This one wore me (Butterick 5354)

Elber Albaz, former designer of House Lanvin revealed in an interview, “What is your job as a designer? To unveil the body or to cover it?” He went on to say, “…It was then that I realised that fashion is not really about the body at all. Its essence is simple: to make the woman look beautiful, to make her fly.”


This top (Butterick 5354, view D) doesn’t aspire to Lanvin in the slightest, but I liked the drawings, the description and the line drawings.  Albaz’s sentiment is still relevant: fashion should make you feel confident, beautiful, enhance the best of you.  But it didn’t even make me flap wings.  This is a design that could work (with some re-working) in a VERY drapey fabric, but don’t consider it with any fabric with body.  It covers the body, adds weight, and is headed to the donate pile.

The fabric is from Gorgeous Fabrics – I bought it after working with the navy rayon doubleknit (and during Ann’s closeout sale).  I love the fabric, and am kicking myself for wasting it here.  I have enough left for a sleeveless top, maybe.


Okay, other than the fact that it’s just not flattering (though super easy), here were my  main issues:

  1. The neckline is not as wide as pictured in either the drawings on the front or in the line drawings.  Views B, C and D indicate a wide neckline (I made view D).  It’s more of a circle around the neck (View A somewhat indicates this, but is still more revealing than reality).  It’s a very, very modest neckline compared to these drawings.
  2. The shoulders are too narrow.  Yes, I know, muslin.  This isn’t usually a problem I have – since I have narrow shoulders.  But the shoulder lines are well inside where they need to be flattering.  I made a 12, my usual size, and many on PatternReview indicated sizing down.  Again, where the shoulder meets the sleeve cap is more like View A than View D.
  3. The facing is fiddly.  I measured carefully, I cut carefully, I attached carefully.  I understitched.  I trimmed and notched.  I pressed.  The facing rolls out.  In fact, it’s not drafted properly, as it won’t lay flat on the inside. The outside curve of the facing is a bit short, forcing the facing to pull up – and is perhaps why issue number one is occurring.


Could I have fixed this with a muslin?  Yes.

Win some, lose some.  Moving on.

(Sorry, can’t seem to get the lighting right with my iPhone).

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2 thoughts on “This one wore me (Butterick 5354)

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