Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Butterick B5317 - Not a great start.

I've started my first garment!

Butterick b5317 by Maggy London

It's a little more advanced than I thought I'd begin with, but I was lulled into a false sense of security by the "very easy" emblazoned on the envelope. Equally persuasive was the fact that I already owned the pattern so no extra expenditure needed.

I got all the paper out of the envelope and read the instructions carefully. A lot of it made no sense, but I figured it'd all make more sense later, probably after wine. I carefully cut out the pattern pieces according to the sizing of my widest point and pressed them all with a warm, dry iron to get rid of the packet crumples. So far, so good.

Then I got out the fabric I was going to use for my muslin or practice dress. I'd been to purchase it the previous day from the fabric shop in town, where my inexperience positively radiated off me. I had a little browse until I found the least intimidating member of staff. Turns out she didn't work there. Awkward. So I found someone else instead and told her I needed to make a muslin and that I needed something cheap and easy. She suggested actual muslin, so I bought the two metres required by the pattern and skipped off home.

With all my paper pattern cut out I started trying to arrange it on the fabric according to the suggestions on the pattern guide.

They didn't fit.

Fine, I'd obviously read it wrong.

Nope. Could I blame the fabric? 

At this point the tape measure vanished and I still haven't found it. The only option was a tiny ruler last used in the 90's. The fabric turned out to be 5 and a half lengths of this ridiculous ruler, roughly 99 cms. It was at this point I realised I didnt know how wide it was supposed to be in the first place. Quick google. Quick check of the back of the packet. Sixty inches. Sixty inches is not 99 cms, sixty inches is 152 cms.

I had to have a tea break.

Feeling slightly less murderous after the tea, I decided to cut my loses and the fabric and cut enough to make and line the bodice whilst I waited to get hold of more muslin.

The next problem? Muslin is too drapey. Too soft and billowy. This dress needs more stiffness and I need sharper scissors. All in all not a great start. But it's all experience right?


  1. I recommend a cheap cotton as an alternative to the muslin. You may find it holds its shape better.

    1. Thanks:)
      All suggestions gratefully received.

  2. I just did the exact same thing!

  3. Reassuring to know it's not just me!


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