Butterick 5814 - my little wiggle

Butterick 5814 – my little wiggle (and a tad smug)

AKA the Ladybird dress – thanks Bimble & Pimble! That’s all I think about when I see this! Totes!

So Butterick 5814 is finished – well nearly, I confess I still need to slip-stitch the hem up but I figured I could get away with it in the photos!

Butterick 5814 - my little wiggle

Butterick 5814 – my little wiggle accessorised with a smirk. Yes, I love those shoes too…

I had to do some modifications post bodice construction. I thought it was going to fit and then once I sewed it all up and put in the zip it was just a little tooooo revealing in the bosom department. It was kinda sliding across, very low-cut and revealing – I am not your classic wiggle figure. More of a slight shimmy. I’m sure if I was a full-figured lass, or more of a wiggle, it would not have been an issue.

Butterick 5814 - bodice interior

Butterick 5814 – bodice interior. Whoops camera strap. That’s my post construction ‘hack tack’ on the righthand side.

I made a 6 in the bodice and I still had to heaved the surplice bits over a good inch on either side, tapering out to zero at the waist. This pulled the bodice sides (which cross over) across more tightly and I feel more confident in it with this rather dodgy bodification. Hey, it works and from the outside you can’t really tell. Even when I am really drunk I don’t take my clothes off in public 😉 so the interior is not such an issue LOL.

Butterick 5814 - bodice exterior

Butterick 5814 – bodice exterior

It’s not the best way to modify the dress, post construction (listen… can you hear Gertie screaming “make a muslin first you silly woman” yes yes Gertie but I am a base jumper in the sewing world – take a leap of faith and see what happens) however you can’t tell from the outside and I think it did less damage that a truckload of picking.

I would try making this again, modifying the little bodice piece that the tucked side attaches to and pulling a substantial piece of the bodice that crosses under into the side seam on an angle. I would make it in black – it would be a smokin’ LBD.

Butterick 5814 - my little wiggle

Butterick 5814 – my little wiggle. This is how I look after a few drinks…

If you are a curvy girl I think this could really work on you.

It was fun to make. I found it came together beautifully and the interior of the bodice looked amazing (until my hack post-construction tack). I got a bit stuck on the boning as I had never tackled that stuff before. I ended up taking the boning completely out of its cover, edge stitching it down and then re-inserting the boning. Worked perfectly.

Butterick 5814 - back - whoops bra strap

Butterick 5814 – back – whoops bra strap. Sorry should have straightened myself up for that photo.

I was really disappointed with how the zip was inserted. It looks OK on the outside but the inside is not very neat. I felt after the immaculate bodice construction the zip insertion was a little ‘blah’ and I would do it my own way next time. I kept re-reading the instructions thinking “that can’t be it” but ended up using them anyway (in a leap of faith) but was not pleased with the result. Compared to the Cambie finish, it’s just not as tidy, But then the Cambie is perfect :-).

I made a 6 up top and an 8 for the skirt, I think I could have made a 6 all the way through.

Butterick 5814 - skirt puff!

Butterick 5814 – skirt puff!

The sleeves are tight and come right under your armpits.

Butterick vintage 2739 - there is one of those flounce things!

Butterick vintage 2739 – there is one of those flounce things!

Not good for a hot sweaty day. The flappy thing is necessary, without it you will end up with a fabulous but bouffy bunch of pleats curving across your stomach, excellent if you like the bloated or pregnant look, so the flappy bits are essential. I started out thinking they were odd but I really like them now! Then I saw this vintage pattern on eBay today. Vintage waist flappy things!

It’s also a tricky dress to wear a bra with. You might be able to go without with all the boning but I need one to give me some shape. Possibly sewing one into the dress might work…

I love how the skirt is underlined, I have never underlined anything before so it was a great learning experience. Now I better understand why you might underling something, how underlining can change the shape of a garment, how the tack the pieces together and tack the darts etc before actually sewing. It’s time consuming but worth the extra work.

My photos aren’t great, it was just too windy to do beach photos today sorry – and I would look a little freaky on the beach in this.

I had planned to wear is to ‘high tea’ event but chickened out. I’m a bit sorry I did as this would look fabulous with a black hat! My Twitter friends helped out and we ended up picking the beloved Cambie. I got busy in the morning and made two Lisette bows (great idea from Sewmelove and HouseofPinheiro via Twitter this week) and trimmed my hat and handbag to match (thank goodness for keeping scraps). I was nominated for ‘best dressed lady’ along with two of my friends. Three of us were nominated in the top ten from a field of 150 ladies. No I didn’t win but I bet no-one else had made their own dress 😉 A short black lace dress won the day.

High Tea Sewaholic Cambie

High Tea Sewaholic Cambie

High Tea Sewaholic Cambie - accessories

High Tea Sewaholic Cambie – accessories

More blogs posts to come this week – blogger awards, Tasmania trip finds and more…

And if you are wondering about the gorgeous plant in the background of the Gertie dress pictures it’s called a Bottlebrush – yes not only do us Aussie have creatures with built-in pockets (marsupials!) we also have kitchen utensils in the garden. LOL.

Talk soon!

Pattern: Butterick 5814 purchased from Sew Squirrel
Fabric: shell: taffeta from Spotlight’s bargain table $10 a metre. Lining: black bemsilk

92 thoughts on “GERTIE’S LITTLEST WIGGLE (Butterick 5814)

  1. I think that you look lovely! Thanks for such a detailed review- I’ve been a little scared of this pattern! I’m so jealous of your garden- UI only have small dogs to color corrdinate with….

  2. I was admiring that callistemon, ours are not blooming yet. The dress is a perfect match and it looks delightful. Nice work with accessorising the Cambie, too. Yet another reason to keep all the leftover bits of fabric, you never know when you’re going to need them to tissy up an outfit. 😉

  3. Absolutely gorgeous dress and it looks wonderful on you. I like the shoes as well,on trend, but not so heavy that hey take away from the look. If you had worn the dress to the High tea event you would have won!
    Your floral dress is sweet, but the Gertie is hot! And looked gorgeous on you.
    Living in the desert (southern Baja) I notice all plants with color. Your bottle brush is magnificent. Nice blog as well.

    • You know I’ve never actually had a dress quite like this so perhaps it will just take a little ‘getting used to’. I’m sure I will conquer my shyness of sexy polka dots and wear this soon. I just looked up Southern Baja – how it looks amazing!!

  4. I love it. Totally love it! The fit is great and if you hadn’t said anything about that after-finishing-altering I don’t think anyone would have spotted it. I guess now you need another tea party? Or a black tie event? Where do you wear all those fabulous dresses you make?

  5. That turned out lovely – and while you might not have the “ideal” wiggle dress frame, you certainly do look fab in it! What’s ideal anyways?
    Love the coordinated bag/hat/dress combo – very vintage! Shame you didn’t win, you totally should have.

    • Thanks! I’m quite happy with my shape, after all these years living in my skin it’s better to accept and be happy than fight a change that ain’t never going to happen. I totally enjoyed making something outside my comfort zone. Great learning curve and I think it’s good to try things a little different as sometimes the things you least expect work! I love my Cambie I always feel fantastic in them… although someone said I reminded them of Bree of Desperate Housewives. Oh dear!

    • LOL to be honest I sat and wonder what on earth I was thinking when I bought it. I’m glad to tried it, as with most patterns if you go slow and google tricky bits you invariably find the solution. 🙂

    • Thanks Gillian! And good news, I think I may have conquered the Peony bodice. I was getting very frustrated and wonder how I could make a wiggle dress but not a Peony. Dart problem solved 🙂 I hope…

  6. Lovely! Who cares if you did a minor alteration on the bodice? Sometimes the simplest solution is best. You look lovely! I love the dress, but I actually like you in the Cambie more. I think the Cambie would make a smokin’ LBD as well. How long have you been sewing? You do a great job.

    • I love the Cambie, it’s such an easy dress to wear and feels very feminine without being sexy. My mother taught me the basics of dressmaking when I was a teenager. I hated it as I never picked the right things to sew. I think I have more success now as I understand what suits me so I’m not making things that don’t look ‘right’ – I’m also more patient! Although I wasn’t sure ‘the wiggle’ would work on me but I think it did in the end.

  7. The dress looks wonderful on you! And congrats for figuring out a way to fix it without taking it all apart. I know we all want our things to be beautiful on the inside, but once in a while, it’s nice to use the sewing skills to do a quick fix that no-one other than you will know about. I love the Cambie accessories, too.

    • All round it was a good weekend of sewing – a dress and accessories for another. I’m quite pleased with the alterations – although I’m sure my hero Handmade by Carolyn would have undone it all, I figured I should see if I coudl fit it and decide whether I liked the style on me – rather than making myself miserable and destroy the dress in the unpicking and resewing process. Taffeta is not over-friendly to unpick – easy to sew but going in reverse is tough!

    • Yes, I think I shall sew in red to match the garden in spring and then throw in a few beachy colours for the coastal shots! LOL. Winter has me stumped I might have to repaint the house…

    • damn it. I missed the PROMABALLOONA LIMO! Ah maybe the reunion will swing around quickly so I can rock out another crazy dress and drinkin’ shoes (there shoes where those came from). Oonaballoona I wanna make a frothy number (pout)

  8. Wow!! Your dress is amazing!! I love the pleats on the side of the bodice, they look fantastic. I happen to think the inside looks great, as are your shoes! And thanks for the name of that plant, I was wondering what it was.

    • Thanks Lynne – we have some wacky but beautiful plants over here, goes with the kooky koalas and hoardes of poisonous snakes 🙂
      I remember saying to my mother as a kid I couldn’t understand why anyone would think the Aussie bush was beautiful because it wasn’t pretty and green like it was in places like UK etc. She replied with ‘one day you will see why it’s so beautiful’. She was right, I love the colours of our landscape.

  9. Kitchen utensils in the garden? Lol! Its easy to forget what an odd plant that must look to foreigners! You have done an AMAZING job on the wiggle dress, it’s more low cut than I imagined. Now you’ve added ANOTHER dress to my ‘to sew’ list!

    • Thanks Andrea – polka dots are generally sweet aren’t they? I think I turned that notion on it’s head with this dress! BTW I think I love everything you make! I’ve bought several patterns because of you!

  10. Oh I like this dress, and wow that photo with the bottlebrush. Mmmm! I’ve just bought a cream bottlebrush for the back corner of my little courtyard garden. It’ll be a few years till I can make myself a cream dress and photo myself beside it, but I’m inspired!

    Nice meeting you, and thanks for following my blog too 🙂

  11. That is a tremendous accomplishment Lizzy, you must be so happy. You look like a little hottie in it too, your hubby will surely agree. I really love that era for the style of not only clothes, but music and cars too. I fancy the location you did the photo’s from, that tree is so exotic and perfectly compliments your haute couture. Loved it all.

    • Thanks Kelly – my husband will love your comment, he’s always telling me I’m too hard on myself. All these positive comments on the wiggle dress indicate that ‘yes’ he is right – again!
      I’ve got the Gertie sewing book so watch out for some more retro cool!

  12. Lizzy, This dress is fabulous and must make Gertie proud! Wow – wee!!!! You will be the hit of every event in this stunner.
    I looked and looked at the pattern before passing on it, as I imagined the shoulders constantly sliding off but you look splendid and I hope the dress gets lots of wear!

    • Thanks Sarah! The shoulders are very wide set and the armholes tight so we shall see how that goes on the first outing!
      Regardless I’m impressed with the end result and learning so many new things!

  13. Wow–that looks amazing!
    I know what you mean about the zipper. I just made a blouse with the most ridiculous zipper insertion method EVER. I did the same thing where I took the leap of faith thinking, “Surely the pattern gods know more than I, a mere mortal!” But, they don’t always.
    Now, I seriously have to look into this Cambie thing in the spring. There’s just something so satisfying about being given great instructions!

    • Thanks! And I’m so grateful for your Burda subscription tip-off, now I do a little happy dance every month at the post office!

  14. Ok you are the HOTTEST ladybird out there!!! What a fabulous dress Lizzy and seriously, how awesome to be able to tell people that you MADE it and didn’t fork out hundreds of dollars for it at some overpriced boutique…… hehe. Good work love 🙂

    • LOL too true – someone looked completely surprised when I said I had made the Cambie on the weekend, imagine their face if they saw the ladybird dress!

    • Methinks this was the perfect fabric pick for me & this dress. Sassy but not too sexy. I mean polka dots can’t been too naughty can they? LOL

  15. Yay for base jumpers in the sewing world!! It is such a stunning dress, seriously – and fits you perfectly. I agree – it would definitely make a smokin LBD. I was a bit worried about the whole bra issue, mainly because I cannot leave home without wearing one, so I might try to give mine some extra boning (if such a thing can exist?). I hope you get to wear this out and often, because it is completely fantastic with all of those delicious polka dots! So very well done! I think you’ve inspired the rest of us to give it a try 🙂

    • Thanks! I had be waiting to see someone else make it but all the talk was about the coat! So I decided to throw caution to the wind and just get a wriggle on with ‘the wiggle’ on my lonesome – feel like a bit of a pioneer LOL
      I’m all for base jumping with new patterns, you can be ‘too sensible’ sometimes!

    • Thank you!
      I’ve clicked through on your link and my WordPress reader is still saying I’m a follower so I’ll keep an eye out for your next post 🙂

      • ah ok – that’s great. I changed it a little while back but I’m a bit rubbish with technology and wasn’t sure if it would automatically change for people. thanks though – and looking out for more of your posts too 😀 xxx

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