Butterick B6850
(Shoulder princess seam dress with sleeve and neckline variations)

Joann’s Music Notes on Black Cotton Twill (Customizable fabric 400138 from Joanns)

Butterick B6850, the reissue of McCalls M7352, is one of my favorite summer dresses, and now it is one of my niece’s favorites as well.

My nephew’s wife teaches music in elementary schools. She loves the custom shirts I make for my husband. (He’s a college physiology and microbiology teacher; I make shirts with prints to match his lecture material.) My niece also wanted to “rock the Ms. Frizzle vibe” by having a dress with a musical theme for her end-of-year concerts. We had fun selecting the print and fabric.

Fitting Notes: My niece lives a few hours away from me. I knew our fitting time would be limited, so I both tissue fit the pattern and used a muslin. During tissue fitting, I made petite bodice (armscye depth), high round back, forward shoulder, and large bust alterations. At our next opportunity, I fit her muslin. I adjusted the muslin for left/right shoulder height differences, “princess droop” and waist alterations. I also hung her hem. Usually, I will also fit my custom clients after the fashion fabric dress is basted. However, we were pressed for time and I was very confident that the fashion fabric was similar to the muslin, so I did not do a fashion fabric fitting before finishing the dress.

Sewing Notes: I usually sew this dress in solid linens. I sew flat fell seams over the shoulder princess seams and use French seams for the side seams to give visual interest to the outside of the dress and smooth finishes on the inside of the dress. Because my niece’s weight was fluctuating, we decided to use traditional construction techniques, instead. All the seams have a 1”+ seam allowance and are serged to prevent raveling. Perfect pattern matching was impossible with this print and flared skirt. Instead, I opted to match the print at center back only. For the rest of the dress, I chose to maintain the strong horizontal motif, but not try to match perfectly at the seam lines. The hem is turned, eased and hand sewn.

My niece loves her new dress and looked fabulous as she conducted her beginning strings concert.  

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