Thursday, 15 May 2014

Autumnal Butterick

Well it's a while since my last post. I've actually been sewing up a storm, the problem is that now autumn is here and we're into daylight savings, I can't seem to find time to get photos. I also seem to have lost my blog-jo. The sew-jo is quite happily going along, but the blogging isn't. I've even got hundreds of unread blog posts in my Feedly roll. So apologies for all those who've missed my comments on their posts.

But here is one make and it's made in time for another TMS challenge - woot, woot! This month the TMS challenge is for knits and yes, that sewer who a year ago shied away from knit fabrics is now happily pushing out knitwear with so much more confidence. I never realised how much quicker knit garments went together. This dress was no different.

Current Challenge: May 

This is Butterick 5523 and it's a great pattern, perfect for something which you want to throw together quickly.


The fabric is a rust coloured merino bought from what used to be Global Fabrics in Wellington back in 2012, not long after we arrived in NZ.

This pattern is perfect for newbies to knits. The cowl neck means there's no facing to worry about for the neck, just a rectangle folded in half and stitched to the neck of the bodice. The pleated skirt makes the whole dress so much more elegant. These pleats worked like a dream. I had no problem attaching the skirt to the bodice.

I like the way the sleeves are attached at the shoulder with a tiny pleat. It's a really nice finish. I haven't got a photo unfortunately, but it's a nice touch. The sleeve hems are just finished with a double row of stitching using a double needle. I also used this to hem to skirt too.

The waist is stabilised by creating a tube with the seam allowance and threading elastic through. The pattern suggests clear elastic for some reason, I didn't use that, I just used standard elastic. It certainly helps the waist keep it's shape and not sag.

The tab on the back is attached to the dress when you sew the buttons on. This tab was probably the worst part, the fabric stretched a wee bit while I was sewing the layers together. I managed to recover it, but I had visions of it not working at all.

The buttons I got from a sewing shop in Kerikeri when we were away at Easter. Kerikeri is in the far north of NZ and is one of the main centres up there. I managed to convince Mr N to let me have a ten minute look inside :-) Anyway, the buttons are black with a grey pattern on which reminds me of the patterns I used to draw with my Spirograph when I was little!

The details...

Fabric:  Rust coloured merino knit from Global that was (Fabric Store), Wellington, June 2012
Notions:   Thread, elastic, interfacing for the tab and buttons from The Sewing Shop, Kerikeri, Northland.
Pattern:  Butterick 5523, view A
First worn:  To work at the beginning of May, worn here at a WSBN trip up to Levin on 3 May, with boots from Overland. These photos were taken by the lovely Sadie von Scrumptious who wielded my big girls' camera in Mama Gypsy's garden between the showers!
Another one?  This is so easy to make and so easy to wear. It is very tempting to make another version. It's so good when something looks exactly like it does on the pattern envelope! :-)


  1. Looks like the perfect fall dress. I love that soft rose color.

    1. It is perfect and so easy to make. I love the colour too. I need more of this colour!

  2. Love the colour as well! I'm going to need lots of warm knit dresses for this winter, I think.

    And yes, it is SO hard to get photos at the moment! And it's only going to get worse D:

    1. This is an easy dress to make up and with this fabric really warm. It's definitely recommended.

  3. That martingale detail at the back is fantastic! Love it. And hey, this is meant to be a hobby. If you're not feeling it, don't do it! Do what makes you happy!

    1. Thanks, I feel better actually having written a post, but certainly the blogging has taken a back seat and I'd much rather be downstairs in my sewing room.

      This dress is perfect though and so easy to make and a complete success, it only needed a short post since it was such a success. A win-win!

  4. Lovely dress


  5. Your dress looks great and I really like the colour too. I think I will have to hunt that pattern down :)

  6. I think I said this when I saw this IRL but I love the buttons so MUCH! They are the best. Also this is a great colour on you :)