Pippa’s Trip Down the Nile- Butterick 5710

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The couple of tops I have planned out as next had to wait. Butterick has their Hollywood inspired contest going on right now. I want to make a dress for that and to seek a bit of redemption from the last dress. I still have a nagging feeling that something is amiss with Vogue 2962. It ends on June 12th, so I know I am very late in starting. I only had 10 days to get the whole dress done (including lining). For my Hollywood inspiration, I picked out one of my favorite movies, Death on the Nile, from 1978. For those who haven’t seen it, it is based on the Agatha Christie novel by the same title. A group of strangers meet on a boat for a luxury trip down the Nile to explore ancient Egyptian ruins (watching the movie is like a mini-vacation the scenery is riveting). One person on the boat is murder and Hercules Poirot has to determine who did it.

Death on the Nile dress

The dress I picked to replicate was the one Rosalie wears during the disturbance in the saloon (trying not to give away too much details for those who haven’t seen the movie). It is a lovely peach bias cut evening dress with a cowl drape. I am using Butterick 5710, the one that is based on Pippa’s bridesmaid dress. Both evening dresses (the pattern and the movie) look absolutely stunning and classy in their full length to the floor silhouette, but I just don’t go to functions were that is appropriate. So I opted to do the short cocktail length. I can wear that at the murder mystery weekends and to work if I want to be really over-dressed.

To my surprise I am able to also submit this in the Pattern Review fabric stash contest. The fabric used is a pale peach pink wool crepe that I got from an on-line store. I have had it for about a year. The lining is white china silk that I got from a different on-line store recommended by several on pattern review. I bought that about October 2012. All total, I used 3.75 yards of fabric from my stash. Since I had wider silk lining than 45 inches, I just doubled the fashion fabric given on the envelope. It should be fairly close to what I used.

Recently, I received the Colette Pattern’s snippets email with 10 tips for bias sewing. It was a tremendous help for me with my first completely bias cut dress. I think I followed every tip provided (except maybe the first one of choose the right fabric since I already bought the fabric last year). I probably need to find smaller pattern weights than bean cans and artichoke cans. They got in the way when I was using my rotary cutter which was a dream when cutting the china silk.

I was able to find a roll of 1 ½ inch wide fusible interfacing to use on the zipper seam. I had seen several blogs that mentioned interfacing zipper seams for bias cut garments. In fact, I didn’t follow the order of the instructions. I did more of the 1960’s unit construction method. I went ahead and did all of the back first on the lining and the wool ( and put in the zipper on the wool). Then I went back and did the front like step one in the instructions.

1. Added length to the side seams about 5/8 inch to each side seam.
2. Reshape bust darts and lowered them
3. Pinched out a little on the upper front bodice
4. Pinched out extra length on waist of the back (about ½ inch)

Thank you to all the ones on Pattern Review who advised and helped me with fit. I will admit I didn’t follow the 1 inch seam advice, but that was because I just wasn’t able to sew a straight steady seam allowance of 1 inch. I need to figure what to put on my machine bed so that I am better able to reference where I should be sewing.

Most of the dress I have seen from this pattern have been more cocktail/ formal (bridal) wear. I sort of wonder if you could make this out of a cotton for a cute summer dress. Not considering the front cowl, it is pretty much a simple bias cut dress with Raglan sleeves. I think a cotton lawn should be able to drape for the front cowl. The envelope back mentions crepe, faille, and satin only.

I know a lot of people love to sew with knit fabric. I haven’t really explored sewing with knits yet. But I think this pattern would be do-able in a thin rayon knit. The only reason I say a rayon knit is because I have some dresses that I bought last year from Target in this material and it has the drape required for the front cowl. All the bias pieces would have to be cut on the grain (more likely). It probably would have to be a stable knit. I don’t think any thick knit would work. It would be an interesting experiment. I just don’t have the fabric for it right now and I don’t know if I am really interested in re-making this dress when I have a stack of other patterns I want to try.

I need to get back to more “practical” sewing like tops. Since it is Pattern Review’s fabric stash contest, I should go ahead and choose from the ruffle front blouse (Burda Style 04/2010), a 1960’s Simplicity pattern, or the peplum blouse (Burda Style 5/2010). All of those patterns I have matched with fabric I already have in my stash. I had thought about Savage Coco’s Halter top hussy pattern, but only my lining would be stash so I may wait until July for that one.

Also, I apologize for the lack of enthusiasm in the pictures.  But let’s pretend it is because I was stalking the murder from “Death on the Nile”.


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