London Calling!

Maggie London that is.  What is she calling me?  Stupid.  Or perhaps “n00B” in gamer lingo.  You’ll find out why.

Butterick 5758 is a very recent purchase of mine.  I love the dress and so I have not waited too long since picking up the pattern to begin sewing it.  I cut the fabric Wednesday night while Elizabeth was over hanging out.  Since its a maxi dress, it calls for two way stretch knit fabrics only.  I selected a colorful flower print on a white background (I seem to be doing that a lot lately …) for the skirt.  There are pink, orange, and yellow flowers all over it with a touch of gray and black.  It is not a two way stretch, but only a one way stretch.  Hopefully that works out ok.  It is the skirt so I am less worried about it.  Here’s hoping I don’t eat my words.  For the top, I managed to find a gray, comfy two way stretch knit in my stash from the large recent online fabric purchase.

Only 30 steps to the pattern.  Can’t be that bad right?

Most of the work for this dress involved the top.  This was my first halter style top, so that certainly meant trouble.

Sure enough, after doing the initial gathers at the top and bottom of the bodice front pieces, I had to open and cut myself a piece of stay tape.  Never used that stuff before.  Unraveled a bit of clear plastic stuff from the roll, cut it to match the center back of the dress.  

Hmmm, I thought to myself.  This stuff looks and feels like cellophane.

I pinned it to the pieces I was basting together, and tried to sew it to my fabric.  The tape stuck to the foot of the machine, did not get attached to the fabric at all, and caused me to call on Fred to rip the random seam I had just put in.

The aftermath of Fred’s wrath.  Or perhaps mine.  I might have been shouting obscenities.  I don’t even think I woke the dogs though.

I decided to cut a new piece of tape, since the first one was somewhat mutilated after its entanglement with the machine.

This was when I realized that the “stay tape” I was using WAS IN FACT CELLOPHANE.  I had not finished unwrapping the roll of tape.

Stupid!  N00B!

That disaster over with, I cut myself a piece of ACTUAL stay tape and pinned it to the center back of the dress.  It looked like this.

I prepared the lining next, adding in darts and stitching the center back.

I also had to do a weird reinforcement thing, in preparation for later attaching the back of the bodice to the halter piece.

After the bodice and the lining were pieced together, I tried them on as best I could.  The halter top was a bit of a spatial reasoning challenge, but I managed.  Since the fabric is stretchy, I wanted to make sure it fit my body tightly enough and wasn’t going to hang there awkwardly.  I wound up taking in both pieces at the side seams quite a bit, see below.  The leftmost line is the seam I wound up with, while the rightmost line of stitches the original seam.

After the two pieces were sized to fit me, they had to be placed right sides together and pinned.  Of course, my two pieces did not quite match, size wise.  I have used the trick below once before to take in a lining piece that is too big for the outer fabric.  I aligned the center back of the bodice, and began pinning.  If I reach a seam and find that the lining and outer fabric seams to not line up, I pinch the larger seam up and pin it, and then stitch to take it in so they match.

Once the lining was pinned to the outer fabric, I stitched along the neckline edge and along the sleeve edges between the large circles.  The picture from the pattern is below.  It seemed pretty clear that I had three different lines of stitching to do.  The neckline (shown on the right side of the picture for step 12), and the two armhole pieces, without closing the top of the front or the back completely.

I stitched all of these like suggested, and then understitched the neckline as far as I could.  However, I had some trouble when I went to turn the piece right side out.  It did not work at all.  Below are some pictures of my attempts.

I can get the back of the bodice turned correctly, but cannot figure out how to turn both the back and the front.  The front, with its crazy halter piece, is a conundrum.  This lining issue reminds me too much of the Bag Disappointment of a few weeks ag0.  Cthulu bag has not been fixed, by the way, it still has tentacles rather than handles.

Before I go bonkers thinking about turning the bodice right side out properly, I decided it was time to step away from the project for a bit.

Who will win?  London or I?  Regardless, it is entirely possible that I will be the one doing the name-calling in my next post …


9 comments for “London Calling!

  1. May 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    You are going to win! The cellophane incident made me giggle – it’s good to know I’m not alone in sewing mishaps.

    • jadesabre9
      May 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      It was a definite “facepalm” moment with the cellophane. This battle is going better than the Cthulu bag one.

  2. Aimee Ledwell
    June 10, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I’m struggling to get it right side out right now! Did you ever figure it out?

    • June 13, 2016 at 8:41 am

      I did manage to do something to fix it, though at this point I can’t remember what. I know it involved cursing, seam ripping, and possibly even cutting off a seam. I did verify that this patten does have a mistake in it for what that is worth.

      • Aimee Ledwell
        June 13, 2016 at 8:46 am

        I ended up ripping the seam at the back of the neck, turning everything and re-stitching. Extra fun because of the stay tape there (I used twill tape). That was a (not) fun extra hour or so of work. But the finished dress was great, and got tons of compliments.

        • June 13, 2016 at 8:47 am

          Yay, finished dress! Have a pic or a link? I’d love to see it! I do love the style of this pattern and occasionally think about making it over again.

          • Aimee Ledwell
            June 13, 2016 at 9:33 am

            I have some on FB, if you want to look for me there: Aimee Nicole Snyder Ledwell

          • June 13, 2016 at 9:41 am

            Cool. FR incoming from Jen Allen 🙂

    • June 13, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Aha, I did write about my fixing process here:


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