We get it, you like lemons - Butterick 6556


Honestly, is there a lemon print I've ever said no to?  Are lemons the new bird?  Just put a lemon on it?  Putting a lemon on it would actually work for me. "Look Steve! I bought a new power drill because it has lemons on it! I know we had a black one already but that's just boring." But enough about my weakness for good marketing, let's talk about lemon print dresses instead.

This is the third lemon print dress I've blogged about here hence the amusing, maybe only to me, post title. I imagine you all murmuring it when opening your blog readers. Listen guys, all the lemon dresses have different colored backgrounds, which is what a girl needs in her closet.  I don't have a problem, I can stop whenever I want.......*Looks up lemon prints in Spoonflower*
This time I used a pattern currently in print, instead of a hard to trace vintage one. You're welcome? May I present to  you my version of Butterick 6556, aka one of Gertie's new designs in the Spring catalog. This design caught my eye right away, especially the neckline. You guys know I like flashing my collar bones all over town.  Even though my sewing is mostly 40's era garments now, I just couldn't resist. As soon as Butterick had one of their regular sales this pattern joined my collection.
I'd bought this stretch cotton sateen home from work last summer and didn't get around to sewing it.  A fabric has to mature to reach its full potential....or something like that.  In truth the sateen weight was a little heavier than I usually buy and didn't fit any of the projects I wanted to work on at the time. However it was the perfect match for the structured bodice and pleated skirt of B6556.

The dress is drafted to have a full bodice lining, but I decided to leave that out due to the thickness of the self fabric.  Instead I used the neckline interfacing pieces as facings and hand stitched them down so that they don't flap out.  The added facings do make the top of the lapped zipper insertion look messy on the inside.  You have to kind of fold one side under so there isn't a raw zipper tape sticking up out of the neckline.  If I'd switched out the lapped zipper for an invisible one then the inside guts would have been a lot cleaner.  For some reason that day I'd decided that we had to do a lapped zipper, even though I hate them. Who knows what that's all about.
Construction wise I found this one extremely easy. Sew some darts, pleat the skirt, do some hems. Heck I didn't even have to hand hem the skirt on this one. Simple rolled hem on the machine and you're done.  I did have to do an "on the fly" waist alteration thanks to the spandex in the sateen making that area too roomy. The side seams were taken in an additional 1/2" and I made the side seam pleats deeper to match the bodice.  Going down a size in the waist probably would have been smart to do in the first place knowing I was using a stretch woven. That's OK though, it worked out in the end.

Butterick 6556

Fabrics used
Stretch cotton sateen from Emma One Sock. (We happen to have this in stock still.)

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Blended sizes 14-16.
2. 1/2" Forward shoulder adjustment to shoulder seam and sleeve cap.
3. Dropped bust dart 1" and shorted waist dart the same amount.
4. Sway back adjustment of 1/2"
5. Removed 1/2" from the neckline. - See below for more info on that.
6. Removed 1" of ease at waist due to stretch woven. (1/2" at each side seam)
7. Added 1" of length to the hem.

Confessions - Hmmmm, I've already confessed about my messy zipper insides and that's about the only naughty sewing issue that happened when making this dress.

Advice - I nailed the square neckline fit on this dress by some "just winging it" pattern fitting. To remove the extra width I didn't need a small fold was made in the corner of the neckline and I taped it closed. Figured it wasn't much different than doing a sway back adjustment. 
A poster in one of the Gertie FB groups told me that I should have slashed into the neckline and rotated that width into the bust dart.  That does make sense, but also this worked and was less work? I probably should try the other method on a similar style if only to compare.

Husband Comment
*Started singing U2's song "Lemon."  Declined to comment further as he was sure he already talked about this dress. *

Bonus Son comment - "I think it's cute. I love it and I love lemons." - The brainwashing has been successful!!!

My Final Thoughts
This was a fun, easy project for the start of spring. It fits nicely and gives me plenty of room for moving around. The only reason I'm not wearing it more right now is because it's been crazy hot. This weight of sateen will be nicer when we transition into Fall and have some cooler temps. And last but not least, when people say, "Nice Dress" you can say, "Thanks it has pockets."

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