Finished - another Butterick B5211 dress - the Raindrops Dress

This is the 5th time I've made up this pattern, which is pretty good value! I've made the dress 3 times (first 2 ages ago), and also used the top half as a woven tee pattern as seen here and here.  The first time I used this pattern I cut it out, because I was blissfully unaware of the concept of tracing and preserving paper patterns. I was a leeeeetle bit skinnier then too, so when I made the second one I found it was sadly way too tight around my backside, and have been unable to wear it. So this time, I was careful when I cut out my fabric to add some extra room from the waistline down.





View B is a very easy make - kimono sleeves, I eliminated the back neck opening because it's just not needed, and cut both pieces on the fold. I also eliminated the pockets as they add too much bulk, and the facing, and bound both the neckline and the armholes in contrasting bias as a facing instead. The main difference with this make is that I added elastic to the waistline to cinch it in evenly. It's very hard to gather it in evenly with the belt without it looking all poofy and weird at the back, and this eliminates the need for a belt if you don't wish to wear one. It really does need to be worn cinched in I think, unless you don't mind wearing things that look like sacks!

Before elastic - tres sack-like!

I used a nice drapey rayon with a beautiful pattern that reminds me of raindrops, that I found on the $2/metre table at Darn Cheap and used french seams for the side seams and shoulders because it frays pretty easily. I cut it on the cross grain because the print wasn't even, and I really wanted the highest concentration of colour up near my face (I've mentioned before that being the whitest person in the universe means one must be careful with pastels up around the face).

Before sewing it up I marked the waistline on the fabric, according to the pattern, as a guide for applying the elastic, then once the dress was completely made up except for the hem I laid it flat and used a ruler to rule a straight line across the dress, with a disappearing marker, and this was my guide for applying the elastic.



I just measured some elastic around my natural waist, that was firm but comfortable, and quartered it. I pinned it to the frock matching the quartering marks at the side seams and centre front and back, and stitched it on stretching it gently and evenly, with a zigzag stitch. It worked a treat and I think is very stylish!


It's a very comfortable dress to wear and very cool - I wore it a couple of times in NYC and felt very put together. I went with a contrasting leather belt to make it a bit more chic rather than a matchy match tie, but I think I might need to add some belt loops as the weight of the belt does drag down a little at the front. This version reminds me very much of the Pattern Runway Easy Kimono Dress, and I do think more versions will appear for Summer! It wouldn't be hard to draft something similar if you have a basic woven kimono sleeve top - this is the shape of the dress without any gathering or cinching - just create a gentle A-line shape from the waistline down, making sure it will be wide enough around bum and hips, add elastic and you're done!

In fact I think I will try to construct a similar elastic waist dress pattern for knits, using the Maria Denmark Kimono sleeve tee - I think it would be perfect for my lovely red stripe that I bought at Mood in NYC.


Comments

  1. I would live in this dress! It looks great on you, and the fabric was a really nice choice.

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    1. Thankyou! Yes it's so easy to wear, and to make - win win! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Lovely little dress! And great fabric choice. Personally I'm not a fan of elasticated waists, and just prefer belts on my sack dresses.

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    1. Thanks for coming by! I like the elastic waist just to gather it all evenly - I don't like the look of the exposed gathers without a belt either!

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  3. Hi _ I know what you mean about pastel colours / white / cream on a pale skin (I am also as white as they come with reddish hair) and those colours are really not flattering and tend to give me the appearance of a ghost / wiped out zombie look!
    Great idea to use the fabric the way you did and the elastic waistband idea was fab!

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    1. Thanks! Yes one has to be so careful when one is so pale! My legs are scary after winter!

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