Butterick 5030: the Second Fitting

After our first fitting, I identified the changes that needed to be made to C’s rehearsal lunch dress:

1. Remove the big chunk of fabric I pinched out of the neckline from the bodice and the neckline band.


2. Add some more ease to the bust (and shorten the bust darts).

3. Shorten the whole bodice.


The second and third adjustments are cake; I’ve done them a million, bajillion times. I have that shit down pat. The first part is not something I’ve dealt with a lot.

So, I started off by shortening both the front and back bodice by 5/8″, and then I added another 1/2″ to the bust via an FBA and rotated the resulting side dart into the shoulder gathers.

Then, I got to the excess I pinned out of the neck and I just kind of…stared at it for a bit, whilst a feeling of dread and panic filled me.  It was a three dimensional bit of fabric that needed to be removed, and I needed the dang pattern to be one flat piece!

After a bout of the “f*ck its” I decided to measure what I had pinned out and take that amount off of the BOTTOM of the bodice front overlap.  Was it really the right thing to do?  Maybe.  Probably should’ve pinned out the excess at, you know, a seam, in the first place.  Was I sure it would work?  Heck no.

Here’s the result:





The “f*ck it” approached seemed to work out pretty well, right?  Yes, except by just chopping off the offending chunk of bodice, instead of properly shortening it, the waist seam of the bodice doesn’t quite meet the edge of the skirt overlap. But, it’s cool…that’s nothing slapping another 1/4″ onto the waist seam and truing into the neckline can’t fix.



I have to admit that something still seems a little off to me about the bodice, but I can’t put my finger on it.  However, it fits much better in the back, bust, and especially at the neckline, and C. has told me she thinks it looks good, and doesn’t feel too big or small (AKA is comfortable!) so I’m going to call it good and begin work on the final product.

My personal deadline is to have the whole thing done by May 5th, but it needs to be done by the 10th.  Wish me luck, y’all!


8 thoughts on “Butterick 5030: the Second Fitting”

  1. I might know what you mean about the bodice not fitting quite right, do you feel like it droops a little at the front right side (of the photos) where the overlap is?

    1. I see what you’re talking about, but, no, it didn’t seem droopy on her in person. That’s the worst part: everything seemed to fit right, but it just didn’t look as perfect as I was hoping it to. I’m wondering if it could be a grain issue (I was slightly willy nilly with the muslin placement, but not terribly off). It’s just so difficult trying to work with the nuances of another person’s body…I feel like I just figured mine out! (Kind of)

      1. I know what you mean. I’ve only sewed for someone else once in my life and I decided it would be a long time and a lot of experience before I wanted to do it again. It could easily be a grain issue, that’s one of those things that your eyes see but your brain doesn’t always process right, and you wouldn’t see it any of the photos. Either way, the way you fitted it was done really well and it’s probably something only you would see.

  2. I think possibly your dart is not long enough, I’m bigger busted like C, and I have to lengthen my darts. Also (and I’m being very cheeky here) she looks like she needs a better bra, her boobs are sitting too low I think and that’s what is screwing up the fit of the bottom of the bodice. was she wearing a comfy bra for the fitting rather than the one she will wear on the night? I make and alter wedding dresses and belly dance costumes and I’ve learned a valuable lesson over the years that underwear can make or break a garment and 80% of us don’t wear the correct bra for the garment being made or altered. I think in smaller sizes (cup I mean) then it’s not as big an issue, but the bigger your boob, the more a bra will change the entire body line. An old bra or a strapless will lower your boobs over an inch and I won’t need to tell you that a bust point not being where it’s “supposed” to be will screw your whole pattern! Which then makes your bodice seem too long, when really you need to hitch up the girls and get them in the right position. Anyway, seriously consider giving that a go if you haven’t as you may find that solves all your problems right away!

    1. Good point! She actually wore one of her good bras for the second fitting, and a not-so-good one for the first fitting (forgot to tell her to wear the undergarments she’d be wearing that day!). Good, supportive bras can be difficult to find, and you’re so right that they can make or break a whole pattern!

      I doubt that the dart is too short – it was actually at or even a bit above her bust point in the first fitting and I shortened it by 5/8″ to 1″ for the second fitting. The bigger the bust, the farther away the end of the dart should be, yes? For instance, I typically end my darts 1-2″ from my D/DD bust point. Though, after your well stated bra point, maybe the dart could be too short because she wore a more supportive bra the second time around.


  3. Pin the front waistline seam under each boob 1/2 higher until you get rid of the horizontal wrinkles. The fabric is tight now at the wrap edge and needs to be shorter from the gathers to the waist a little to lay flatter. Next time take half at the center front where you pinned out a tuck and another half of the amount at the waist otherwise you get this situation where it looks a little wonky.

    1. The alteration you’re describing makes a lot of sense to me! Unfortunately, I went ahead and sewed up the dress this weekend as is. Oh well, it will be handy information for the next time I get myself into a situation like this! Thank you. :)

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