a trench coat. Yep, already thinking of fall clothes... don't get me wrong. I'm not wishing away summer. I just love fall clothes – especially boots.

You can see I lengthened the skirt a little so it hits just below the knee instead of just above the knee.

One tip for the collar: I wanted the pleats to be exact so I wouldn't have any problems attaching it to the dress. It is the focal point of the dress. I created a template piece from the collar pattern out of another piece of stiffer paper, cutting out the notches. I used this to guide my markings which I made using a disappearing ink pen. It took a minute to make the template but made the marking easier and more precise.