Hollywood Sewalong Final Reveal

Hollywood Sewalong Final Reveal

Today’s our Hollywood Sewalong big reveal! My final project took some miserable twists and turns, but I tried to redeem myself. I’ll tell you all about it, but let’s start at the beginning.

The Hollywood Sewalong Challenge

Hollywood Sewalong Challenge : The Notebook

Sew a garment inspired by the The Notebook. I wanted a vintage inspired that I can wear in real life.

Floral shirtdress in Art Gallery voile | SewsNBows

The Pattern

I used Butterick 5846, the same as my last post in this series : Hollywood Sewalong Part II. So I know I can make this freakin’ dress! (I’m serious, go look at it because I need you to believe me.)

The Fabric

After hitting every fabric shop in town, I finally found the floral print Art Gallery voile shown above. I snuggled it all the way home…it’s so soft and just yummy. And when I say snuggled, I mean that I practically molested it.

The Plan

Butterick 5846 | pleat details

The shoulder seam on Butterick 5846 sat too wide on my last dress. I used the wide or narrow shoulder adjustment tutorial found on Collette Patterns.

Butterick 5846

And you can see in my muslin above, this pattern has a weird bunchy area in the back; right above the pleats. So I wanted to sew the pleats all the way up, tapering them slightly at the top for ease.

The Result

Butterick 5846 | Hollywood Sewalong

The pleats worked out. All was good in the world.

Butterick 5846 with narrow shoulder adjustment

The narrow shoulder adjustment seemed to work out fine too. The seams sat exactly where they should. Until I noticed:

Fabric pulling under the bust to armscye : needs square shoulder adjustment

Now; I’m gonna admit. I had a tiny scorch mark near the collar. I was willing to overlook that. But this pulling under the bust up to the armpit? I can’t do it. The pulling you see here happens when a person needs a square shoulder adjustment. It looks fine until you raise your arms; then all of a sudden it’s fat man in a little coat. At this point, I knew I’d never, ever wear this dress.

Hollywood Sewalong: The Notebook (Butterick 5846)

I never hemmed it or put the buttons on. It was cute while it lasted though, huh?

Plan B

Floral  half circle button up skirt in Art Gallery voile

When you mess up a dress, Plan B is always going to be to chop it into a skirt. Always. So that’s what I did.

Lots of mixed feelings about this project.

Happy: I tried something new; I hate adjustments and that’s why I like kids clothes. I’m proud that the pleats worked out. I’m always terrified to change things up too much.

Floral button up skirt | SewsNBows

Insecure: Am I some sort of mutant? I thought it was weird that I needed a narrow shoulder adjustment in the first place. My shoulders are pretty broad. But who in the world needs a narrow shoulder adjustment and a square shoulder adjustment in the same dress? That’s not even a thing. #ShoulderIssues

Pearly buttons on a floral half circle skirt

Disappointed: Even though I like my skirt, it doesn’t feel very 1940’s. Without the pleated bodice, there’s nothing about it that reminds me of The Notebook at all. I failed the Sewalong challenge. If this was Project Runway, I’d definitely be going home this week.

Art Gallery voile |floral button up  skirt

Resolute: The sting of being defeated yet again by women’s garment is still real. But I’m not violently opposed to trying again. This was a learning experience, and I wanted to learn. I always come back for a re-match.

One Last Thought

When I first started sewing; I didn’t know I sucked. Now that I’ve found my way; I notice every tiny thing and it destroys me to make a mistake. Sewing has also ruined for me for ready to wear. If I won’t wear my own mistakes, I’m dang sure not going to pay someone else to wear poor workmanship or ill fit. So I’ve got to sew more wearable garments for me! Something’s gotta give- or I won’t have anything to wear pretty soon.

I hope you’ll check out the rest of the the Hollywood Sewalong with my friends! If you have

Hannah at Made With Hugs and Kisses

Courtney at Makesphere

Freya at The Dressmaking Diaries

Charlie at This Blog is Not for You

Nina at Inchworming

Jennie at The Jagged Rose


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. Linda

    This was such a beautiful dress!! Really reminds me of the dresses from the 60’s. Have a great weekend. Linda
    Linda recently posted…What to do Weekends #72My Profile

  2. Baye

    I so appreciate your honest review! I sometimes feel as though I’m the only blogger who isn’t turning out perfection. I tend to avoid clothes for me because of these issues. I just don’t know enough to make the changes I’d need to make for me. Of course, I’m never going to learn if I don’t make time to experiment. Thanks for the reminder that if all else fails, I can turn it into something else.

  3. Margo

    Fat man in a little suit! Ha! My sis and I sing this in dressing rooms to cheer ourselves up when something doesn’t fit! Hysterical! I think your dress was great! We all have a pile of “fails” but at least you saved your with a very cute skirt!
    Margo recently posted…Charlie JumpsuitMy Profile

  4. Margo

    Fat man in a little suit!! My sis and I sing this along with a little dance in dressing rooms to cheer ourselves up when something doesn’t fit. Hysterical! I don’t think it is a fail at all! I thought that the dress was great! We all have a pile of “fails” somewhere, at least you managed a great save with your skirt.
    Margo recently posted…Charlie JumpsuitMy Profile

  5. Kelley

    Fat guy in a little coat. I snorted. And I love the fabric you used for the dress! So pretty friend :)
    Kelley recently posted…Life of the Party No. 36My Profile

  6. Amy of while wearing heels

    I love that you quoted Tommy Boy and referenced The Notebook all in the same post. That’s probably a first. I loved the dress. I am sure you are harder on yourself than others would have been. As a skirt it is adorable. Love that you persevered.
    Amy of while wearing heels recently posted…Felt Peeps Finger Puppet TutorialMy Profile

  7. Jennie

    Love the fabric! I agree with everyone else, the dress is lovely. Hope you will use the skirt, it would be a shame for that lovely fabric to be hidden.

  8. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas

    Amy! I thought the dress looked adorable! No way was it a fail! But, a skirt it has become and a very cute skirt at that! You look fabulous in it, and I love the layered tees! And…your shoulders look totally normal to me!

    Okay! Keep sewing for yourself girl! But don’t pressure yourself! xo
    Sue @ A Colourful Canvas recently posted…PROJECT SEWN: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS DRESS…My Profile

  9. Val

    Hi Amy,

    You did a great job with this dress! There are just a couple of issues with the pattern is all. The reasons for the pulling are that the front armhole is too deep, and needs a dart to the bust point. As soon as an armhole is cut deeper, pulling will start to happen. The pleats could be moved over slightly so that they are more under the bust point and less towards the center front as well. Keep persisting Amy. Your sewing is really good!

    Val @ artsybuildinglady.blogspot.ca
    Val recently posted…Refashioned TopMy Profile

  10. Mel

    Oh Im so sorry it didnt work out to plan but you learn something with every mistake right (obviously it took me 5 shots with having children)

    You have some sexy legs so go out and rock your skirt xo
    Mel recently posted…DIY Tea Light HolderMy Profile

  11. Donna

    Amy I love the skirt look, although you are being too hard on yourself. I’ve NEVER done that! I think the dress is cute too. I do understand about just not liking the way something lays when you have it on. But you are probably the only one to notice what bunches where when you move. I too think it is much easier to stick to kids clothes.

  12. Annie

    I thought the dress looked great! I did not see the problem…I looked at the photo and read your comment over and over trying to understand the issue here…maybe it is tight when you raise your arm? I really do not think it looks as bad as you think it is, but maybe it is uncomfortable to wear? Well at least you got a really cute skirt out of this fabric you love. It will still look “notebook” if you pair it with a collared shirt!
    Annie recently posted…Spring Yoke Dress for Little MomoMy Profile

  13. Gina

    Your dress was gorgeous!!!! I can’t believe you chopped it into a skirt. The skirt is pretty and looks comfy so I am sure you will get lots of wear out of it this summer! I don’t think the problem was your shoulders, it just couldn’t be! Maybe the pattern was the wrong proportions. Some clothing lines fit different shapes better so maybe some patterns are better for certain shapes too. When I don’t do so well at something it just makes me more determined to conquer it!!! I love your fabric pick, it is gorgeous!!!!!
    Gina recently posted…Flashback Friday: Spring Break 2014My Profile

  14. Pam @Threading My Way

    You look FABULOUS in that dress, Amy!!! Did you ever think about just not raising your arms? Seriously, I know nothing about square shoulders and fit, but all I can see in the dress is a little bunching when you lift your arm. Are you being too self critical… how’s that coming from someone who does the same?

    With anything you learn… the more you know, the more you know you don’t know. If I know you, you’ll come back and beat those shoulder issues.
    Pam @Threading My Way recently posted…Threading Your Way ~ Features…My Profile

  15. domestic bliss squared

    My thoughts: #1, that skirt is FAB! I think with a pleated short sleeved white shirt with or without a Peter Pan collar and the right heels it would scream 1940’s! (also, your sandals in that first shot are so cute…must not inquire as to wear you bought them…must not…) #2: If you ever need to make yourself feel better about your (amazing) seamstress skills, walk though the women’s clothing department of an upscale score like Nordstroms. You will instantly feel better when you see an overpriced sea of poorly hemmed, uneven, cheaply made with cheap fabric garments, whose embellishments have been crappily sewn on! I do this a lot and it makes me feel much better about messy sewing. #3: shoulders are the weirdest part of any garment. That’s why I refashion, baby! Someone else did the hard work for me! And lastly…the back is perfect, your *ahem* rear looks fantastic in it!
    Also just FYI, this is Jessica…Hilary would never have used the word “crappliy” ;-)
    domestic bliss squared recently posted…Red Dress 7 waysMy Profile

  16. Lisa Nelson

    Wow Amy! You did an awesome job, girly! You look gorgeous in that dress. Your own worst critic is yourself, right? I think the dress looks perfectly beautiful – but what do I know? I know nothing about the perfect fit.

    I think you did a beautiful job. I love the cute.

    Plus, of course the model is the best of all!

    Good going, kid! I think you did a fabulous job!
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…Backyard BBQ Blog Hop – Open until July!My Profile

  17. Janlynn

    Oh Amy, welcome to the world of a real sewist! You must continue your quest for a good fit. You are at a critical point in your sewing journey. This is where we lose many to quilting! A good fit is possible. Once you know the changes you need to make to patterns, it does get better. I am on that journey too. There are many inspiring women out there who have achieved perfect fit. They have left a road full of muslins and wadders for us to follow.
    Cue inspiring music or Yoda whichever does it for you!
    Janlynn recently posted…Summer TopMy Profile

  18. thisblogisnotforyou

    I love the dress! You haven’t failed AT ALL. It rocks! Seriously. And it’s sooo “The Notebook”, yet modern. I’m sorry you’re not feeling comfy in this dress :( Are you sure it’s the square shoulders that are the problem? I thought it might just be the under the bust pleats which prevent the dress from slipping up over the bust and create the drag lines. Maybe this could be fixed by making the armholes a bit bigger? It’s worth a try – your dress is just too fabulous to be hidden under a shirt! xx
    thisblogisnotforyou recently posted…Hollywood-Sewalong: The Notebook – Part 3My Profile


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