Sunday, January 30, 2011

Butterick 5559 - Winter white doubleknit dress with decorative tucks

I loved this pattern the second it came out in the fall. Such an interesting and unordinary design! And the way it is sewn together with darts running along the bias hidden under tucks was fascinating. I bought fabric for it and cut it out right after New Year's. However, I never thought I would be able to finish it due to technical difficulties. My machine absolutely hated sewing on this material. It's what initially made my bobbin housing break. After that was fixed, the stitches kept skipping and skipping. Believe me, I tried every technique known to man to get it to sew properly. Then I took it back to the repair shop to see if it was misaligned when it was serviced. I cried. I put it aside and made other things. (I NEVER do this. If I start a project it is always either completed or tossed out.) Somewhere along the line I remembered an old Viking sewing machine (purchased in 1976) my MIL had given me years ago. Usually I get rid of things that aren't used regularly, but I held on to it for some reason. It made horrendous noises before it got warmed up, and has zero bells and whistles, but it can sew on doubleknit fabric without incident. Anyway, here's the dress:

What is this highly offending fabric? Just a Sophia doubleknit from Fabric.com. It actually has no displeasing qualities, and I don't know why it gives my sewing machine such fits. It's a nice quality knit and a good weight for garments that need a bit more structure. Incidentally, while I was perusing the fabrics at Hancock's the other day, I happened to look at their collection of Ponteroma knits. They are the exact same thing as this Sophia doubleknit IMO. The only difference is that Hancock's charges $9.99 a yard, but with a JoAnn's 50% off coupon, I can get it for $5.00 instead. Which certainly beats the Fabric.com price of $10.99.

There's nothing like taking pictures to showcase all your flaws. After these were taken I realized I need to wear a full slip and a different bra. Blah! But cute tucks, right?


I have this thing about wanting my garments to look congruous, so the double turned 5/8" hem on the sleeves per the pattern instructions looked out of place on a garment with a 1.5" hem on the skirt. I decided to cut the sleeves longer so that they could be turned up the same 1.5". Then they were whipstitched in place by hand:

It was the perfect length without a hem in place, and was my mistake not to take note of the finished length printed on the envelope back before I cut it out. That was easily solved by making a hem facing that I stitched to the bottom of the dress with a small SA. It was whipstitched in place as well:

I am currently in love with this winter white color and have a few more things to make using it. Up next is a short white corduroy skirt that I'm halfway done with. The invisible zipper broke while I was inserting it last night. The corduroy is a little thick and there are several horizontal seams running through the zipper seam. I just bought a regular zipper today and will be attempting a lapped zipper for the first time in several years. More to come!

89 comments:

  1. It came out beautifully. I don't know why your machine would have had problems, my older Bernina takes to those doubleknits without problem. I also bought the Hancocks ponteroma and it does seem virtually the same as the Fabric.com Sophia.

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  2. Winter white is so classy and I like the twist with this dress. You look fabulous. Mystery about why some knits are headaches to sew.

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  3. Your dress looks fabulous as do all of your garments.

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  4. Beautiful dress! I bought this pattern too, and your version encourages me to get started on it asap!

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  5. Your dress is fabulous! You look stunning in it; I can't believe you have so recently had Rachel.

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  6. Ok. Sold. I bought this pattern and another Butterick that call for double knits. I have a very bright yellow that I've been thinking of making it up in. Of course, I also found a double wool at $20 a yard that I would like to work with. Great job!

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  7. That is absolutely georgeous!!

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  8. It is so cute! Your garments are always just so darn perfect!

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  9. I just love it, Amanda. Can't imagine why your machine balked at sewing this fabric. Very strange! Getting back to pre-baby girl weight, are we? Great job!

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  10. Great color. Great fabric. Great dress! Very nice. I've been pining after a white doubleknit dress but haven't found the "right" knit (for the right price) yet. Yours is superb.

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  11. Beautiful, the tucks really stand out in the white fabric, it looks great.

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  12. Beautiful dress! You look stunning in it.

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  13. Fabulous. Worth all of the headache with your other machine.

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  14. Beautiful dress and you look amazing!

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  15. How funny that you posted this dress. I was just coming to see who has made it.
    I want to make it SO badly... but sadly I am much larger than you... I'm so worried it will be totally unflattering on me.

    I love yours though. I hope my machine likes that fabric better than yours did, since I have the same thing in red.

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  16. Your dress looks terrific! White is so nice because you can accessorize it however you feel like on any given day.

    I don't know that I'd dare try to wear this, but I am losing weight, so maybe I'll get the pattern as incentive, lol.

    Nice work!

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  17. You did a beautiful job on this dress. I love the winter white.

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  18. I know what you mean about the knit fabric and sewing. My machine did the same thing and I found out it is because I need to buy a straight stitch plate and a ball point needle. I found that I wanted a new machine that could sew beautifully on knits. So I am in the process of buying one that will. Good luck. Your clothes are beautiful and very inspirational!

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  19. Beautiful job and you look great in it - I don't see any baby weight.. I bought this pattern, but need to lose a few more lbs before I make it..

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  20. Too gorgeous! You have done a great job lining up those tucks. Makes me want to have this dress too!

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  21. Way to persevere through what sounds like a sewing nightmare! My old mechanical Viking was a great machine, I wish I hadn't traded it in on the Viking Lily I have. It has never performed as well. But back to your dress! It is absolutely gorgeous. The tucks look perfect. I can see why you are in love with this color. It looks wonderful on you. I love how you have coordinated it with the burgundy too.

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  22. That is amazing! The color is a great choice, too. Great job!

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  23. Your pics make me excited to stitch this up (I have fabric and pattern on hand!), but your horror story makes me nervous! You'd never know you had any trouble, you look great in it!

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  24. One would never know that you had trouble sewing this dress with your machine. You did a fantastic job, but then again you always do. The dress looks great on you. By the way, you look fantastic. If I didn't read your blog on the regular, I would never have guessed that you had a baby in the past year.

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  25. You look fabulous in that dress, I think it is funny how we all easily see imperfections in our own bodies but not in others. I love the color too, it must be in because I just made a almost white knit dress. Good job :).

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  26. Beautiful dress! You look FABULOUS! Again I ask the question---"When did you have a baby?" You're so trim. I love the winter white dress and red accents.

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  27. Wow that is so cute! and you look great.
    thanks for the info on the various knits, I have been wondering what that Sophia knit was like.

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  28. Hi Amanda! I am also from San Antonio, but I live in the middle east for now. I sewed up a dress using pink Sophia and my machine also hated it until I slowed down my stitching speed. Then it was a dream to stitch up. Maybe try that?

    I love the winter white!

    Jacki

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  29. This dress looks perfect for you! The winter white color is flattering as well.

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  30. I love your dress - fantastic on you Amanda!! Really nice. I am about to take my machine in too - it's been skipping stitches on knits for no reason (it's driving me crazy) - I've changed needles, thread, tensions . . .
    But great job and wow! - you're looking good!

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  31. A lot of people liked this pattern, but I didn't get it until now. I love your version, especially the winter white color!

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  32. Yours is the best version of this dress that I've seen on the blogs! Absolutely love the winter-white colour on you. Wow!!
    Can sympathise with you about your machine refusing to sew this fabric - mine has troubles with ordinary fleecy and polar fleece. No matter what I do, it thinks it should be sewn with the smallest stitch length possible -which makes unpicking a pain!

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  33. I love your dress. The color looks great on you and I think your accessories look great with the dress.

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  34. I love your dress. You're looking good!
    The dress looks very gentle.

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  35. I've just made the dress in red, and I love wearing it. Yours looks great on you. I saw some winter white double knit at my local shop today and wondered how it would look made up in this dress. And now you've answered the question for me - it looks just great!

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  36. Wow! You look great in this dress, the fit, style and colour compliment you so well. Well done at sticking at this project to the end too.
    I think this dress has to be one of the nicest I've seen in blog land for some time.

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  37. Your dress fits perfect!
    It's so gorgeous!

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  38. This dress is a real, stand-out, show stopper. The winter white is fabulous and the style is wonderful. You look stunning in it and I love the shoes and necklace - perfect!

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  39. Oh, this is just beautiful. Once again I am getting double-knit envy from all you Americans!

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  40. Ohhh Is Beautiful Dress!!!
    This dress, the fit, style and colour compliment you so well.
    ;)

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  41. That is one stunning dress! It looks beautiful on you. The trauma of trying to get the fabric through the machine was worth it for that gorgeous end result.

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  42. oh I love that dress, too! I have the pattern and the desire but not the time (yet).
    Maybe a dress when the weather warms up.
    Thanks for the tip on the fabric at Hancocks.

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  43. Gorgeous dress and it looks fabulous on your. No baby mama here!

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  44. LOVE it! You look fantastic.

    I noticed you live in San Antonio. Are there any independent fabric stores there? I am in SA frequently for business and I'm always looking for new sewing and knitting shops.

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  45. Stunning dress. It was worth all the trouble! It looks awesome!

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  46. You have the perfect figure (skin tone, hair color, everything!) to wear this stunning dress. Totally jealous over here ;)

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  47. This dress looks fabulous on you! I think few would dare to wear this in winter white, but you pull it off beautifully!!

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  48. That is stunning!!! I have that dress on my list to make. Thanks for the fabric suggestions, and as far as flaws? What?!?! I don't see any flaws in you. You are gorgeous!!!

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  49. I've had my eye on that pattern since it first came out, too. You did a fantastic job on it!

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  50. You did a beautiful job! Looks great on you.

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  51. Show stopper! I like your's better than the pics on the envelope.

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  52. Fabulous! We really need to get you to NYC and turn you loose in the Garment District. I have a feeling you'd be like a kid in a candy store.

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  53. Gosh this looks good on you. Wear it with pride. Great work.

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  54. Amanda,
    I forgot to ask you in my previous comment: How is the sizing on that dress? I normally make one size smaller than my normal size when working with knits, but I noticed on fabric.com that the sophia double knit has only 20% stretch, so I am wondering if I need to make my normal size? Also, I meant to say that I LOVE those shoes you have on!!!

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  55. I love it, I love this pattern and I NEED some doubleknit pronto!

    And bravo for wearing it in white, winter or not!

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  56. You look amazing. I would not have glanced twice at this pattern, but you have done such a wonderful job it deserves further consideration. Shame about all the hassles sewing it up.

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  57. You've done a great job on this difficult dress. I'd wondered if I could wear this dress. Seeing your version confirms that it is way too figure hugging for me.

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  58. The dress is beautiful and so neatly made but it also looks good on you. If you did not have the figure for it, the dress would not have been so good. I would not look so good in it for example :(
    www.loredana61.blogspot.com

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  59. What a great dress...! And you look amazing in it. Congrats!
    Heather

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  60. Your tucks are perfect! I finally got this pattern but it looks like a lot of precise sewing. Not my specialty. Yours makes it look worth it!

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  61. That's a very chic dress. I love winter white, and you wear it beautifully.

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  62. Oh wow!! You look beautiful in the dress!

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  63. this is gorgeous and you are just the person to wear it. I always take pics of my garments because the camera doesn't lie. I may think something looks great in the mirrow but the camera tells me the truth.

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  64. Beautiful dress!! I love this pattern and it looks especially nice in white.

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  65. Your dress is stunning! My machine also hates a polyknit. Maybe I should pull out one of my older machines and give it a whirl instead of avoiding the fabric as I do.

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  66. I love how the dress looks on you! I am in the process of making this same dress in a dark navy and off white Sophia knit. Question: Did you overlap the tucks over the darts?

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  67. You need to update your News Flash because you look terrific and it appears you've already lost your baby weight!

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  68. You are right, sewsister! I am taking that off now.

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  69. Let me join the accolades and say FABULOUS! That's both the dress and you in it!

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  70. Gorgeous! Love the winter white on you!

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  71. Oh Amanda. This is one beautiful dress. You look fantastic in it.

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  72. Lovely dress ! Brother machine can be a pain the rear.Just got rid of mine and got a babylock that glides through anything

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  73. What an awesome dress Amanda! You did a great job on it and can't tell you were having any problems with sewing the fabric at all!! By the way, you look absolutely wonderful...no more baby weight on your body!!!

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  74. Your dress turned out beautifully. I love the way the tucking create such flattering lines. Lovely dress.

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  75. this dress looks so very expensive rtw! it's lovely on you and you did such a great job on it! i wish i was as slim as you so i could make this dress for myself, but i don't think it would flatter my fuller figure.

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  76. Beautiful dress and you look like a million bucks in it! Total win!

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  77. Hi Amanda in San Antonio, I'm in Austin. I just love this dress! I saw this and couldn't believe it--I almost made the same pattern in winter white doubleknit. I also bought the Butterick pattern as soon as it came out but it had to contend with the cool dress on the cover of September's Burda, which also has a lot of curved seams and is the same length. My hem didn't end up long enough, either, so I also sewed a hem facing. I'll have to get some photos of mine up at my new blog.

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  78. Can't believe I never commented on this dress at the time. I finally made it this weekend--in navy blue!

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