Butterick 5454 – wrap dresses are great!

After being distracted from my stated goal of sewing stashed fabrics by my desire for wool jersey dresses, I was finally able to knock out a couple things from the very long ago (as in, things I planned to make right when I started sewing but never got to). The first is a wrap dress in a brown ITY-y border print I bought on my first trip to Mood (LA, not NY, unfortunately). I intended it from the start to be a wrap dress, but I didn’t have a pattern in mind. Later I picked up Butterick 5454 for it, but another year or two went by before I pulled them both out and just did it!

I was dubious at times as the dress was coming together, but I really like it. This is a pretty great wrap dress pattern. Granted, I have never tried any others, but now I don’t think I’ll need to! I made my usual SBA by folding about an inch out of the neckline, and I converted the shoulder pleat to gathers (at the suggestion of the brilliant Slapdash Sewist, though unlike her I found the front skirt overlap to be sufficient), but otherwise I made no changes. I only had 2 yards of fabric, but I managed to squeeze it all in by adding a seam to one of the ties (it falls under the knot and is basically rendered invisible by the print anyway). I was undecided on whether to keep the border on the sleeves or to hem it off, but I left it as a tryout and I think I like it. The one thing I will warn about this pattern is that it’s shorter than I thought it would be. I guess I was assuming a mid-knee length (clearly not looking at the pattern illustration or reading the description, which clearly states the above knee length) plus the border makes it seem shorter. But after wearing it all day, I decided the length was perfectly fine.

I was also a little wary of the fabric – it’s kind of like a spongy ITY, very stretchy but thick (almost foamy) while still being pretty slippery. I was worried it would be a huge hassle to sew, but although it was totally impervious to being pressed, it behaved itself nicely when simply folded over and twin-needled (which was how I finished all the edges). It was actually kind of a dream to sew! Who knows what it is, though… It was also so staticky that when I laid out the pattern pieces on it they just stuck there (made it really easy to cut out), so I wore a slip with it yesterday and it was sticking to the slip too! But then when I got home from work I took off the slip, and wouldn’t you know, not a spark of static. So apparently it just sticks to tissue and other fabric, but not legs – which, I suppose, is the way I’d like all fabric to be!

My full pattern review is here.

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6 comments
  1. Ashlee said:

    This is so nice! I love the dark brown border on the hem and cuffs especially, very chic 🙂 Definitely going to check out this pattern – wrap dresses are so fab.

  2. Great dress! I like the use of border print and the colors. Glad you finally got around to making it.

  3. Meigan said:

    I really like the border print on the cuffs. It looks great!

  4. Nikki said:

    Love it, looks great on you. I love the borders too.

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