Looking for the perfect dress to layer with cardies, that can make either a summer or winter outfit? Welcome to the Butterick 5455! It’s a much lauded pattern, sadly out of print. Source it, if you can.
Look at the gorgeous bodice detail with those tiny and flattering pleats. Linen works well, and you can see why.
Do you know what’s really good about a bodice that’s fitted with pleats? If the final make still isn’t sitting quite snug enough to the neckline, you can just add an extra couple of pleats! That’s what I did.
When I’m on my death bed and someone asks me what my regrets in life are, I’ll say, My narrow upper chest. That’s the only thing I regret. It doesn’t half give me fitting grief. On the plus side, my hairdresser recently told me, I can only do so much, Karen, but you have GREAT hair. So, there’s that. Genetics, huh?
It’s not just the pleats I love in this design. There are separate pattern pieces for a lined bodice, which gives a very neat finish.
And the pattern has a very pretty back. This is a first for me. In all my years of sewing, I’ve never allowed myself to sew a pattern with a V-shaped back bodice. Why? I was convinced I had an ugly back. Allow me to repeat those words. An ugly back.
So, maybe I’ll have a second regret on my death bed. That I wasted so much of my youth hating my body. I could weep at the waste. Don’t do it, kids. Jump off the top of that wardrobe with your bits jiggling about! (I love that image from the David Bowie video.)
Oh, I should mention the print with this make! I was careful with the cutting out, that I didn’t end up with golden flowers over my nipples and crotch. That would have been … unfortunate.
I basted all the pieces together to check the fit of this dress. Then I sat on the sofa and unpicked all of those basted pieces, before beginning to sew the dress up properly. Sounds time-consuming, but it can save a lot of heartache. This is a trick I learnt from the Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns, which often instruct you to baste everything together first. It’s a trick worth bearing in mind!
So, what have I learned with this make?
That I can wear a V-neck bodice.
That basting really helps.
That this is a lovely pattern!
And that the human body is there to be appreciated, not despised. Sewing helps a lot in the teaching of this lesson. Unfortunately, I’m not always a good pupil. I wish it hadn’t taken me six years’ of sewing to finally have the humility to really and properly listen.