Gown of the Year

I’ve cut and sewn the toile for Butterick 2669, and I think this is a contender for gown of the year – look, it’s a stunner!
It accentuates my curves, cuts the perfect length, is incredibly comfortable to wear, and makes me look ten years younger – even in calico.  You’ll notice of course that I spent ages doing my hair and makeup especially for the glamour photoshoot!
Well, the comfortable bit is certainly correct!

My pattern is a size B34/W26/H36, and I am size B35/W29/H39, so I graded it in width accordingly – +1,+3,+3.  It appears the original may have fitted me after all with only a bit extra in the hip- was vanity sizing prevalent even back then!?  I realise it is meant to be a easy-fitting shift, but it is rather huge don’t you think?

Apart from overall excess width, the bust apex is 1″ off to the side of mine, although it is at the correct level.  The armhole seems quite wide-set and the front neckline a little high.  I have trimmed the seam allowances off the neckline and armhole so we are looking at the finished edges:

I have the same shoulder-to-bust drag line that was on my Coal-Miner’s Daughter Dress.  I think the shoulder is the cause as I have square shoulders as well as quasimodo shoulders.  That’s a new term I just made up for my own shoulder which has a bump in it.  If you have studied shoulder anatomy then it might make more sense if I tell you my coracoid process of the scapula sticks out anteriorly!  Although Steph suggested an FBA so I’ll look at that if shoulder adjustments don’t work – I am a ‘B’ but I could be a bit prominent in the chest.

There is a sway back adjustment to be made – see how the side seam swings forward from waist level, and the CB hem is lower than the front (not really evident in side view, more evident in back view).  The forward side seams are causing the front skirt to flare slightly.  This is a classic swayback appearance in loose clothing as mentioned in my swayback analysis, so I’m pleased to have a photo as an example now.

Plus this is so long I could probably abandon the hem band if I wanted, but I think I like it so much that is here to stay.  Back to the drawing board…

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I'm a designer/patternmaker who loves to share my sewing knowledge with others! Follow me as I sew my personal projects, sharing my favourite tricks of the trade along the way.

8 thoughts on “Gown of the Year

  1. The decorative stitching will make this dress, and it's a showcase for lovely fabric. Try standing like the models on the pattern cover- twisted with your hip jutting out- then I think it will look more like it… 😉

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  2. Wow, you are so precise with your dress making! I am so impressed by that. I want to learn more! I have a question and can't seem to get an answer. When I make bodice darts I don't know where they are to end. I made a dress and it looked like I was wearing a pointed Madonna bra. LOL. How did you know your darts were not right? Please think about doing a tutorial on this. I think this dress is going to be great!

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  3. I am impressed by your attention to detail when it comes to fitting. I do think that it is really worth making the effort to address all the fitting problems at the muslin stage. I definitely think that you should keep the hem band – I think that it will look good.

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