butterick 2704 – skirt to a dress

For a few reasons, I seem to have spent much of December trying to make winter dresses for myself.  I have a pair of brown boots I love but little to wear with them, so I figured I could run up some tunic dresses and have a great selection to wear within weeks, how wrong I was.  Between one thing and another, none of the dresses seemed right.  I wanted a dress or tunic that was semi-fitted, comfortable, and that would work with knee high chunky leather boots, and my body shape…..and that would be fab, so it became a month of trial and error.    It now looks like January will be a month of tweaking the nearly done flawed other dresses before I can get onto another coat remake. 

The first skirt was a polyester cupro, great weight, and the colour was a bit dowdy, but I thought I could figure something later.  I used the butterick beach dress and made it shorter.  The skirt was taken apart, and the side seams went out for hips, and in again – in a lot more than the waist width – probably to keep the line of skirt tidy, but I didn’t anticipate the loss of fabric here.(the skirt is  a uk size 18, I am a 12/14).  The dress pattern neckline is at the skirt hemline in the photo.    I was able to make the hips marginally bigger, and the overall length of centre front neck is 84cm, so a bit above knee.  I had made the dress before from cotton, and it was incredibly quick to run up.

In the photo, and on mannequin there is a drag of fabric above darts but this isn’t evident on when wearing it(?) – I am hoping its the fabric as it didn’t happen with the cotton version. I am not 100% happy with the balance of the tunic.  Where the dart ends’ the waist shaping begins and it seems to cut the line the dress in half and makes it look a bit dumpy (as it is made shorter than the pattern is ).  I am probably being over critical, I have worn it, and its comfortable, and has shape, so thats 2 out of 3.  I will consider applique trim of another colour for neck and hem if I come across an appropriate shade or fabric, but not until the other dresses are got to a finished state……………….

butterick 5603 – the go-to dress

butterick 5603

This has really got to be the ‘go -to’ to dress.  I have seen it made up on other blogs and all styles and sizes are lovely.  My preferred variations are on the Julia Bobbins blog, and she also has an enviable figure and each version is stunning on her.  I was thinking of trying one of her adaptions, but I thought I best to just make it up as-is first, and then see if the straighter skirt would suit later.  I really like the waist definition on this pattern, it just flows beautifully.  I have a bit of a pet-hate with some waist seams on ready-to-wear dresses, they don’t suit a lot of people, regardless of age or shape, and if you have a long or short back, or sway back, they will sit all wrong. 

butterick 5603 - the go to dress

I had made a version (or toile) of the dress from a bed sheet, and the shape so so so  flattering  – this version is a bit bland and probably trim etc could lift it, I don’t think I will be trimming it, and have figured it could make a swanky set of PJs.  The shape of the dress was sufficiently fab for me to be on the look out for some fabric  because I really like the wider skirt .  There was no way was I going to get the cut from an upcycle, so I got some grossgrain on a mark-down (and later found flaws – ick) and went with that.  Its cotton grossgrain, so has a lot of body and limited give on the straight and too much on the bias.  I thought I would try bodice A as I like boat-neck, but I didn’t like it for this dress, and there was enough fabric for Bodice B.  I think if I was using bodice A again, I would also omit the v back – and not because it was a messy facing to do either!)

butterick 5603 - the go to dress

Everything was pretty straightforward, although I think the bodice could have done with a better form of facing than lining in this instance, but its minor. I used the flash on the camera for two of the photos so the fabric looks a bit glossier than it is. My partner, James, thinks the bows look fiddly/silly, but I love them! I feel a bit like a walking 1950’s pattern illustration wearing the dress, so that can’t be a bad thing either.  Anyway, as the orange Pauline dress made its way to a friends wardrobe, this is my christmas party dress…….. and I am well happy!

Butterick 2704 – pillowcase to top

butterick 2704 upcycle pillowcase to blouse

Butterick 2704 -so much in one pattern.  I have made the coat, top, beach dress, and trews (so only skirt, shorts, and jacket to go). 

I saw these 2 pillowcases, and adored the vivid design, what I hadn’t factored, was that the design and grain would not run true to each other, and in order to get the cut from the pillowcase I had to sew the pillowcase halves together and work with what I got, its really only near the hem the design join wavers and it is (I hope) barely visible.  In fairness, this was the only problematic bit, the rest was a breeze.  The top has no fastenings, but a wide neckline, and the hem is just below waist, and is fully lined, so no facings – very cute but needs a lower hemline (or complimentary fabric added on?) if worn with jeans as it is a bit short.

butterick 2704 upcycle pillowcase to blouse

Butterick 2704 – green cloak to green coat

The Green Coat, Butterick 2704 - cloak to a coat

When I saw this green cloak in the charity shop – I truly could not resist it..  It reminded me of the original Irish Air Hostess uniform.  Its a full-on kelly-green woven wool cloak with hood.  My feeling is that it was probably made for either a primary school play or float about St Patrick, and also made a long long time ago!  With a cloak there is a natural progression to a kimono sleeve (I was given a cloak some years ago and made a jacket with sleeves from it, and it was only when I finished I thought the kimono sleeve …..) 

butterick 2704 upcycle cloak to coat
I used this Butterick pattern and had to make it about 8 inches shorter as there was not enough fabric, but that being said, the pattern length was too long for contemporary wear.  The sewing up was relatively straight forward, and its a great summer coat pattern,  I used the lining from the cloak to line it but it was a bit light and a bit scrappy, so I happened to come across a nice check lining by chance, and it has a better weight, so I relined it using a heavier lining and also decided to include side pockets.  The patch pockets did not look well at all, and the side ones work nicely. 
butterick 2704 upcycle cloak to coat

(I was tempted to make one of the hats from here to match ….. but that’s for another day)