Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Butterick B4443 - a work in progress

This is a lovely pattern for summer dresses and doesn't call for much fabric.  I'm making view A and am using one of my NEC purchases from Fabulous Fabrics - I have just 1.4 meters.

When I read the instructions (a good habit I don't want to break no matter how simple the garment I am making!) I was so suprised....  This strapless dress has no inner structure or boning- can you believe it?!  Ok if you're young and have small bossoms under your chin and don't need any support, but not for a 40-something E cupped lady; Oh, perhaps that tells me something about who the pattern is designed for.

Anyway, I plowed on.  The instructions went back in the envelope and the dress will be made my way.  Whenever I make strapless dresses I always make up the front and back, but NEVER stitch the two together until the side seams have been pin-fitted which works very well for me, and I make a powernet corselette for inner structure (Unless it's a special occassion and then I might make a proper corset within the dress).

I'll show you my progress as the days go on, but here's where I am right now:

Skirt looks as though it's hanging strangely, but it is
 okay - I think it's just the heavy calico

Toile cut as a size 12 top, grading to a 14 at the waist and the skirt section is cut as a 14.  I added 1" seam allowances at the back because I'm not sure if  I will be using an invisible zip or a lapped zip - better to have too much fabric and trim it off than the other way around and also at the side seams - another habit I just can't break...

I kept my bra on as I will still wear a strapless bra with the finished dress.  Look mum, bust point is in the right place!

You can clearly see where the front has been sewn together and
how I've pinned the side seams.

 Pin the dress together down one side and to the zip point on the other - you need to be able to get into it!  Pinning yourself in isn't the easiest of tasks but with patience and practice it works out okay.  My zip will be down the back but I never put them into my toiles so the back is just stitched up.

Okay, so with a few tweeks I know it's going to fit just fine and I'm happy with the length too.  Now onto the inner structure.  I'm using flesh coloured powernet.  Ideally I'd like to use white but I didn't have any in my stash and as ever, I'm too impatient to wait for a delivery!

My personal corselette pattern.  This is the right hand side. 
Note the bottom edge of the pattern is on the fold.
Once you have cut out your pieces, you  have long thin shapes:

I've just pinned the right side together so you can see how it will look once stitched and folded:

I'm sure you've grasped the idea.  I will use a lingerie hook and eye closure and it will be boned with nylon boning (not horrid Rigeline) I won't use spirals in this instance.  As it's a summer dress it will need to go in the washing machine and I don't want to remove and re-stitch metal bones.

Just one last thing I will be interfacing the top section as my fabric has a slight crosswise stretch and I will be  interlining the top with white cotton too - just to ensure no one can see through it and to ensure the flesh powernet doesn't change the top section colouring.  The skirt will be lined with white bremsilk.

On a parting shot, I've been sewing "bits" over the last week.  Here's a jumper that went all bobbly after a couple of wears (SO annoying).  I felted it in the washing machine and made it into a cushion!

I hope the weather is as good for you as it has been for us here in Wiltshire.  We are experienceing unusually warm weather, lets pray this isn't our summer - remember the months of rain last year?

Enjoy the rest of your week


DaneMum said...

Wauw!!! Now I have to get a new pattern ;)
Your muslin looks great - I can't wait to see the finshed dress!

AllisonC said...

Lots of great info in this post, looking forward to following along as your dress comes together. It's almost like that pattern is for two completely different dresses - good value I suppose, but like you I think the two main styles need completely different directions. Luckily for you it doesn't matter!

clownlady said...

I have a question. Is your corselet pattern the same pattern you would use for a regular corset? I've made a regular waist shaping corset before, and I'd really like to try to make one with powernet. Thanks for this!

Pin Queen said...

Hi, thanks for your question. No, this is a pattern that I self drafted for myself. I don't think a corset pattern (even if it were cut short) would be at all suitable, for a start there is negative ease on a corset to give you shape, this is corselette acts as a support and to keep the dress up.