Monday, May 11, 2015

Paulette Bell of the Ball in Butterick 5557

Good evening all,

It's good to finally blog.  The Haute Couture Club of Chicago fashion show was May 3rd.  I'm happy to say it was a great show.  The show was at a different venue this year:  Fountain Blue Banquet facility in Rosemont, Illinois.  In January we had to form a fashion show committee to replace the removed show chair.  So I will stop at that; the story is too long.  Anyway, today I'd like to review Paulette's pastoral annual dinner dress.  I used Butterick 5557 .

Here is my review:

Pattern Description:
MISSES' TOP AND SKIRT: Fitted, lined tops A, B have neckband, below elbow kimono sleeves and back zipper. A: sleeve and lower bands, self-fabric bow. Semi-fitted, straight, lined skirts A, B, mid-calf, have waistband and side zipper.

Pattern Sizing:
6-20 I used size 18 with lots of modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? For the most part.  The pattern was true to the line drawing and pictures on the envelope.

Were the instructions easy to follow?   There is nothing difficult or confusing about the the construction techniques or the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This was a pattern selected by Paulette.  She loves vintage and usually picks a vintage style for the pastoral annual dinner.  Paulette likes the style lines of the top, but wanted to add a inch or two to the length of it.  The skirt of most vintage patterns that I have worked with tend to be on slightly on the "A" shape.  Paulette preferred a tapered skirt. 

I thought the style was okay too.  But I probably would not select it for myself.

Fabric Used: Paulette and I made our usual trip to Fishman's Fabric near downtown Chicago.  The fabric is a red stretch shantung blend; the lining is ambiance.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  There were a lot of changes with this one.  For starters I made two muslins trying to get the fit right and to incorporate any style changes.  Even after the two muslins there were more changes after the second garment fitting.

Alterations:   This is a fitted two pieces dress.  I should have started with size 18 upper body and size 20 for the rest.
  - Decreased the back neckline at the center by 1".  It was too big at the center back neckline.  My fix was not perfect.  After the change, I noticed a few drag lines.
  - Added 2" to 4" at waist and high hip on the top.
  - Added 2" to 4" through the waist and hip areas.
  - Tapered the skirt from the below the hip to the hem.
  - Added side slit to skirt.
  - I used the longer version top and added a 2" lower band.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I probably would not sew it again as it was a client project.  I do recommend it to others.  This pattern has nice style lines.  But you should make a muslin before cutting into your fashion fabric.

Conclusion:  With a little extra work, I was able to make a beautiful two piece dress for Ms. Paulette.

Parting Shots:  This is the vintage dress made for last year's annual dinner.  Paulette was so kind to model it at the Haute Couture Club of Chicago annual fashion show on May 3rd.  She was a hit on and off the runway.  It was so funny when she said to me, "People know me."  I chuckled and replied, "Some of the members read my blog." 


  1. Miss Ball was a stunner in her red suit, Cennetta. And what a pleasure to get to see her again in her beautiful 2014 dress. I remember it vividly! I made that pattern for my Firstborn's Going Away dress. Lots of fun!

    Hugs, and Happy Belated Mother's Day,

  2. wow those colors are fantastic and the fit looks great. that red outfit is a knockout (well they both are).

  3. Both design are awesome and the fit is fabulous!

  4. I remember Ms. Paulette from her great dress from last year. I love that one and I love this one too. She is a terrific model- I bet she owned the runway! Such beautiful work.

  5. The red suit is gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

  6. Your seams are so crisp, I love it! The fit is excellent. Great job!

  7. Beautiful Job as always on her outfits!

  8. Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate your comments.



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