Sgt. Pepper dress – finished!

Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - finished

Here she is, my finished Sgt. Pepper dress!  Only took me a month or so.  : )  Despite my lack of sewing time lately and the resulting slow pace of progress on this project, I’m actually quite pleased with how it all came together.  The print alignment turned out fairly well, and I’m really digging this late 60s inspired fabric.  Perfectly reminiscent of one of my favorite Beatles albums.  And check out the cat eye and huge mustache on the fabric (3rd row below the waistband) – how funky!  Love it.

Butterick 5353 pattern art

Project Stats:

Pattern: Butterick 5353, fitted dress with circular neckband.

Fabric: The shell is 100% cotton, an Alexander Henry print called “In Crowd,” and the waistband is  yellow Kona cotton.  The dress is fully lined in white Bemberg rayon.

Modifications: Lots of little fitting adjustments, but done a long time ago!  You can read through the posts on my turquoise and yellow dress if you’d like to try to figure it out.  : )

Level of crafty satisfaction: Groovy man!

Click here for the in-progress posts on this dress, including more detail on construction.  Oh, and please excuse the wet hair in these photos… gotta take advantage of the daylight when you’ve got it!

Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - side Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - back

I’m pretty proud of the print alignment down the center back and how the faces begin and end neatly above and below the waistband.  It’s not 100% perfect, but it’s as close as I was willing to get it without completely driving myself insane (i.e., I eyeballed it instead of actually measuring out the seam allowances when cutting).  So sue me!  That’s just how I roll, haha.

Oh, and can you see my invisible zipper?  Me neither.  : )

Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - with cardigan front

For winter wear, I’ll pair the dress with this black floral Ann Taylor cardigan that I got last winter and goes with pretty much everything I own.  I love this look!  It’s clean and classic while still being a little interesting because of the funky print.  And the fact that I already had a matching cardigan was totally an excuse for sewing a completely impractical dress.  Am I right or what?  : )

Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - with cardigan back

I’ve realized that I enjoy wearing slim silhouettes like this, much more so than gathered skirts, which I’ve determined are really not my style at all.  So I might as well stick with what works.  This is my 3rd version of this dress – see here and here for my previous two versions.  I love them all.  Plus, a nice benefit of making multiple dresses from the same pattern is that you can just cut out your fabric and start sewing right away – no more muslins or fit issues to work out.  Woo hoo!!

Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - lining front Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - lining back

The Bemberg rayon lining is so smooth and dreamy, and it feels so cool against my skin.  I’m hoping that this dress will get year-long wear due to the rayon’s breathability (for summer) and slipperiness (for winter with tights).  I get all my Bemberg rayon from Vogue Fabrics and solemnly swear to line all my dresses and skirts in it for the rest of my life.  It’s just that good… and less expensive than silk.  : )

I attached the lining to the hem a little bit higher than where it naturally fell, creating a little bit of a bubble in the lining hem.  Can you see it in the photos above?  I wanted to give myself a little bit of “sitting room” in the seat of the dress.  I could have accomplished this by letting the lining hang free, but I wanted to attach it to the shell to ensure it stayed in place while I’m walking around with tights.  Static is not a good look, know what I mean?

Here’s how I finished the hem:

Sgt Pepper dress - catch stitched hem

First I catch stitched the hem of the shell, leaving a 1 inch hem all the way around.  There was no easing necessary since the skirt has a straight cut.  Easy peasy!

Sgt Pepper dress - slip stitched lining at hem

Then I folded up about 1/2 inch at the lining hem and slip stitched it to the shell, about 3/4 inch above the bottom edge.  To determine where to place the lining hem, I hung up the dress and marked where the lining naturally fell, and then moved it up about 3/8 inch to give me that much-needed wiggle room.  The “bubble” isn’t noticeable from the outside, so I think it worked out quite nicely!

Sgt Pepper dress - Butterick 5353 - looking out windowMan I’m so bad at posing!  Here I’m trying to do the “softly touches head while gazing off to the side” look, but I think I just look ridiculous.  At least I’m wearing a nice dress.  : )

What’s funny about this photo shoot is that I did it really quickly this morning before work (hence the wet hair), and then I immediately changed into work-appropriate clothing for the rest of the day.  While I love this dress, it’s super impractical for lab work.  I’ll have to find a day where I can sit peacefully at my desk for 8 hours… or just wear it on weekends.  Whatever!  I’m allowed to sew something pretty every once in a while, right?

Actually, I have a fancy dinner to go to tomorrow night, so I think this dress will make its debut then.  Hooray for a modern cut dress with some late 60s flair!  Right up my alley.  : )

Edited to add: Here are all three of my Butterick 5353 dresses, all in one place!

Butterick 5353 collage - Allspice Abounds

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14 comments
  1. Looks great, really flattering and an amazing print.love the yellow band aswell :-)

    • Carolyn said:

      Thanks, yeah I love the combination of fabrics here!

  2. Love this…bold print, great fit, beautifully constructed! I

    • Carolyn said:

      Thanks so much! I do love a fully lined dress. : )

  3. Emmely said:

    It turned out great. I’d be too scared to just eyeball but I think you ended up pretty much spot on. After all your raving about the Bemberg rayon I’ve gone ahead and ordered some (read: several yards), I hope it will arrive today. I’m alway struggling with what to use for the lining and I’m really curious about this fabric.

    • Carolyn said:

      Wonderful! I’m so curious to hear what you’ll think of the rayon – you’ll have to let me know once you start using it. Silk is just way out of my budget, and it seems that the rayon accomplishes all the same tasks. Good luck with it! :)

  4. Super awesome! Perfect made, very becoming to you, the pattern- alignment at the zipper is doozy. And how quick you got the pictures, I’m a little envy now – I grapple hours with – than still don’t like it ;-)

    • Carolyn said:

      Haha! I’ve streamlined my photo shoot process and can get it done in about 30 minutes, bearing in mind that I’m not getting anywhere close to professional photos here. Better photos take exponentially more time! In my opinion, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” :)

  5. It looks great! Kudos on the print alignment too, it turned out really, really good (certainly better than if I attempted it)! I also think it’s mandatory to sew something pretty and completely impractical every once in a while, it’s good for the soul! (I for one intend to sew a red cape during the next weeks even though I have no idea how one would go about wearing it; but it WILL be pretty.)

    • Carolyn said:

      Thanks, and I totally agree about the occasional impractical project. Can’t wait to see your cape!! That sounds seriously awesome. Wear it around town with pride!

    • Carolyn said:

      Thanks! It’s definitely unusual but in a “not too crazy” way.

  6. Kim said:

    I love this! Great job on your print alignment, it seems like it would be quite a challenge. The lining really makes this special too, it looks so comfortable :)

    • Carolyn said:

      Thanks so much! It wasn’t that much of a technical challenge, but definitely a challenge in patience during the cutting process. Totally worth it for the final result though. I wore the dress yesterday, and it is surprisingly comfortable – the slippery lining makes all the difference. Love that rayon!

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