Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sew Twists and Ties: Butterick 6621

My first #SewTwistsandTies project of the challenge!

This is Butterick 6621, which I decided to make after seeing the multiple versions Dressmaking Debacles made early in 2019. Then I saw even more fabulous versions on Instagram...

I'll admit, despite my high hopes and dreams for this project, it was a bit troublesome. In the end it turned out pretty well, though!

For my Butterick 6621, I opted for View A, the twist front dress. Literally every view of this pattern is perfect for the #SewTwistsandTies challenge, but I'm still a sucker for those twists!

I chose a size 22, which fits my hip measurement. (Purposeful) fit alterations I made: I lengthened the skirt by  inches because I like a bit more coverage, and I cut the sleeve sorta halfway between the short- and long-sleeve options, to make this more of a 3-season dress. 

Fit issues: My dress is a bit more snug than I anticipated. I realize the pattern says "close fitting" and that should have been a red flag for me, but the other versions I saw online seemed more A-line and not so snug. 

Additionally, the neckline was ENORMOUS! I applied the neckband as is at first, despite Nakisha's warning that it was a bit long. It was terrible and floppy and so wide and the worst. I unpicked it, took 3 inches off at the center back, and reapplied. Still terrible and floppy and so wide and the worst. I unpicked it a second time. 

After that, I decided it wasn't only the neckband causing me problems, but the neckline itself, which was huge. Deep (which I don't mind), but also incredibly wide across the chest, shoulders and across the back neck, with a fair bit of extra fabric down the center front seam. This is not typically a fit issue I have... I should have taken a photo for you all, but I was a little salty about the whole thing.

I started taking the neckline in at center front and back, incrementally, until I got it how I liked it. In the end, I took off wedges of fabric equal to 1.25" from the center back seam, 2.75" off the center front, and about .5" on each shoulder. Phew! 

That's a grand total of 5 inches off the neckline to get it to sit flush in front and back. I took the neckband in probably 7-8", too, eyeballing it along the way as I narrowed the neckline. Obviously, this took the deep V-neck into more of a high-neck. 

In retrospect, maybe I should have graded from a 20 bust to 22 hip, but I'm not convinced that the size choice was the issue here with the neckline since the shoulders fit ok. 

If I made this dress again I would redraft the neckline a bit lower. I might also shorten the bodice by .5" at front and back.

The fabric I chose is this sorta rainbow fingerpaint print (art-teacher chic for real, y'all) ponte (I think?!) that Tim picked out for me on a trip to Vietnam last year; I asked him to check out the fabric market in Hanoi. The fabric is cousin to the psychedelic cauliflower print I used for my Seamwork Tacara I made earlier this year. 

Also: can we discuss how Tim braved a Vietnamese fabric market for me?!

Yes, the fabric met the stretch percentage requirements for the pattern and it has great recovery, so that isn't the issue regarding the neckline.

In any case, despite the neckline drama, I quite like the dress! Its' definitely more form-fitting than I thought it would be, but it still looks nice, I think. 

Sorry all my photos are blurry- I think the camera hated the busy print, twisty front and gloomy lighting! 


  1. Art teacher chic- here in NYS, you would need printed knee socks with ABCs and clogs to go with. Many teachers wear theme socks. Or you could wear the socks with Tevas, which works in VT too. But not a good look with a dress! Nice dress. Glad you could fix it.

  2. I like the profile of this dress. For those of us who no longer can find our waistline, this gives the illusion of a waistline. Mary_in_AZ

  3. I was in Hanoi last year and went to the fabric market. I tip my hat to your husband for any purchase he made!! I found the sellers to be very, very aggressive and prices were ridiculously inflated. As a result, I decided to wait and purchase in Thailand (second trip to China town - thanks to your excellent post!!). But......there are tailor supply shops in the old part of Hanoi selling notions at super low prices!! I stocked up on zippers, coat closures, beautiful lining fabrics (they only supplied tailoring notions, not any apparel fabric), and a few handy tools. Plan to return to Hanoi this year and will be bringing a shopping list for this.

  4. I think you look absolutely lovely in your twisted dress! Great save and memorable sew, I am sure. Not that I would ever wish this experience on any sewist, but having gone through a similar set of sewing contortions, I kept wondering how someone with my experience could be so lost in the process. Your blog-post brought me back to the truth: This happens to all of us, and thank goodness we, as sewists are really good problem-solvers!

    I do not respond often - or maybe this is the first time, but I always look forward to your posts and your pattern choices.

  5. I love this dress - it looks great!

  6. This is a gorgeous dress, and I am happy you could save it. When I saw the picture, I thought that this would be my next big project, but after reading about your difficulties, I don't think I will attempt it. Maybe I can take some inspiration from yours and find another pattern that starts out at a better place!