Liz in Butterick 6410

Remember I traded dresses with my friend Liz? She wore Butterick 6410 Saturday night to the Walter’s Art Museum gala. I love Liz. I told her once I was dating someone with a 26 year old daughter and she belts out, “SHE’S MY AGE!!!”. It was hillarious. I guess you had to be there.

Sigh. She looked amazing. It really suits her more than me. I love this color combination. It’s so nice to see other people in your work. Especially if you weren’t stressed about sewing it for them.

I did her hair and she also borrowed the jewelry (which I got a PR Weekend Philly with Lindsay T.). When I first did her hair, she said it was a little ‘Dynasty’. I told her I hadn’t done someone’s hair since the 80s so that sounded about right :)

Pattern Review: Butterick 6410 Evening Gown

So, last night was the black tie event. The Vegan rented a tux, I wore an evening dress and I have some thoughts. 1st, men have it easy. When the invitation says ‘black tie’, they just throw on a tuxedo. Yes, they may argue with you at 11:30 p.m. on the way home that they could have saved $165 and just worn a black suit ‘if you would have just stitched some braid down the side of  my pants’. And, you do the prudent thing and ignore that comment. You must also swallow a big fat ‘I told you so’ when they arrive at your door and say, ‘I should have bought a tuxedo’ when in fact that is precisely what you suggested three weeks ago.

Which brings me to my dress. Which I love. But, as Elise in my office said, ‘that’s a hard fabric to wear’. Why? It’s got enough sheen that it shows every bump. It’s so drapey that every fold is amplified. Plus, it wrinkles when the wind blows. I finally took it to a boutique in town and steamed it myself because the skirt was still wrinkly after an hour of ironing.

After I put it on, I refused to sit down until the Vegan came over so he could take my picture because  I knew it would wrinkle as soon as my left cheek touched upholstery. Maybe if I used a stretch or sharp needle I would not have the vertical seam puckers that just would *not* press out. Not *all* seams, but enough that I’m irritated.  That being said, in real life, these things don’t show as much. But, I couldn’t get one picture that I was happy with because it photographs *so shiny*. Also, as Trena and I have discussed, non-sewing friends and men make terrible photographers. Because, they will not take the 50 photos you need to find the two good ones. One and done.

This is the best of the photos. So, I notice a tendency not to believe me when I tell you the problems with a dress. So, below, is a totally unflattering photo to prove all the problems in photographing this dress. And, Mom, please don’t call to tell me ‘that dress isn’t doing you any favors’. I *swear* it doesn’t look this bad IRL:

Ack!! Ack!! Folds above the waist, puckers down the front. Stretching across the thighs. Bleh. What’s my point? I think this dress is best served by a firmer woven on anyone that isn’t a nubile 17 year old girl. I used a poly stretch satin.  I’ll defnitely wear it again because I love it. But, it takes TERRIBLE photos. And, in case you forgot the pattern I worked with, it’s this discontinued Butterick 6410 from about 1999. As for alterations, I pretty much cut a straight 14, reduced some of the hip curve and lengthened the bodice for a lazy FBA.

So, there you have it. Today, I’d like to straighten the sewing room up some. I have two UFOs I’d like to work on a bit. Hopefully one or both can go to Philly with me next weekend for PR Weekend.

Shoulder Pads!

Arggghh!! I had an entire post written and it disappeared. Grrrr. Short version: I added shoulder pads to Butterick 6410 and all is now right in the world. You were correct. I was just tired and hit a wall with this dress after having to re-sew the bodice.

Even better, I decided to go with a necklace I already own so I just need earrings and a cocktail ring.

My original post was far more entertaining than this. Sigh. Shoes are below. $21.95 on clearance from 6pm.com. I’ll post photos of me in the actual dress after I wear it on May 8th. Until then, I’ll make May the month I sew for other people. Mother’s and Father’s Day are coming up and I owe a girlfriend a duvet cover. Of course, I’m not *committing* to this. It’s just a nice thought before May actually begins.

Wordy, wordy, wordy

I must be really used to Burda’s cryptic instructions because all the directions and diagrams in the Big 4 patterns confuse me! LOL. I actually found myself marking off each section as I went because there just seemed to be so much copy!

I worked like the dickens on my Butterick 6410 dress today. Naturally, I made a huge goof and sewed the back bodice in upside down. Which I only discovered after lining and getting ready to pin in the skirt. Doh!  After taking the entire bodice apart (thank goodness I didn’t serge!!) and re-sewing, I’m done for the day. Bleh. Here it is so far. And, am not loving it. The fabric is super drapey. I think I wish it had more structure similar to the muslin. Especially in the bodice. It’s just very… drapey.  Also, it seems kind of… dull. I have great shoes and some earrings that willl hopefully lift it. But, so far, am underwhelmed. I am happy to say though, that I just have to insert the zipper, hem and I’m all done.

And, lest we forget about another UFO of mine BWOF 2-2010-127. I need to get a zipper for it on Monday. But, it looks like it’ll be cool for another week, so maybe I’ll still get to wear it before summer.

A Rare Muslin

My mom asked me recently (with a bit of alarm in her voice) how often I muslin. Well, the truth is, I only muslin dressy dresses, non Burdas and pants. That’s because those are the things I have the least experience with.

This muslin, is two of three. It’s the now OOS Butterick 6410 from back in 1999 and it’s a formal. I definitely prefer vintage dresses for my formal gowns.

What did I discover? That, like most empire waist dresses, I should add length to the bust. Because it’s pulling the rest of the dress up to cover my bust and causing wrinkles that end at my hips.

It’s not too tight at the hip. Look at it from the side. See, it’s pulling the dress up at the front. Which I wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t wearing heels. The dress would have pooled on the ground.

Despite a swayback adjustment of two inches, this could honestly use  a touch more. But, truth be told, I think my back is shorter than my front in addition to the swayback.

I also think the neckline is too matronly. See the difference when I tuck it in half an inch on each side? I think this is as simple as gathering the front a bit more.

And, I tried to grade from a 14 to a 16 in the hip. This, though, confirms my thoughts.  See the extra fabric kind of jutting out? It’s not hips. It’s my thighs (er, saddlebags) where I have marked in orange. I have a fairly narrow hip curve. My last three garments have looked like this pre- fixing. I need to get better about this grading / adjustment.

So, I need this dress for May 8th. Now that I know what needs to  change, I hope to get the garment fabric cut out this weekend and purchase some skirt lining too.

How long did it take? About two hours from start to finish. Personally, well worth the extra time. BTW, the muslin is from IKEA. It’s 60 inches wide and less than $2 a yard. Sadly, it’s not dark brown like the one Joann has, so I apologize that you can see my drawers. Which (besides not having made myself camera ready) is why I cut off my face.