Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sew: It's a Wrap! - Butterick 5030 Wrap Dress

Wrapping around the female form in a fitting manor to her shape, a wrap dress is supposed feel secure, functional and overall be a complimentary fit. I absolutely love the feeling of comfort, security and style of my Vogue 8184 DVF wrap dress. The front fold overs cover the whole body, allowing the wearer to sit comfortably. Everything works together to create a balanced and successful look.

The wrap dress a la Butterick 5030? Well, that's another story...

Here it is, with Torpedo Tits shaping the top. Pew! Pew! Pew! Yes, I received my Uniquely You last Friday. However, I've been too uninterested in shaping the sloper to my body. So, onto the slightly sticky white foam it went:

I don't hate the dress. I just found some methods less logical than expected. Using the Vogue wrap as my keystone, I made some modifications.

First off, the belt. Why would anyone use printed cotton and only do a rolled hem on it, per the pattern's expectation? Talk about home sewing fail. One side would be printed and the other side a wrong sided rolled hem? Why?!

Second, the facings. I loved the concept of finishing the un notched edge before attaching the fabric to the garment. However, this dress should have a neck facing. The way the instructions say to finish the collar between notched edges and blend it to the bodice facings seemed odd. I fashioned a back facing on the fly and made it work.

Third, the measurements. I know that I'm usually two sizes: a different bodice size, usually 20 and a different skirt size, usually 22. Unfortunately, based on the pattern ease and size statement on all parts, I cut a size 18. This lead to a very audible gasp of the full words of the acronym "WTF" when I realized this before sewing the bodice together. So, I sewed the side with barely a fourth of a side seam. I corrected the gap in the back by going in 5/8ths at the armhole and then grading it down to the barely there seam line at the waist.

Fourth, and most important, the fabric yardage suggestion. Now, I know to purchase the next yardage up from what's given. it seems to never fail that when I get exactly what's suggested, even when I wash the fabric exactly how it's expressed to be washed, it shrinks. With this dress, even with using the pattern layout expressed, I had to alter the cut skirt hem to make up for running out of fabric.

Okay, after that little bitching session, is there anything that I really like about this dress? Why, yes:

First, I really like the collar. It's wide and beautiful. Plus, this was the best interfacing process that I've done on it! It looks clean, crisp and sharp.

Second, I LOVE the belt with my modifications.

Third, well, I'm proud of my shoulders. I'm getting better at them and it's showing. I'm no longer tensing up as much with a high level of resistance at their installation. Now, I just say screw it and put them in after easing. I'm getting used to trusting myself and just doing it. Seam rippers were invented for a reason, if things don't go as planned.

Pattern Review.com review here: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=61526 


Butterick 5030




Flared, wrapped dress, below mid-knee has semi-fitted bodice, front band or collar, sleeve variations. A: contrast bands and belt. B, F: purchased belt. C, D: self fabric belts. E: cuffs and single layered sash. I made E's single layer sash with sash modifications. I also didn't do the cuffs, as that was too era dating. 

Pattern Sizing:

As Butterick runs small, per the final pattern and ease measurement stated on the bust and skirt pieces, I did a size 18 for top and bottom.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

They were decently written , even if I didn't agree with all of them and as such, rarely looked at them.


Cotton from JoAnn's. Why I always tend to find the prettiest - yet $12.99 per yard fabric, I have no idea. Thanks to another 50% off coupon, a $50 cut of fabric came out to $25.

True to Illustration

Pretty much.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  1. Belt: For the belt, I thought the pattern's version of what to do for the belt in view E (a hem) wouldn't work for my vision. It looked silly. So, I decided to be inspired from the Vogue 8379. I decided to sew the belt seams, create a bow end on the flair side and make a true belt. Besides, doing a simple hem on a belt - on a dress - with printed fabric - is unappealing to me. This way, the belt is finished and looks nice.
  2. Unexpected Alteration: Shortened the hem, based on fabric shrinkage during washing. See my Tips and Techniques section for explanation.

Tips and Techniques:

  • Fabric Shrinkage: I made the most unfortunate mistake of forgetting to get the next up size yardage requirement  on fabric. Pre washing has habitually screwed me over with this, causing me to constantly shorten my skirt lengths. Even when I wash and dry the fabric exactly as it recommends. It's frustrating and annoying.
  • Invisible Thread: On a fabric pattern like this, I enjoyed using invisible thread. I didn't have to worry about what thread to top stitch with and how jarring the white would be on the multicolored fabric. That was the easiest part of the whole outfit.

Things I Would Change If I Made It Again:

A fair amount, honestly. I would change the way the bodice fits across the breast area for more secure coverage. I know that cotton isn't knit. But, I feel the pattern can do better.

I would also use buttons for security instead of hook and eyes. I don't trust the wrap for primarily holding the dress up. The belt wrap should be primarily decorative.

I would also go a size up on the bottom.This was a good learning experience to understand that I ALWAYS have to resize patterns. Good thing I have a huge roll of pattern making paper.


I might make this again using a patterned fabric for the bottom and a solid white for the top. I also would modify it to be a mock wrap dress with a side zipper.

Blech. I don't know how or when my interest waned. I think that it was when I realized the dress wasn't going to be exactly as I had hoped the first time around.

But, I finished it. :-) Yay!

1 comment:

  1. Seam rippers are God's gift to us! LOL Great review!