Butterick 5558- feh or fine?


Now normally I run all of my decisions by my usual team of advisors, but they are jetting off this weekend with an old friend…

So I have to ask- I have this pattern, yes it’s Butterick and I generally abstain from such, but I like the look of it. With Butterick comes uncertainty for me. Is it doable for little me? Is that enough waist gathers to make me look like a cupcake in too many liners?

The metallic fabric really screams cupcake, so I’m not trying to copy it exactly- I was thinking contrasting prints. Help me out, is it to much waist bulk? should I change it? less pleats, more pleats, a wide strip of frosting? any thoughts would be appreciated- I love the bodice, but haven’t cut the skirt out yet- so much waffling…….Gaaaa…..I wish I had a cupcake right now……..

photo credits: pattern review, daily mail

46 thoughts on “Butterick 5558- feh or fine?

  1. I don’t know, tbh. All I can suggest is trust your instincts, your gut reaction! I never knew your hounds were so well connected, although I should have realised their preference for glamour!

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  2. I like the non-metallic version, personally. The contrasting bolero-look is way better than the aluminum foil thingy. Anyways, if you’re worried about the pleats, what about a simple circle skirt? You’d get the swishy fullness at the hem without risking the possibility of the too-many-cupcake-liners look. Having written that, the Simplicity 1800 has a lot of pleats around the waist and it looks perfect, so, um, waffles, anyone?

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  3. I would try it with contrasting fabrics. Plain and dark on the bottom and something bright on the top to draw the eye upwards and away from the waist pleats if you are concerned. If you make the bottom in a dark fabric (black, navy, chocolate) you will not notice so much if there are more or less pleats.
    I think I’ve got a crush on this pattern it would make a great work dress!

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    • Mia says:

      This is a great dress choice. I would not do contrast, but one fabric for skirt and bodice, or different fabrics that are similar in color; as this would result in a longe line ( + leaner look). The stitched down pleats are also slimming and elongating. Great dress choice all around!

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  4. susan c whelan says:

    I agree with sewbusylizzy, go darker on the bottom. It’s a cute pattern. I’m short-waisted, too. I would experiment with stitching the pleats down a couple of inches further – and wear something to hold in my tummy 😉 Longer waists nearly always work for those of blessed with more legs than torso. Also, maybe ditch the belt?

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  5. sewforward says:

    I would make a muslin first and see if I like it on me (you) before I would throw the pattern into the wind. So many times (too many to count) I have just fallen hopelessly in lust with a pattern and once I muslin it out on me – it’s a big meh! I have gotten better at knowing what I can wear, will wear and just plain ol’ tolerate if necessary; however, I still slip, fall off the cutting table and drool over some pattern envelope. Hey! A girl-has-got-to-dream 🙂

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    • Well- I am a little pleat phobic- I want to get better at making them and this seemed like a pattern I would like and a good excersize….perhaps in futility. That peachy/pink make is the only one I’ve seen made up…oh, what to do?!

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  6. If it were me, and it probably wouldn’t be because I just don’t do dresses, I would try a muslin, maybe look at making the waist panel a little less deep and cut down on some of the pleats, judicious amounts of pleats in places that will flatter not poof you into a collared cupcake. Maybe two on either side, leaving the front a bit sheath like….Again a muslin to play with might be worthwhile, as the finished garment could be quite cute.

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  7. A muslin is a great idea . I have a tum – mothers revenge to blame it entirely on my three teenage daughters – nothing to do with ahem some daily chocolate consumption and I know this kind of pleated dress might not be entirely flattering for me . Anyway go for it – you have nothing to lose.

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  8. I’m not sure on this one. It looks like it could be pleatopia and gatherton. Which can be win but I remain sceptical… In saying that, I look forward to seeing what you do with this and how it becomes a win 😀

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  9. What a fabulous pattern. Though perhaps not in a pale metallic colour! I do love a midriff section, that is such a flattering feature but all those pleats on it!!!! I am quite short so contrasting top and bottom is never a good look on me. It just cuts me in half!!! I am making another 40s dress, the same as my 40s shoe dress and the midriff section is cut on the bias making it a really comfy fit. I then exchanged the gathers for soft pleats to reduce the volume. I think, really, a toile is in order here. Then you can play around with it more. Defo worth a punt though. 🙂

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    • My contrast fabric plan is of the same color background- I’m hoping to fool the eye…altho it is a grey- I could be making a floral fantasia hippo costume and not realizing it…..

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  10. I was also thinking of multiple darts instead of the gathers – but that’s a lot of sewing. Or congregate the pleats towards the centre, leaving the sides relatively smooth and A-line-like. Narrow belt is best. Looking forward to seeing this in your contrasting prints. Good luck

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  11. It’s a cute pattern, I would definitely make a toile in a fabric very similar to what you are intending the final garment to be in, and possibly if you are thinking of using different colours, do that on the toile too. Overall, with all those pleats, I’d use a soft fabric, especially if you are worried about them making bulk or sticking out – cupcake-like. Good luck!!

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  12. This is a gorgeous dress! I think you’re going to have to try it out- with your favourite chosen fabric, and just see how it goes. Your pleats are risky around the waist, but a lovely fine fabric will help this. I can’t wait to see the result!!

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  13. I like the lines of the pattern but definitely not in sparkly fabric. I would make a muslin first if you’re uncertain about the shape — better to take the time and get an idea of whether or not it’ll flatter before you cut it out in favorite fabric.

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  14. I like it. I think the little point of the waistline will create a smaller waistline effect and what gal doesn’t like that? I don’t know if I’d do sparkly but two toned would be nice. Can’t wait to see the finished dress!

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  15. I think dark color all over. Veritcal pin stripes. No belt. And big pleats as opposed to a zillion tiny ones. I think big pleats will lay flatter and if you think you need to tack them down for a leaner look better that there is 20 big pleats instead 150 tiny ones.

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  16. My vote is for one color or print throughout because I am unsure about the bust gathers. If a contrasting fabric is used, the eye could be drawn *away* from the lovely waist and toward the bust.

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  17. I absolutely love the bodice. The bust gathers are awesome. And I totally agree that sewn down pleats will be elongating. A two-tone, in similar shades, would be tres classy!

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  18. Strangely I was looking at this very pattern just the other day! I work in a fabric shop and Butterick patterns are on sale (40% off) right now so me and another girl I work with were having a flick through the book and I paused at this one. We were generally of the opinion that Butterick really do not know how to present their patterns well, particularly in photographs…..I too am wary of them.

    The silver is monstrous – two-tone is definitely a better idea and I agree that pleats could be elongating but I am also concerned that they could add ‘bulk.’

    Who knows,,,,,,please make it so we can see!!

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  19. How ’bout the top portion in a plaid with collar on the bias? Then the skirt portion in a light or mid color solid to better show the pleats/tucks (which should be an elongating detail)? I’d probably skip the tie or belt too.

    But only because they tend to be conduits to evil.

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