Jumping in


So sometimes, you make a muslin, and then another one. And sometimes you get cocky and fit as you go. And then sometimes… You throw all caution to the wind, and just sew.

It occurred to me sometime after I painstakingly cut out the entire dress single-layer that, while I may have the Simplicity bodice block figured out, I probably shouldn’t be quite as cocky about Butterick. The last Butterick pattern I made myself was my winter coat, which is a bit of a different creature. And the way this is constructed I may not have any idea what it’s doing fit wise until I insert the zipper. So I may well be making a meticulous disaster. Ulp.


I tackled the most terrifying part of this dress yesterday—those folded cups. I got it into my head that I should pad the cups, partly because I’m using a really soft cotton for the contrast bit and partly because the curve of the dart really scared me once I had it stitched up, and this way even if I don’t fill the cups they won’t sag too badly. I’m liking the fit post-padding much better.


I used pretty much the method Tasia describes here, although I did nothing so responsible as re-reading her post. That would’ve been too easy. Basically I used the liner pattern piece, cut in some kind of batting that was kicking around. I cut out the dart (curving the legs for a nice shape), butted the dart edges and stitched them closed with a zig-zag stitch, and trimmed off my seam allowances with pinking shears. Then I free handed a couple of oval/egg shapes, progressively smaller, to fit inside, also with pinking shears, and hand-tacked them in place. This poly batting doesn’t feather as well as a cotton batting (Read Tasia’s post for a description of feathering), but with the pinked edges I think it worked okay.

Getting the pleats figured out took some more work (and even reading the directions!)… Mostly because they fold in the opposite direction from what I had assumed. Some seam ripping and swearing were involved, and my folds aren’t anywhere near as crisp as some of the other versions I’ve seen. I think it works with my picnic dress vibe, though. It does, right?

Now for the second-most terrifying part of this dress—that bias strap! And then, friends, then… The try-on!



Filed under Sewing

18 responses to “Jumping in

  1. I just helped build some period menswear for the opera and we padded out some of the vests and coats in a very similar way – the layered and pinked batting. Looking good so far! Can’t wait to see how it turns out! =)

  2. Ooh, caution to the wind, eh? I’m sure you’ll make this baby work. Looking good. I like the fabric choices.

  3. You ARE brave!!! And it is looking great so far! ~Laurie

  4. Haha! Good luck on your Just Dive In dress. It’s looking gorgeous already!

  5. Looking good so far! I’m a fan of the dive in method myself.

  6. trumbelinasews

    Good luck!! So far it looks great!

  7. I’m with the rest, so far so good and I’m sure you’ll make it work.

  8. Looking forward to seeing it when it’s completed!

  9. oooh it looks so pretty so far! My fingers are crossed that this ends up a winner for you.

  10. Oh my goodness this is a beautiful combo, love it so much! And your passing trick is very cool, and clever. Bring on the reveal!

  11. You’re living on the edge and I like it! I have to admit that those cups have made me push this frock toward the back of my queue…

  12. Bri

    It’s going to be so pretty with the fabric and contrast on the cups, I can’t wait to see more!

  13. Rose in SV

    I think that Gertie just finished sewing this…at BlogforBetterSewing.com.

  14. oooh, meticulous disaster makes. whenever i come to the realization that i may be on that path, i decide i’ll learn. a lot. but they NEVER look as pretty as yours is at the moment.

  15. Watching you make this with great interest, I bought the pattern too and can’t wait to make it but shall definitely learn from your making it and Gertie’s walkthrough. Thank you for beating a path for others to follow. Love the fabric choices, it’s going to look great.

  16. Ooh! Can’t wait to see the finished project! 🙂 I often throw caution to the wind and skip the toile….

  17. Pingback: Wrestling with the Picnic Dress | Tanit-Isis Sews

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