Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Dress for a Wedding

In the past I have read about many people who have had a wedding to go to and therefore made a dress. Before reading these blogs the thought wouldn't have crossed my mind to make a dress for a wedding. Plus, I don't go to too many weddings. Most of the people I know are already married. Well, recently a co-worker of my husband got married and I made a dress for the wedding!

This was a huge step for me. I have never made a dress for myself. Shirt, yes. Dress, no. I used a fairly easy pattern. Butterick 5206.
I read the reviews on Pattern Review and was pleased to find out that most really liked the pattern and the finished results. I think they all said that they had to take in a few inches and this really helped me decide what size to make. My pattern only went up to a 14. This was fine for my bust but too small for my waist and hips. After reading the reviews I felt confident that I could just cut a 14. I did add an inch to the back after measuring the back bodice piece because I have a wide back. I also added a bit to the neckline because all the reviewers felt the neckline was quite low.

The pictures aren't the greatest. They were taken inside at night and there is quite a bit of shadow. I tried to lighten them up a bit so you can get an idea of how it looks.I have to say that this is the boldest print I have ever worn over my whole body. I cannot believe I made it for myself. It is very daring but I kind of like it though.

Pattern Description: Mid knee length dress has close-fitting mock wrap bodice, flared skirt, contrast binding, side zipper, two sleeve lengths and tie belt.

Pattern Sizing: 8-14 I measure 14-16 in the bust and 16-18 in the waist and hips. Since I had read other reviewers had to take the dress in about an inch or so I decided to cut out a 14. This worked great for me. I did add an inch (total-half inch to each side) to the bodice back because I have a wide back and after measuring the actual back bodice piece I realized that was needed.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes very much like the picture.

Were the instructions easy to follow?Very easy to follow although I didn't really use them too much since it was easy and I wanted to do things a little differently. I but the top together before doing the binding on the top. I wanted to make sure the top fit well before going through all the trouble of binding the edge. I also set the sleeve in flat rather than per the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the simplicity of the pattern and the result didn't look simple. I think that I must not have attached the waist very well because it looks messy. This is completely unnoticeable under the belt.

Fabric Used: probably a polyester knit from Michael Levine Loft

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
1)I didn't have quite enough fabric so my ties were not as long as the picture.
2) I did the binding a bit differently. I cut it on the crossgrain because this direction had a comparable amount of stretch as my fashion fabric. I stitched the binding on the garment right sides together. Then I folded the binding over the seam allowance to the other side and stitched it down using my coverstitch machine. This gave a nice finish to the wrong side. Since my fabric was black you can barely see the stitches on the wrong side of the tie. This was a very easy application of the binding. I would have rather used a binding attachment for my machine and done the whole thing in one step but since I don't have a binding attachment yet I had to do it in two steps.
3)Eliminated the zipper per recommendation from other reviewers. It slips over the head just fine.
4)Bound the arm and hem. It was easier to bind these edges instead of trying to turn and stitch them down.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I am not sure. I love the dress and love how it looks but I am not sure that you can have many of this style in one closet. I might make it in a solid. I think that would look different enough from the print.

Conclusion: I would definitely recommend this pattern. It was easy to sew and to fit. This is a great first dress and a nice beginning pattern for sewing knits. I really like the belt as it covers a multitude of mistakes.

I took pictures of putting on the binding but since it is black it is just too dark. You can't see anything so there is no point on having pictures. Sorry about that.

If you are looking to make an easy dress that is quite nice give this pattern a try. I think it is a great knit dress. Oh, I think that it is a bit low too. I have it pinned but I think next time I might wear a tank underneath.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day.

Until next time...


  1. I love the dress. You look great in it. I have been looking for a pattern like this but I think I may need a slightly larger size :(
    It was great to read your review on it.

  2. It's lovely, and I think that there may even be a little footage of it somewhere in our wedding video ... that your husband was gracious enough to film for us!

  3. Wow! Your dress looks great! I love this pattern but the binding has scared me off of it. Great job!

  4. Great dress! It looks terrific on you!!

  5. What a talented seamstress you are--that fabric is hard to work with too.


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