Say Yes to the Dress Pattern

I was out shoe shopping today, and I always feel badly for the clerks in the shoe stores I go to. I shop for shoes like some women shop for wedding dresses. I’m picky – mainly because I can only afford a couple of pairs of decent shoes. I’ll try on every last pair in the city before finally making a decision.

I realized that I’m much the same way when putting fabric and patterns together. For instance, I was at my local Fabricland a couple of weeks ago to take advantage of a notions sale, and picked up 1.6 m (1 3/4 yards) of this light-medium weight floral poplin:

Portrait of a fabric. The floral bunches range between 4 and 6″ long.


I like it. I love the colours – particularly the coral elements set against the black background. I prefer this graphic floral to the pretty, dainty florals in soft colours that I usually find. But when it comes to making something with this print – most prints – I hesitate to commit. Much like buying shoes, or a wedding dress.

I had a few ideas. I was first thinking of doing a 2nd colette peony dress (I have a first in wool crepe that I never blogged), but I’m unsure of having so much print all over the bodice. I considered a 2nd colette macaron, using a black dotted swiss as a contrast. However, when I paired them together, I wasn’t sure if it looked fashion or crafty.

I was excited about making it into the popular twist-dress from Burdastyle’s 03/2012 issue, until I realized that one takes 2.1 or 2.2 metres of fabric. Looking at the pieces, I just can’t squeeze it out of 1.6 m (and I hesitate to buy more).

BurdaStyle 03/2012 #108
BurdaStyle 03/2012 #108

(but it would be so perfect, wouldn’t it. sadly, the pieces are so large, I’d have to get an extra 1.something metres – not just the difference between what the pattern calls for and what i have).

Then I remembered, I have this now out-of-print near-gem in my pattern stash – Butterick 5485. It’s been wonderfully reviewed over on PR. View C (the longest) is, I think, perfect for a summer dress.





Am I ready to say yes? wellllll yes, but the midriff piece. Doesn’t it look big? I measured it. 3.5 inches. That’s a wide midriff.

I think I’m going to go with the pattern, but I have to deal with that midriff band. I think I’ll narrow it by an inch or 1 1/4 inches, but given how it narrows from the underbust to the waist, I think I might have to muslin it to get the fit right.


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