Posted in sewing

Butterick 5522: Navy and Lime Tina Turk

When I posted about my original red and camel version of Butterick 5522 back in January, Shirley commented that she had a similar dress in navy blue and lime green in the 70s.

I LOVED the color combo idea and quickly bought two navy rayon double knits from FabricMart. Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to get a hold of lime green. Everyone was sold out! Luckily, Patti F. came to the rescue and tracked some down, special ordered it and I was able to get two yards for myself.

The weather here has been nutty. Cold-to-warm-to-cold- to allegedly mid 80s by the weekend again. This may be the last day that I can squeeze this in before it warms up. Considering it’s my only fabric purchase so far this year, I really wanted to make sure it was sewn up as soon as possible. The biggest difference between my two versions is the material. My original is a super stable double knit poly. This is a rayon. The rayon is much looser in weave and the fit is more flowey.  I think, with all the curves, I’d prefer something a bit more stable — especially if you’re new to sewing curves.

Since it’s a hair longer than the first, I feel comfortable wearing it to work. I prefer the look of the shorter version on me, but wasn’t comfortable wearing it to work (not that I didn’t!).

This length and color are much more work appropriate.  I wore it Monday to a press conference at Fort McHenry*cough* Now is my time to remind you that Baltimore is the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner, the National Anthem of the US.  And, according to this morning’s announcement, home of the two best known symbols of America (anthem / flag) *cough*

I’m glad I wore it today too because we were outdoor and it was *cold*! Try standing around for an hour. Brrrrr. Our staff photog was kind enough to take these outdoor photos of me. I’m wearing my tweed ride cape from October! Never thought I would get this much wear out of it. But, it’s a great piece and one of those things everyone loves when you put it on.

My serger was operational this time around too, so I used it for all construction steps. The dress just took a couple of hours to make.  All the alterations had been made and I knew the steps. Hmmm, I also see my shoulder in this are way long. I’m going to change the pattern a bit by taking away some of the width of the neckline and shortening the shoulder. I have narrow shoulders. I just tend to ignore them 🙂

If you’re wondering about the sexy hand brace above. It’s my tendonitis which I usually manage pretty well. But, my next project is out of denim and it did a NUMBER on my hand in the cutting. Between that and yard work this weekend, I haven’t taken the brace off since Saturday and was popping ibuprofen like candy. Pooh.

Posted in sewing

Butterick 5522: Trina Turk Inspired Dress

I like that it was my frequent companion’s birthday dinner and I made a dress for ME! Yes, that’s right. Part of my gift to him is to look awesome. I think that is not only fair and equitable, but simply the law of man.

Butterick 5522 (above) is inspired by designer Trina Turk. I only know this because Cindy did an ah-Mazing job knocking it off before the pattern even came out.

I know there is the occasional chatter on not posting reviews on any more because of the lack of comments. I’ve been remiss in not posting reviews lately too.  I still find the reviews incredibly helpful. Well, good reviews are incredibly helpful.  Reviewers generally noted the lack of shape in the dress. But,this is not something I found. As I noted in my earlier post, I made a dartless FBA. I suspect I either could have made a bigger adjustment (as told by some folds pointing to my bust) or actually put in darts. Also, I could benefit from teeny shoulder pads in this dress.

I didn’t find the dress tentlike at all. Perhaps because I’m sewing a size I wore a few years and pounds ago (!). But, more likely because I measured out the pattern  🙂 The color of this double knit is a blood red. This piece is another gem from the Carol Collection. The color is brighter in these photos because my beloved SLR is in the shop. So, I’m working with a point a shoot for the next few weeks.

I made a 3/4 inch swayback adjustment and omitted the zipper. I could easily have done 1.5 inches and had a nicer fit in the back. The poly doubleknit is super stable and I do a bit of wiggle to get the dress on.

I hemmed by two inches from the length. Interfaced the hems and edges and used a twin needle to top stitch the hem. I really kind of wanted something shorter. In retrospect, it’s not gonna really be work appropriate at this length.  But, I wasn’t thinking about work when I sewed it!

The sleeves are somewhat bell shaped and pieced together.  I didn’t find them to be crazy large. Maybe in a drapier fabric they would seem more elaborate. I think I would have like a larger bell. But, again, I’m a dramatic kind of girl.

Overall I am very happy with this dress. It works super well on my figure and gives a lot of fashion impact with minimal effort. What’s even better is I’ve seen some women in the RTW version of this. Heh.

Finally, here is a photo with the birthday boy. Don’t worry, we didn’t have dinner in a basement. This is the afterparty with his friends.

And, after my pontificating, I dare not neglect  my review on PR.

Posted in sewing

Starting Butterick 5522: Trina Turk Copy Cat Dress

I wanted to make a dress to wear out to dinner on Saturday night.  I settled on the Trina Turk designer copycat dress, Butterick 5522. My sewing time is narrow these days so I thought I would show how I got (will get) this dress done.

I admit the pattern is marked ‘easy’, and it truly is.

Evening 1: Pattern Alterations

I read on that the dress is tentlike. So be it. Sacky dresses work on my figure. But, I still wanted to make an FBA. So, on the first night I made a dartless FBA increasing the width by 1 inch (I’m sewing a 14) and the length by two inches.

Evening 2: Cut out fabric and piece sleeves

Easy peasy. I’m using a red poly double knit coupled with a camel wool jersey for the contrast. The even numbers on the pattern are the sleeves and the odd numbers are the contrast. To do the piecing, I just pinned them all together prior to sewing. Hand basting would have been better, but I am lazy. 

Evening 3: Sew sleeves, interface edges and hems

Argh. This is my one slow down. I wanted to serge the entire dress. But, when I sat down to sew, I was reminded that the bulb on my Euro Pro serger is blown. It’s the first time it’s needed replacing in about ten years. The machine has to be disassembled to replace the bulb and the bulb I had on hand a few weeks ago when I sat down to do this was too big. I never put the machine back together.

So, I sewed on my sewing machine. I started with a stretch stitch (slight zig zag) but it was SO SLOW. I just threw caution to the wind and sewed with a long straight stitch. The sleeves aren’t going to receive much stress so I’m not worried about the stitches popping.

No photo of this, but I used bias knit interfacing along the hem, neck edge, sleeve edges and shoulder seams. The fabric is fairly stable, but doing this for knits has become habit for me.

I could have just about finished this dress last night. But, I’m hoping to replace the 15w serger bulb today. That will allow me to finish all the raw edges (above). Hopefully, the next post will be the finished dress!