Butterick 5320 Wrap Dress Revised

I used to call this dress the Green Monster. The pics here are of an edited version. I wish I had photos of the first draft!

This dress is a clear lesson in choosing the right fabrics for the right pattern. By which I obviously mean that I chose the wrong (so, so wrong) fabrics in this case.

LOL at the fabric scraps on the ground. I just finished sewing that project, four years later!

LOL at the fabric scraps on the ground. I just finished sewing that project, four years later!

Just about every sewer goes through a quilting cotton phase. I certainly did, using cotton for so many of my college makes. (Too bad I don’t have pics of those either. Woof!) At some point, I seem to have reverted back to this nasty, atavistic habit. Really, it was me being cheap, and it’s embarrassing I had to learn that lesson twice.

So the green fabric is a quilting solid, and the pattern has this huge pleated ruffle collar. OBVIOUS BAD IDEA, SELF! In my defense, I thought the crisp cotton would lend shape and fullness to the skirt. I made it, and it made my head look super tiny. Like a peanut or something. And the puff sleeves combined with the ruffle gave me linebacker shoulders. All the waist gathers made me look 15 pounds heavier than I was. And it was heavy as hell, because I hadn’t yet learned that lining fabric is lightweight on purpose. I lined the dress with some heavy poly fabric because I thought that “lining fabric” meant “not visible, so use whatever junk you have around.”

I couldn’t wear it even once, despite putting a lot of work into it. (The huge ruffle with a million pleats! Tons and tons of gathering! Fully lined! Even the ruffle!)

I had hopes of revising and saving it, so it came back with me to California. I have to give my mom credit for making this dress wearable. She volunteered to make the edits. She removed the ruffle collar entirely along with the puff sleeves and took out a lot of the waist gathering to slim down the whole silhouette. It ended up being kind of cute! And I always love a bright green.

In the end, this dress has been retired. The lining made the dress heavy to wear, and it always reminded me of what bad choices I’d made in making this. Still, seeing pics of this dress always makes me smile for some reason.