What do you call umpteen darts and even more “tucks” running across the left and right, front and back of both bodice and skirt? Why it’s Butterick B5559! I’m following up on my earlier post on Butterick B5559, which I’ve now finished, and boy does it fit! This knit dress is a more body-hugging style than any other Big Pattern Company pattern I’ve made (in the proper size, of course). I am glad that I copied the bodice and skirt pieces, because next time I will sew less of a seam allowance at the waist.
Butterick B5559 is a Maggie London licensed design and has sun-ray darts radiating from the waist. Before I go on with my look, a moment about yours. I believe this dress is flattering for the majority of women. If you use a knit with Lycra, and you wear pantyhose underneath, it will conceal just about every imperfection you think you have. If you have a large bust, this also flatter the rest of you. Just plan extra time to mark and pin all of the darts and tucks. There are many of them, but if you plan ahead you can likely stitch them all at one sitting.
I’ve used a mid-weight solid blue cotton/Lycra knit acquired in Ellensburg, Washington in fall 2011. The color goes well with my eyes. The skirt and bodice are two pieces. You might remember that I said, “There are so many darts that I wonder if even my usual quick-pin method will turn tedious.” Well, my method wasn’t so bad, but I over-relied on it. I should also have chalk marked, because I sewed about three of them incorrectly and had to redo. Did I also mention that I sewed the tucks to the INSIDE, instead of showing the top-stitching on the outside? I knew this early on but could see it creating a more informal look — my life being anything but formal! — and I kept going. The result is some tiny divits to the inside.
I am excited by how flattering those radiating tucks are, and might try to copy this technique using stretch woven fabric for a skirt. You can see more about this pattern at Butterick B5559.