Tuesday 15 October 2013

Sew It - Fall For Cotton Butterick 5880

Goodness I had no idea I had left it so long since my last post and I can't believe we are in October, where has all the time gone! I would love to tell you my absence was caused by some glamorous holidaying in the south of France or drinking myself silly at Oktoberfest, but it's actually as simple as I have been completely overwhelmed with things to do!

Anyway, all this bloggy absence means I am supremely overdue at showing you my Fall for Cotton projects. I actually managed to finish everything on time and I am really happy with how everything turned out. First up is my tiki style Butterick 5880 wrap dress.

~ Florence ~

Butterick 5880 was designed to be my fall back (haha Fall back) pattern, if I lost my temper with the other two (which both need some pattern adjustment which scared me a little if I am honest) then I would have this pattern waiting in the wings. As it turned out I decided to start this one first while I waited for my corduroy fabric to arrive and plucked up the courage to cut the blouse so here is Florence.

Oh, and I don't usually name my clothes, well unless the pattern has an exotic name like Sorbetto or Mathilde, but I noticed on the selvedge that this fabric is called Florence so it seemed only right that I named her accordingly and the fact that my parents bought me a new sewing machine as a very early Christmas & Birthday present, just so that I could finish her as my old one died, I could even say it's 'Florence and the New Machine' dress. I know, hilarious!

Butterfly Balcony- Fall For Cotton - Butterick 5880 - Front & Back Views
Front & Back Views
Pattern: Butterick 5880
Fabric: 2m of Curtain weight printed brushed cotton
            2m of lining fabric
            Lightweight interfacing (I used iron on)
            12" Zipper

Butterfly Balcony- Fall For Cotton - Butterick 5880 - Fabric
The fabric was from a 50's homemade bedspread which had a large center panel with narrower shaped panels either side. I didn't measure the fabric before hand in my usual gung-ho attitude and just I assumed there would be enough, well we all know what assumption spawns. Somehow thankfully I managed to wrangle it and squeeze all the important pieces out!
Butterfly Balcony- Fall For Cotton - Butterick 5880 - Front skirt panel
Center seam in front of skirt and Satin lining to underside of wrap
Obviously, there were a few areas of compromise. I had to join the two side panels, to be able to create the front skirt panel, this means that rather than being cut on the fold it has a dirty great seam line up the front of it, but as it's hidden under the wrap so it hardly shows.

The other consideration was the wrap itself, it should have been fashion fabric on the underside as well as the top, but due to having no more fabric (unless I went in for some patchwork) I opted to use some dark blue lining fabric from my stash which was a slippery nightmare to work with but does the job. It's actually worked out quite well as the fashion fabric is quite a heavy woven cotton it adds an element of lightness that would have been lost if it had been on both sides.

Butterfly Balcony- Fall For Cotton - Butterick 5880 - Wrap on skirt
I thank the heavens above for the wonder that is Professor Pincushion, if it were not for her I would still be sitting in front on my machine baffled by the pleats in that wrap!
This pattern is not for the feint hearted. It's not difficult per say, there is just a lot of bits to construct. As it's fully lined you're essentially making two dresses and the instructions are a bit vague in places. I will admit I am easily confused and generally have to read instructions at least ten times before I feel confident to actually follow them, but these really were exceptionally vague. I mentioned almost as a joking aside that there was a Youtube tutorial if I got stuck and honestly it wasn't long before I did!

I love nearly everything about this dress, especially the wrap even with all its brain boggling instructions, but the one thing I really don't love how the bodice looks on me. I like the idea of it and on the other versions I have seen made up it looks great, but on me, it just feels meh! It's supposed to be loose fitting but it just feels baggy, I've taken the shoulder seams in by tapering the seam to the shoulder, which has helped a little am hoping that I will eventually grow to love it (probably needs to be worn out for the first time and then I'll warm to it) but if not I will have to make some further adjustments, perhaps some darts or maybe a padded bra!

Butterfly Balcony- Fall For Cotton - Butterick 5880 - Bodice

The only other alterations I made to the size 18 was to add a teeny bit of length to the skirt. Rather unhelpfully the pattern does not show you where to lengthen the wrap so I added my length by reducing the 5/8" seam allowance on the wrap (by serging as close to the edge as I could get away with) and reducing the very generous 2" hem to match.

Initially it fitted perfectly, but having a month free from cooking hearty meals (I've eaten a whole lot of marmite on toast, it's been lovely!) has left me a little slimmer in the waist (sadly though my behind has remained the same size, unfair!) than I was when I first fitted the dress, I'm not complaining at all, but as the dress is fully lined with the same blue satin as the wrap, the thought of adjusting all the seams makes me feel faint, so a good sturdy belt will have to do for now and lets face it, as I said before, it's always nice to know there is room to breath and more importantly eat!

Butterfly Balcony- Fall For Cotton - Butterick 5880 - Full shot
Cheers me dears!
So that's my first outfit for Fall for Cotton, next up is my 'Lightfields ensemble' I just need to get some better, more detailed photos first. I'm off now to finish my Babycham and listen to some Santo and Jonny and pretend it's not as chilly outside as it feels!

Wendy x


  1. So glamorous! This is one of my favourite patterns, though I haven't actually made it. Totally understand the seaming and piecing together - I've done this more times than I care to remember.

  2. Wendy, it's beautiful! You've done a brilliant job and well done for making it work with less fabric than was required. Looking forward to seeing your blouse :-) x

  3. Ooh what a lovely dress, I love the neck detailing! :)

  4. I love that fabric...its so so pretty! That wrap detail on the waist must have been so tricky to get right...but you have done it perfectly....the dress for the next party no doubt! I also share your pain as I seem to frustratingly loose weight on my boobs rather than muffin top....if only it was a choice. But you look absolutely lovely and I love this new creation. Have a fabulous weekend my dear!
    May xx

  5. Such a super pretty dress! LOVE the table cloth fabric - it works perfectly - and it's a wonderfully flattering the classic style. Job well done, I say, even if you're not quite certain about the fitting of the top.

  6. Oh my, such a lovely fabric and dress!