Thursday 8 October 2015

From Paris to Walthamstow - Butterick 5281

 In July, went on a quick trip to Paris with my family where I couldn't help but have a quick look around the fabric shops in Montmartre. It would be rude not too, after all! And that's where I found this beauty: 

I love nautical clothes, jewelry, motifs, and so on - I don't really know why, other than it makes me feel like I'm on holiday. I'm terrible at swimming!  As usual I had no real plan, so I bought about 2.5 metres, and I think it was about 12 Euros in total - not too bad when you think a coffee in Paris is about 4 Euros... 

I added it to my sizable stash, and didn't give it any more thought until I saw that Weaver Dee had a sale on patterns, where I got this lovely little dress: 

Butterick 5281
I didn't immediately put the fabric with this pattern, but it somehow just clicked one day when I was looking through my fabrics that they would work together. But before I cut into it, I wanted to make sure that I got the fit just right - now for the tracing and slashing, which there was A LOT of!

You may have noticed that the pattern is sized 6 - 12. I'm between a 12 and 14, depending on the cut, but being a total cheap-o, there was no way I was going to buy 2 patterns. I figured I was experienced enough to size it up in the places I needed it, and the draping over the right shoulder and left waist absorb any fullness I needed to 'hide'.

I won't go into all the details because quite honestly I can't remember everything I changed but mostly I added 1/2" to the centre front and back, pinched some fullness out of the armholes and swung them into the gathers at the waist and pleats over the shoulder. I also lengthened the bodice by 1". 

Phew! After all that, here's the finished dress, as photographed on the streets of Walthamstow:

After mucking around with the toile for ages, the actual dress went together really well. I really like the way the draping works over the shoulder:

 Here's a close up of the gathers by the waist:

The neckline actually opens on the left so that you can get it over your head; the instructions tell you to close this with press studs, but I decided to change this and instead of snaps used buttons, which I got from Walthamstow market:

I lined the whole dress with a light poly cotton, again from Walthamstow:

And finally, some shoulder pads were put in to give it that 40's silhouette:

And that's pretty much it - see you soon!


  1. I like the addition of the naval-style buttons! Can we trade places? I'm kind of desperate for a quick trip to Paris right about now. How fun!

    1. If it's any consolation it rained nearly the whole time we were there! What I wouldn't give for some of your dry California heat.

  2. I love this pattern but always felt it was too serious- now I see your light take on it and I have a mission! Nicely done, Ma'am!

  3. Lovely dress! It looks fab in the nautical fabric, gives it a fun vibe:) The draping is lovely. It looks great on you!

  4. Ooh love it! Looks fantastic on you as ever

  5. That silhouette is fab :) And I love the nautical fabric.

  6. This is gorgeous! I LOVE the fabric, and it pattern are a perfect match.

  7. That's lovely - and it might sound weird but I'm really impressed with the lining. It's the sort of high-quality detail that's so hard to find in readymade clothes. Quality shows!

  8. You and the dress look gorgeous! C'est très, très bon!


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