Butterick 5846 |Hollywood Sewalong part II

Butterick 5846 |Hollywood Sewalong part II

Welcome to Part II of the Hollywood Sewalong! We have been working on outfits inspired by The Notebook. To catch up on the series, click here: Hollywood Sewalong Introduction.

The Notebook Sewalong | SewsNBows

Today we’ll be talking about design choices, patterns, and fabric. Warning: lots of pics! If you just want to see the dress; scroll down:)

Butterick 5846

I chose Butterick 5846 for my dress. The pleating and gathering in the bodice drew me to this pattern. Simple enough for me to handle, but adds a lot of punch.

 Butterick 5846- pleat details

I decided to make a wearable muslin for this dress. I don’t sew a lot of womenswear, so I wanted to make sure I knew about any tricky parts before I cut into good fabric.

Butterick 5846 - Slip Stitching

Like this, for example. Slip stitching the collar. I almost puked when I got to this part in the instructions. Hand sewing is for the birds, y’all.

Do most dress patterns call for hand stitching around the collar? I thought there would be some sort of disclaimer on the package if hand stitching were required. There should be, by God.

Hollywood Sewalong : The Notebook

Here are the pockets, under stitched. I may add a bartack on my final version, to make sure these pockets lay nice and flat.

Pleat & Buttonhole Disasters | SewsNBows

You can see above 2 more issues I need to work out. My pleats are trying to come undone. I back stitched, but I didn’t want a big knot. A friend told me the trick:

“Leave long tails on top and bobbin thread. Flip to the back. Pull the bobbin thread up and gently towards the stitching until there is a loop big enough for you to get a straight pin under. Then use the straight pin to pull the top thread to the back and tie a double knot.”

-Gina from Party of Eight, Our Story

Also, my buttonholes look like crap. I hadn’t messed with my buttonholes much on my machine. My new machine has an automatic buttonholer. I miss the control I had on my 4-step machine. I noticed that a faster speed shortened the length of the buttonholes; so I need to use consistent pressure on the pressor foot. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.

Butterick 5846 | Hollywood Sewalong Muslin

Butterick 5846 | Hollywood Sewalong : The Notebook

Special thanks to Monica for modeling this dress!

The Notebook: Hollywood Sewalong | 1940s inspired dress

I’ll be using voile for my final dress…

Butterick 5846 | pleat details

and raising the front pleats by 1″.

Cute dress pattern: Butterick 5846

I’ve been practicing my buttonholes.

Butterick 5846

I plan to reduce some bulk in the bodice back. I’m not sure how yet; it has pleats!

Butterick 5846

Maybe I’ll add a button placket to the sleeve.

Butterick 5846 | SewsNBows

Should I use fancy thread to slip stitch the collar?

Hollywood Sewalong | The Notebook (1940s inspired dress)

So the floor is now open for suggestions and recommendations. I’ve never really sewed for myself so I can use any tips you might have. And I’m having a really hard time finding voile fabric, so if you know any good shops, holler!

Check out the other Hollywood Sewalong participants!

Courtney at Makesphere

Freya at The Dressmaking Diaries

Charlie at This Blog is Not for You

Hannah at Made With Hugs and Kisses

Nina at Inchworming

See you in May with our big reveal!

About The Author

Amy Mayen

Hello. I'm Amy and I'm addicted to sewing. I borderline-hoard fabric, buttons, & patterns. Sometimes I wish I could pile my fabric up on the floor and just roll in it!


  1. Rachel

    It’s coming along really nicely! I’m excited to see the final version. I get really overwhelmed when it comes to slash and pulling out bulk etc soooo no help here! I’ve only ever sewed with an automatic buttonholer, every machine seems to be different so it’s really a matter of finding the right mix for yours trial and error style. Great pattern pick for your inspiration.
    Rachel recently posted…Flip that ColorblockMy Profile

  2. Freya May

    This is such a great plan! With some tweaking that bodice will be gorgeous :D Perhaps going down a size on the pattern would help, it seems a bit big all over? I’m having so much fun with this, especially seeing all the different takes on the challenge, yay!!! xxx

  3. Amy of while wearing heels

    I wish I had suggestions. I usually come here for the advice and to admire the beautifully sewn creations you’ve made. Love the dress. I can’t believe all the pleats. Love the fabric and the model is owning it :)
    Amy of while wearing heels recently posted…Felt Peeps Finger Puppet TutorialMy Profile

  4. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas

    Great work Amy!!!! This the real deal…a beautiful dress…and I can’t wait to see the voile fabric version. You’re too funny…weirdly, I don’t mind hand sewing. Your yoke turned out beautifully, but there are two ways to machine stitch yokes to the front and back bodice if you’re interested. A bit too difficult to explain just with words. Look up burrito yoke method or sandwich yoke method for a how to. The second way is by top stitching the yoke, which I think would also look good on your dress because it already has some nice top stitching detail on the cuff and pleats. With this way, you would attach the back yokes the same way; then sew the right side of the front yoke facing to the wrong side of the front bodice. You would press under 5/8″ on the yoke fronts, pin them onto to the bodice, and top stitch close to the edge. For looks, I would also top stitch along the back edge of the yoke. Too much? I know, it’s so hard to explain these things in writing. Too make the bodice back smaller, I would move the edge of the pattern piece {place on fold} beyond the folded fabric. Moving it over 1″ means 2″ less fullness in the back. Once the piece is cut, move the pattern piece back a bit to mark your pleats. Buttonholes just take practice, practice, practice. I sometimes iron on a little rectangle of lightweight fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric for a bit more stability. xo
    Sue @ A Colourful Canvas recently posted…BEHIND THE SEAMS: THE BETTY DRAPER ROSES DRESSMy Profile

  5. Gina

    You have done such an amazing job on this dress; I love it!!!!! Can’t wait for the grand finale!!!!
    Gina recently posted…Birthday CentralMy Profile

  6. Jennifer Lachman

    The dress is looking good. I would try sewing the bodice a size smaller, but keeping the skirt size as it is. The last time I tried sewing an adult dress I made half a dozen bodice muslin’s and then gave up. I’ll try again eventually, but fitting is tough.
    Jennifer Lachman recently posted…Wardrobe Planning Spring 2014My Profile

  7. Courtney

    I have this pattern and I also hate the amount of bulk in the back! You could do as Charlie suggested and make the pleats deeper but it still gives you and lot of fluff at the top. You could also slash your pattern and fold the pleats in on themselves to get rid of some of the unwanted fabric, cut the back in two pieces and stitch the centre back at an angle so you take more out of the bottom than the top (kind of like a dart), draft a new back bodice or take a pre-existing back bodice and chop off the top for the yoke section.
    Having said that it does look great from the front and having watched South Pacific recently apparently it is fashionable to have a humped back- it’s just not for me ;)

  8. thisblogisnotforyou

    Awww! This is great! The pattern looks as if it was made just for this sew-along :D
    Could you make the pleats/darts in the back a bit deeper to remove the bulk?
    I love handsewing, I don’t know why (maybe I’m just very masochistic) but I really do enjoy some quiet handsewing every once in a while! :) Nice work, Amy! I need your pattern :D
    thisblogisnotforyou recently posted…Hollywood Sew-Along: The Notebook – Part 2My Profile

  9. Annie

    I think you selected a great design…even if you have to hand-sew a little ;) This should look great in any fabric color or pattern you chose. No tips from me…I do not know how to make woman’s wear that fits well… ;o
    Annie recently posted…Tiny Sakura Sally Dress for Little MomoMy Profile

  10. domestic bliss squared

    Wow, that’s awesome! I hate making muslin because mine are NEVER ever wearable, but this is super cute! I can’t wait to see how the final version comes out!
    domestic bliss squared recently posted…Fringe earrings tutorialMy Profile


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