I love a lined dress like no other and Butterick has the best patterns for classic lady like style lines and properly lined dresses. This is my current project constructed for myself: Butterick 5519. I wanted to make the pattern in view C with long sleeves and cap fullness; however the fabric on hand did not yield the sleeve pieces. I will remake it with sleeves. I just was so excited about the princess lines and the center front panel to not attempt this pattern ASAP.
I choose a burgundy/wine color cotton blend, the fabric has a lot more Lycra than I would have liked, at least 7%. Because of this the top stitching is not as I would have preferred the presser foot distorted the fabric slightly during the process. I also found it necessary to add twill tape along the shoulder seams in order to retain the seam.
Another fabric error encountered was bulk in the seam allowances along the princess lines and waistband. To counter act this I graded my seam allowances (SA) I trimmed the SA closest to the pressed direction to ⅛” and the second SA to ¼”. This allowed them to reduce the bulk and lay better after pressing as well as later against the body during wear.
The pattern was moving along swimmingly, I was enjoying repeating each step of the process for both the fashion fabric as well as the lining. I love the patterning for the front panel! The princess lines in the front, carry from the bodice through the waist band and taper to front darts. I love this!!! I have a modern Simplicity Project Runway pattern that does the same to construct soon!
Being overall impressed with the construction of 5519, I found that I was not at all impressed with the shoulder construction. The down side of many sleeveless dress patterns is the amount of additional hand tacking required along the shoulder seam. More times than not the patterns require you to leave the shoulder seam open and stitch the side seams as well as the neckline and only stitch to a certain point along the armseye. Later return to sew the shoulder seam and the lining together, thought the open area in the armseye, turning in the SA and final hand tacking to finish. I am not saying that this is not a valid method to construct a sleeveless shoulder; I just personally believe that it is sometimes not as strong or sturdy as a machine sewn seams. I also see too many obstacles in this construction method.
- Alignment of seams and seam allowances
- Puckering in the fashion fabric or lining along armseye
- Pulling of fashion fabric or lining
- Strength of area, as well as Resistance to care and washing all due to hand sewing causing re-sewing later