Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Summer's not over: Butterick 5455 in cotton sateen

Please don't mention to me that summer is over because I don't want to hear it! Fall sewing, wearing sweaters, being chilly, ugh. None of that appeals to me. As you know I am a super wimpy when it comes to winter or any cold weather - and I live in the very moderate, mostly Mediterranean climate of the bay area. So not all that cold  - but it's all the other things. Falling leaves, getting dark earlier and earlier, too may Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas decorations in the stores already.
OK, the calendar said that our summer ended officially ended last week with the autumnal equinox but I am going to pretend it isn't so - at least for a few more weeks.

I might even get to wear this dress one more time before putting it away until next year. It really is a summer print which I fell for when I saw it on the Mood website, and had to include it when I ordered a fabric for someone else.

Since I just returned from vacation in Hawaii this picture goes first. Yes, looking very relaxed after sunset cocktails by the ocean.....

citrus dress at H

Most years my birthday coincides with a beachy vacation (clever that way aren't I) and so this year I was planning to sew up this fabric with a new pattern. But I just ran out of time for playing around with a new pattern so I turned to my trusty Butterick 5455 which I have now made 12 ? times, including one other birthday dress. 

Here's some views on the dress form which show the detail much better, and also the color of the fabric.

citrus dress front view on form

Here's the pattern envelope - it's out of print but you could find a copy on eBay.

B5455 pattern
citrus dress front view with pockets

Do you think the fabric is a bit too cutesy and juvenile? Might be but I don't care, I love the colors and flowers + leaves + citrus is just so cheerful. It's a stretch cotton sateen so super easy to sew, wear, etc.

This pattern is one of my all time favorites because of the details. The pleating at the front neckline, the midriff band, the pockets that don't add any bulk, and back V, and the nice thin but wearable straps. I think sometimes you find a pattern that is just right for your proportions and even if you have to do some fit adjustments the basic shape is just right for your shape.
I don't really have any sewing details...other than I think this might be my best invisible zipper in a V-neckline ever.

citrus dress back view zip

No matter how long you have been sewing a little thing like that is so satisfying.

citrus dress lining view

I lined the upper portion with cotton voile, and then with lightweight dresses like this I don't even sew the darts in the lining, just fold them as pleats inside and tack them down along with the edge of the lining at the waist.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post - this year on vacation I took very few pictures, didn't spend much time online or email. Just relaxed and unplugged. And it was great. So I took a few more photos back at home of this dress.

citrus dress v2

A couple more details, the pocket and the side view.

citrus dress pocket view

citrus dress side view on form

So that's it for my last summer dress. I love the colors so I will definitely be packing this one for my next tropical trip.
Until then I'm starting another version of the Pauline Alice Aldaia dress, and doing some prep work this week for my Jacket Making class this upcoming weekend at Hello Stitch in Berkeley. And in November I'm going to do a class on copying an existing garment which should be interesting - I really enjoy doing that.

citrus dress v3

Last one - with the garden appearing more green than it really is  - after those dry hot days of August.

Happy end of September sewing, 

And instead of garden shots - a couple of my iPhone pictures from vacation. I am always amazed at how well they turn out.

Every Hawaiian island is beautiful but my favorite is Oahu, because it combines the liveliness of a big (sort-of) city with gorgeous beaches and great local restaurants. I've lost count of my trips - probably more than my age :)

Kailua Beach
Kailua Beach 2017



  1. I love the dress. It is a great fit and the zipper is amazing. Love the pockets too.

  2. Adorable dress for a tropical vacation and impeccably sewn as always. I don't think the fabric is too juvenile at all and I can see why you'd use this pattern multiple times. It looks great on you!

  3. Not cutesy & juvenile at all, and why choose another pattern when this one is clearly so right that you end up with a beautiful dress which fits you perfectly?

  4. What a perfect birthday dress, super flattering and in a fun print! And to be able to wear it in a tropical location is an added bonus. Wish I lived closer to Hawaii.

  5. Hawaii...how dreamy!! It looks lovely, and so does your dress! I am with you...I wish summer was just a little longer. I do love fall sewing, but have been a bit slower to get it going.

  6. Love that dress! And that fabric is perfect for summer.

  7. Love your dress...print does not read juvenile at all! And you have made me so homesick looking at the photo of Kailua beach, where I grew up!!!

  8. What a fun dress - perfect for a beach vacay ;o)

  9. I agree Beth, this dress is too cute! Perfect for a warm weather vacation no matter what time of the year! Never been to Hawaii, but your photos are gorgeous!

  10. While I do love the fall weather here in Central California--after the brutal, day after day, can't even open the windows at night heat, I need another week or two of warmer weather. I have a light challis, sleeveless top that I can't get finished and I want to wear it at least once this year!

  11. Love the motifs on the fabric and the style for your body. Are those just the coolest practical pockets ever? The front pleats at the neck give a feeling of romance/femininity and a vintage feel too. I can even see this with a solid color jacket for those cooler evenings that will come. Beautiful sewing as always! haven't seen Hawaii in over 40 years...your photos make me want to return there.

  12. Great pattern, love that neckline and I don't think the print is juvenile at all! It also seems to be a never ending summer here too and while I don't like the cold either, a little bit of cooler, cleaner air and less humidity would be nice!

  13. Adorable and PERFECT for birthdays and vacations! Looks like a great pattern.

  14. Your vacation looks so amazing. Happy Birthday! It's a pretty; good style for you. But, you know what looks good on you, which is always half the battle when sewing for ourselves. What gorgeous silk for your blouse.
    I like the pattern. I've never seen this indie pattern brand before. I have a similar Burda Style coat pattern that is similar, but has a front shoulder princess which is better for my large bust. That, and I've made it before and I already own it. But I look forward to seeing how this pattern works up.

  15. What a cute and fun fabric! Your fabric choice as always is perfect:) Thank you for sharing these beautiful pics.