Tea Dress

July 20, 2013

robe_tea_party_empiecementI feel so fancy in this dress! Join me for some tea?

So this is the Butterick B5708 dress, a reissue from a 1953 pattern with which I totally fell in love when it came out (the reissue, I mean). I wore this dress at my cousin’s wedding in June and it was definitely a hit. Making this dress, however, was a true nightmare.

robe_tea_party_faceIndeed, even though the result is nice especially on these pictures, thanks to Eléonore everything went wrong in the process: fabric, pattern, and of course my usual blunders…

Everything had started well though, when I found this fabric which reminded be a bit of Alice in Wonderland. I love this pattern, the colors are beautiful, deeper in real life than on the pictures. The fabric also has a very nice drape, with a bit of stretch making it both comfortable and not very prone to wrinkling. But still, what a pain!

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Okay, I admit that I messed up when buying it: supposing that it was 1m40 wide like most fabrics here when it was in fact 1m15, I did not buy enough for the whole dress. Of couse when I came back it was out of stock, so I had to buy constrasting fabric. At first I bought some white cotton that turned out too stiff and too white, then luckily I found the perfect brown cotton voile, that what perfectly matching and on sale.

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The real problem here is the fabric itself: the pattern is terribly off-grain! No way of matching it at the seams… After pulling my hair off I did manage to match the center seam, but I had to give up on the sides. It kind of shows on the following picture but I think the business of the pattern and my super smug face are enough to distract from it.

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Another thing is that this pattern is really badly drafted! The ties are way too far apart for it to drape well, it seems to be made for people with quaterback shoulders. I like scoop necklines, but this is way too much and it does not reflect the pattern illustration at all. The dress supposedly can be worn in a lot of different ways but frankly it requires a lot of tie fiddling to find one that does not seem weird.

I thought the problem came from me at first, because I had sewn one of the cotton voile piece on its wrong side and I thought it might mess with the drape of the biais, but after unpicking it and sewing it back on (and, believe me, unpicking black thread on a dark brown fabric with the seam allowances trimmed to a few millimeters is not something I enjoy doing) it still looks wrong.

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With 15 minutes of fighting with the ties however I do like it, especially with a huuuge petticoat. It is really over the top, I bought it on ModCloth and I love it. Even without the petticoat, the slightly longer length makes it look really dressep-up, so I don’t think it will get much wear. But who knows?

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Tea Dress
Butterick B5708
Size 10
Patterned stretch cotton from the Marché St Pierre
Solide cotton voile from Moline

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