Saturday, March 01, 2008

Butterick 5173 knit dress pattern review

Look at this cute maternity dress!

Oops, that's not actually what it is intended to be.

It's Butterick 5173, a Maggy London knit pullover dress, that didn't work out quite as well on me as I had hoped.

While I thought the dress was really cute, in the end the style of the dress isn't to my liking.

I did make a few minor changes to the original design, but nothing drastic. The first thing I needed to do was an FBA (full bust adjustment.) and I wasn't sure how to do it on this design. So what I ended up doing was tracing the dress front pattern above the waist only. Then I cut and spread the area where the gathers fall over the bust in three places. This worked pretty well, but I still could have added more to the width of the front. As it was I sewed the upper side and back seam in 3/8" seams rather than 5/8" seams.

The back of the pattern has a v-neck with a contrast band and I changed that. I raised the back neckline by using the back pattern piece from New Look 6429 as my guide. The back band was eliminated so I finished the back neck edge with a narrow hem using clear elastic. I also brought the front neckline up by 1".

Front neck band
The first time I sewed the front band on there were way too many gathers at the botto
m of the band (see the illustration on the pattern cover - it shows the tight gathers more accurately than the photo or the line drawings). The bottom point of the band stuck out in an odd way. I kept trying to make it lay flat but it would not cooperate.

So I removed the band completely - after sewing a double seam and trimming - and added another two inches to the length. This meant I could adjust the gathers so there would be less at the bottom point. It still pulls out funny at the bottom and that, in my opinion, makes it looks like a maternity dress - especially when viewing from the side.

Of course! Just not by me. Perhaps I could interest my daughter in a new trendy knit dress. I think she'd look really cute in she's a good four inches shorter than I am. Sadly, I was yet again seduced by the adorable dress on the adorable (and small busted) model on the cover of the envelope. I didn't take into account the shortness of the dress, the way the gathers emphasis the bust, nor did I anticipate the flaring underneath the bust line.

I'd still recommend the pattern as it's quite simple to sew and has nice shaping for a tee-dress.
Grab it on sale and then sew it quickly and review it so I can see how cute it can be, okay?

Full review on patternreview - here.

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  1. I am sorry this didn't work out for you. I hope your daughter will like it. I have been right there before, too. The cute pictures get you everytime.

  2. Sorry the dress didn't work out for you but my first thought when I saw it was, "oh puleeze!" I am glad that you did do a review of it for PR to warn some other unsuspecting sewist who would be charmed by the photo!

  3. Hi, Sharon, on PR there is a discussion regarding this pattern-apparently Butterick is recalling it because of a "Major Error." They are going to announce on 3/10 how to get a corrected copy of the pattern. I'm sorry that you went through sewing this up with less than great results. I bought this pattern--its really cute. I thought that this would make a nice Spring dress.

  4. KathleenSews10:02 AM

    If you want to wear this dress yourself: (1) consider cutting it shorter and wearing it as a top. (2)Try wrapping a piece of the dark solid under your bust like a high cummerbund. If you like it, make a gathered or pleated cummerbund. (3) Try taking in the side seams of the skirt so it hangs straighter. My favorite motto is, "Every mistake is a new design."



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