I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
Now may be the time to mention: Butterick 5814 is not a modest dress. (That's an understatement.) I don't wear a lot of really low-cut garments, so this muslin took some getting used to. I made sure to press under the seam allowances at the top, so I could really see the actual neckline, and then I showed Jeff the results.
Me: Is this too, um, revealing?
Men are so predicable sometimes.
But let's back up. I did have to make a couple adjustments to the muslin. When I first put it on, it looked like this. (Please excuse the cell phone photo.)
As you can see, the sleeves would not stay up at all. The fix for this took a couple steps. First, taking in the raglan sleeve seam on the front. See where it's pinned below?
On the pattern, I just shaved off 1/4" on that seam--on the bodice pieces and the front side of the sleeve. The revisions are in orange marker below.
The next adjustment I made was to add a seam to the top of the sleeve, so that I could curve it to fit my shoulder curve. See the red arrow in the photo below? That's how I want the top of my sleeve to curve.
This involved splitting the sleeve pattern piece into a front and back, drawing a new curved seamline, and then adding a seam allowance.
Here's how the new sleeve front piece looks.
When I pinned these changes on the muslin, the sleeves stayed up easily. Yay!
Other than that, I'm very happy with the fit.
I also checked the skirt measurements on the pattern tissue to make sure the amount of ease was correct for me.
I've also been working on a tutorial for adding a 3/4 length sleeve!
P.S. Several of you have been asking about the right bra to wear with this dress. In the photos I'm wearing a low-cut bra with wide-set straps, but they kept peeking out a bit. I would suggest either adding bra carriers to the sleeves, or wearing a strapless, waist-length bustier bra.