I can’t remember where or when I caught wind of this pattern (Butterick 5780), but I was immediately drawn to the shape and the interesting neckline. it’s a very powerful looking dress – a great work to night transition piece. Plus, it’s made in ponte and sooooo comfortable! I made it in a ruby red ponte that I scored during the recent Fabric Mart knit sale. The pictures don’t do justice to the color – it is a beautiful saturated red.
I didn’t make any changes to the pattern before sewing because I was feeling impatient so I just cut out my normal Big Four size 12. I usually have to shorten dress bodices but the waistline hits above the natural waist and it all worked out! I probably should have done a swayback adjustment, but oh well. I’ll leave that for next time :)
I did, however, make a few changes during the sewing process:
- Understitched the neckline
- Eliminated the zipper and serged the back seam
- Pinched out ~1.5 inches from the back waistline, tapering out to the 5/8″ SA at the neckline
- Left out the shoulder pads
- Left the hem raw (it was the perfect length, didn’t want to shorten it)
I used the recent tip from Jane of Handmade Jane to replace only the thread on the far left cone of your serger if you don’t have 4 spools of the same color…or if you’re really impatient like me. This is the thread that will show through in the seam from the right side as you stretch the fabric. I used this set-up to sew the back seam of my dress and it worked perfectly!
Other than the back seam, I sewed all seams on my regular machine, using a normal stitch (not zig-zag) and it’s more than adequate. The seams get pretty bulky when sewing with the ponte so I just trimmed them without finishing. I left all edges of the bodice facing unfinished as well. This wasn’t intentional but I’m really happy I did so. The front facing doesn’t extend all the way to the waistline, it ends mid- to low-bust . If the facing isn’t laying flat it’s pretty obvious from the front, and I’m afraid that finishing those facing edges would have made it even more obvious. The shoulders and neckline gape a little bit – it’s possible that my under stitching of the neckline stretched it out. Overall, I really really like this dress! Probably took only 3-4 hours to cut and sew (including dealing with the confusing instructions). I love that it looks professional and work appropriate but is really comfortable and wearable.As these pictures show, I’m back on my feet! The knee is feeling MUCH better. I can now walk with only minimal issues so I think it was probably just a twisted and strained knee with no torn ligaments – woo hoo!
Material: 3 yds @ $4.99/yard = ~$15.00 (you definitely don’t need three yds, this is just what I had purchased)
As others have mentioned in their reviews online, the instructions are lacking in description. I found it got a little confusing around step #5 when you attach the bodice side facing. If you work backwards, it makes total sense how you attach the facing. I took a few pictures of what I did in case anyone else is having trouble making sense of this step! Other than the confusing instructions, I would highly recommend this pattern.
At the beginning of step 5 you should have your front and front facing attached to your side bodice pieces. Turn the bodice right side up and arrange the side bodice as you expect the final dress to look with the side bodice extending back like a shawl collar.
Holding the pieces together, flip the bodice so the right side is facing down. I marked an X on the wrong side of the front side bodice in the picture below.Now if you pick up your side bodice facing you’ll see that it nicely fits over the armhole and the princess seam. You want the right side to be facing up towards you. I went through this process to determine and visualize which seams the facing will be sewn to and hopefully it now make more sense to you as well!
I hope this was helpful! Have a great weekend everyone!