Apologies in advance for the lame post title. This dress, though, is NOT lame. Unless you think leopard is lame, and if that’s the case – I’m afraid we can’t be friends at this point, so you need to GTFO, bye.
This is my third (!!!) make of Butterick 5078 – and likely not my last, although it probably should be for right now. I love this pattern, although I’ve had to make a few modifications to get it exactly where I want it – shortening the skirt, eliminating the waist runching, and streamlining the sewing process. It appears to work well with a variety of fabrics, from slinky to ones with lots of body. Now that’s a versatile pattern, yeah?
(ooh I just noticed how crooked that picture is. My tripod doesn’t stand straight, so I usually have to straighten them in editing… and I guess I didn’t straighten that one enough. Sorry! I’m also not fixing it, mwahaha)
My fabric is a lovely knit ponte from Mood fabrics – it has a nice heft and body to it (unlike the rayon jersey I used for my slinky 5078), as well as a good amount of stretch, even though it’s also quite stable. This fabric was a joy to work with, especially when it came time for my twin needle topstitching. Usually I have to play around with the tension and stitch length to get a good smooth stitch without that weird bump down the middle, but with this stuff the stitches just sank right in. It also presses really well – which yeah, pressing a knit seems kind of weird, but I like to press my hems before I topstitch as I find it makes it easier to sew. And while it’s nice and cozy, I also think it’ll be totally suitable for warmer months.
As I mentioned before, I switched up the construction order for this to makes things easier. I basically just sewed everything flat, and then swooped up the side seams at the very end. This is what I love so much about knits – having those open side seams means it’s really easy to suck everything if you need to size it down a little. Which I ended up doing, since the super stretch of the fabric made the dress too big originally. I also narrowed the width of the midriff section, as the skirt is very heavy and the weight was pulling it down.
Also, I wasn’t thinking when I bought this stuff (well I was thinking, but more along the lines of “OOH LEOPARD OOH SEXY DRESS LET ME WRAP MYSELF IN THIS HERE BOLT OF FABRIC), and I only bought a yard and a half. It would’ve been enough if the bodice wasn’t cut on the bias. Whoops! I spent foreeeeever trying different cutting layouts to get this to fit on my piece of fabric. In the end, I shortened the sleeves to elbow-length, took an additional 2″ off the skirt, and now the bodice back has a seam (it’s supposed to be cut on the fold – can you see that seam tho? It kind of looks, oh, camouflaged trololol).
Consider me a ponte convert! Special thanks to Carolyn, she dragged me to the section I would have otherwise ignored. Now I wish I had one of everything that was in there, gah.