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.
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!
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. : )
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? : )
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!!
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:
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!
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!
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!