Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Perfect Sheath Dress

I finally found my perfect sheath pattern!  Butterick 5947 has princess seams on the front and back of the bodice that make the fitting process much easier for this area.  I made a few small changes to get the exact fit I wanted and I've listed them below:

1.  After reading a couple of reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review and trying on the muslin, I decided to lower the center front neckline by 5/8 inch at the center front narrowing out to nothing before the shoulder.
2.  I also made a small narrow shoulder adjustment shaving 1/4 inch from each shoulder, I think next time I will shave off 3/8 inch.
3.  I took up about an extra 1/4 inch under the bust point for a little more definition there.
4.  I made my usual size 10 at the bust, 12 at the waist and 14 for the roundest part of my hips. I ended up pinching more out around the waistline and eliminating the front skirt darts. I eased in the fullness of the darts and it worked beautifully with this fabric- it was a very well behaved fabric!
5.  And finally I raised the waistline on the bodice only by an extra 1/4 inch so stitching line on the bodice was at 7/8 in. 


 I decided to fully line this dress since, well wool, and I love the feel of bemberg rayon.  I used an invisible zipper and hand stitched the lining to the zipper.  

In making this dress I used two "new to me" sewing techniques, tailor's tacks and hong kong seams.  Tailor's tacks are used when you can't make markings on your fabric or you don't want to risk marking up your fabric.  For a good tutorial on tailor's tacks check here.

For Hong Kong seams I searched the forums on the Pattern Review site and found a helpful tip about how to apply them to armscye.  I used that to guide my process but another helpful article on this technique can be found here. 

My full post on this dress is over at the Fabric Mart Blog if you are interested in reading more.

One more thing to note, I recently bought two ten yard fabric bundles from Fabric Mart for the first time and thought I would share what I received.  Below is a picture of what was sent to me.  The bundles are deeply discounted and often go on a half price sale.  Admittedly some of the pieces are nicer than others but I think I can find a use for each of them.  Its a fun purchase and my girls immediately claimed the green sparkle knit for mermaid tails!  

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!


  1. It looks great, especially with the belt! Thanks also for posting the bundles, I have always been curious. As much ordering as I do from FabricMart, I should really get a bundle one of theses days.

  2. Thanks Masha- I had to have that belt! If I order more bundles, and I'm sure I will, I will post them as well in the future- for us curious people!

  3. It's beautiful! Love a grey wool sheath and you've made it fit you perfectly!