Finished projects

The Dress of High Hopes and Huge Disappointment

You know how it goes. One minute you’re soaring on cloud 9 with your sewing machine, totally into your current project and taking such great care to make sure it comes out as you had hoped. Then, once you’re well into it, you notice some things have gone awry. “No worries, I’ll just tweak it a bit here and there!” you think to yourself. “That should do it!”

Then you’re almost finished, everything is looking immaculate and you put it on for one last fitting. Oh no. All of your hopes and dreams have been crushed by a pattern that started out way too big and no amount of tweaking and taking in can help. You shrug and finish the project anyway, determined to at least finish something even if it’s a huge disappointment.

That’s the story of my time with Butterick 5601. It’s such an easy dress AND so cute…

Back yoke on the right TO DIE FOR
Back yoke on the right TO DIE FOR

…but my failure started with choosing the wrong size. According to the charts, I fell between a size 12 and 14. The pattern doesn’t have those two sizes in the same package. So, erring on the side of caution (and defeat… I’ll probably gain weight rather than lose it), I went with the larger sizing, 14+.

It wasn’t a problem with the badunkadunk, it was everything else.

Looks innocent and nice from the front.
Looks innocent and nice from the front.

I cut the size 14 and graded to a 16 at the hip. I added 2 1/2″ to the hem, thinking I could pull this off at work. The side seams were taken in 3/4″ each and another 1 3/4″ was taken in at the zipper, which caused all kinds of weird bunching. If I didn’t take in that much at the zipper, it would have been all loose and floppy around the chest and back. Sigh.

IMG_4694Not to mention I had to sew the button closure wayyyyy over from where it’s supposed to be. The points are supposed to barely be touching at the top, but I have a good few inches of overlap. That only helps a little with back yoke sagginess.

Womp womp.

I even took the care to line the whole dress!

Would look SO CUTE in black
Would look SO CUTE in black

And just look at that awesome zipper job!

Would also look cool as a black dress with statement zipper.
Would also look cool as a black dress with statement zipper.

Although I am bummed about wasting all of that lining fabric, I’m not so sad about losing the shell fabric. Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love the print, but I have a ton left and it was about $1.50/yard at a store closing sale. It’s a quilting cotton but it feels like it’s decent quality. Maybe I can make a third Cambie out of the rest… hmmmm…

Come to think of it, the pictures don’t make the dress look devastatingly bad, but believe me it looks a lot worse in real life. Maybe I can get away with wearing a blazer over it? But then it defeats the whole cute back yoke purpose. Arrrghh!!

I’ll leave you with some out-takes showing my wide range of emotions of varying disappointment:

Ho hum...
Ho hum…

Tell me, have you made any busts lately? Aren’t they a bummer?!


10 thoughts on “The Dress of High Hopes and Huge Disappointment

  1. Shame about the issues with the dress. The lining looks fabulous; sounds like you did a lot of things right and its just the size that let you down. Chalk it down to experience. I have made a wadder on the simplest of skirts (Mabel by Colette) so I have been a bit meh about it.


    1. I guess that’s the joy of creating… not everything will go perfectly. But at least now I know what size patterns to buy LOL. That’s a bummer about your Mabel. Don’t let it defeat you… you’ll conquer it one day! Show that skirt who’s boss 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally understand what you are saying! great expectations but then… tthe fabric is really nice and the Dress is cute anyway, maybe you can split it in 2 and re-use the 2 parts desperately so no Horror in the back will occur… but don’t despair… and start another one! 🙂


    1. Butterick Patterns are on sale for $0.99 this Saturday at Hancock… so I think I’ll buy the proper size and try again. This dress will not defeat me! LOL. Those other ideas are great, too. Maybe I can salvage the skirt part at least… thanks for the ideas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. uhmmm this happens to me all the time. it’s the worst feeling ever.
    i have decided to boycott the big pattern making companies and get indie patterns or draft my own. i have had two out of two success so far!


    1. Oooh drafting your own pattern sounds cool! I would like to take a class and learn now that I have a real dress form.

      Dude the fit on some of those companies are weird. But I’ve had luck with McCalls as long as I size way down. Also the one Cynthia Rowley pattern by Simplicity I made surprised me with how well it fitted almost straight from the envelope.

      I just can’t resist the dollar pattern sales at JoAnn’s!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah those sales get me too!! Suck me right in.

        I haven’t taken a class for it b I am trying to draft patterns off of clothing I have already that fits or off of my measurements. Like so far I have done a tshirt which turned out awesome.


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