Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Dress: Butterick 4957

It dawned on me about a week and a half ago that I'd need something to wear on Easter Sunday.   I decided to use this navy/purple/lavender cotton print that I bought at an "Aladdin's Cave" fabric shop that a friend accidentally found last month.

My girlfriend and fellow sewing enthusiast, we'll call her J-Shek, went out looking for my favorite fabric shop in Hyderabad called Narsingh Cloth Emporium.  I had heard talk that there were actually 4 Narsingh shops all located in the same small area of the city.  I had only found 3.  So J-Shek went into one of them (I will call it #3), which is right next door to the best Narsingh (which I will call shop #1) not realizing that she needed to go into shop #1 past the sarees and dress materials, through a narrow doorway, and up the dimly lit staircase to find all of the fabric.  (Have I ever mentioned that shopping in India can be a challenge?)  So she went into shop #3, bought a few things, and then asked the shopkeeper if there was more fabric somewhere.  He escorted her around the corner and down the street to...yes you guessed it, the elusive, Narsingh #4!

Once she told me about it, I had to go.  A group of us went on a little outing, first going to shop #1 and then out the door, around the corner, and down the street to #4.  Walking up the steps to the shop I had a little internal groan: Ugh...we have to take off our shoes.  I always panic a little when I leave my shoes outside a shop.  That scene from Slumdog Millionaire where the boys steal peoples shoes and then sell them always runs through my head.  I also breathe a big sigh of relief when I exit the shop and find my shoes waiting for me.  Entering the shop I was immediately dwarfed by stacks and stacks of fabric bolts piled on the floors, the counters, everywhere.  The first thing that caught my eye was DENIM!  What??  Eureka!  "I'll take 2 much is it?"  "125Rs/m mam".  US$2.50/m...nice (I should have asked for more)!  Yes it was the light chambray colored denim, but I was going to take what I could get.  Denim was as hard to find as the holy grail.

The group of us squeezed through the narrow doorways and stacks of fabric looking at a vast assortment of cottons, silks, fluffy things, gaudy things, sparkly things, and everything in between.  My girlfriend Kelly just looked around the shop, with her eyes wide and said "This place is like Aladdin's Cave, it's amazing."   It was an excellent description.  While Kelly was debating how much of a orange and green dinosaur print (another Holy grail find) to buy, I noticed a very non-Indian, purple, navy & lavender, abstract/graphic floral print peeking out of the teetering 7 foot high stack of bolts next to me.  The fabric was very fine cotton, rather transparent, and cheap as chips.  I bought 3 meters thinking that I could make a dress.  I had been wanting to make up a version of Butterick 4957 for quite a while and I have some fabric similar to the blue and white print on the pattern envelope, but I haven't been inspired enough to cut into it.
It's a very simple dress with bust darts, flared skirt, and CB zipper.  Here is the line drawing:

I made the V neck version (view A) with only small tweaks to the pattern.  First of all, my pattern only went up to size 14.  While that is perfect for the bust and shoulders, I had to grade it up about 2 sizes through the waist.  I also shortened the bust dart by about 1/2" (this is typical for me).  The dress is fully lined, and I was able to use J-Shrek's serger to finish all of my seam allowances (I can't wait to get one of my own!!).  

This dress is so simple, classic, and easy, I was surprised to find that it is now out of print.  Here is my version:

I'm very pleased with the fit of the dress.  Happy Easter!


  1. What super fabric - great find!!! Love how you made it up into this dress...

  2. A very pretty dress and beautiful hot weather fabric.

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