Butterick B5808: first wadder

Wadder: a technical term in sewing which means “to sew a garment and then discover it is truly horrendous, thereby resulting in the wadding of said garment and disposal into nearest refuse receptacle or relegation of wadder to dark corner or drawer”.

That is how I would describe a wadder. And today I had my first real wadder since I stared dressmaking some 16 months ago or so.

Of course I had the whole day in front of me, devoid of any real distractions. Philip had taken Kezia to nursery this morning, and he made lunch, and I popped out in the morning to see a friend and returned home. An afternoon of undisturbed sewing stretched ahead like an oasis in front of a dehydrated man lost in the dessert.

I decided to make B5808, described “as an unlined coat, very loose-fitting, above mid-knee length coat has shawl collar (wrong side of fabric shows), side seam pockets, long or below elbow length sleeves, shaped hemline and stitched hems”. I thought this would be a perfect one afternoon project, and had already cut out the pattern and fabric – a very fine dark brown gabardine wool.

B5808 unlined coat

B5808 unlined coat line drawings

Yes, this is an easy coat to pull together. You also have the option of making it in a double knit or a woven fabric, making it versatile. I imagined wearing it belted when the weather was not so cold.

The sizing on this coat is HUGE, and when I say HUGE, I mean HUGE. The length of the sleeves alone is like something drafted for the yeti. And then you have to contend with the swathes of excess fabric at the front of the coat. In short, I had probably cut 2 sizes too big, and if the truth be told, I was never fully in love with the colour of the fabric (an ebay purchase of course). The best way to describe how I felt/ looked is this:

What I looked like in my B5808

What I looked like in my B5808

So, having spent the last week working on a top for a friend, my plans of having some “me” sewing time has, literally, gone in the bin. Sigh. Still, what lessons can be learned from this episode?

1. Don’t ever start sewing something unless you absolutely, 100% LOVE the fabric you are working on. If you don’t I guarantee you will never love the finished garment.

2. In this instance, perhaps at least tissue fitting the pattern or basting it together first would have been a good idea. Less haste, more speed.

3. Wadders happen. Accept and move on.

Hopefully next time I will have something more creative to share. Till then, may the force be with you. 🙂

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About sewmanju

I love to shop, but I also love to sew my own clothes, and am currently on a mission to improve my (fairly basic) dressmaking skills. I confess to going into shops and being outraged at the prices of some (not very well made) garments (is it an age thing?) and think "huh, I could make some thing at least as good as that for less" (is it something to do with coming from the Indian subcontinent?) So this blog details my sewing endeavours, both good and bad....I love to nosey through other people's sewing projects....now everyone can get to see mine.

One response to “Butterick B5808: first wadder”

  1. Minnie Me says :

    my sympathies – have just had a wadder my self – found some long neglected rayon perfect to trial a new vogue pattern – not even expecting to be able to wear it. Dress turned out really well, fabric looked much better than expected ( what I call a sleeper) then in my haste to finish it to wear to work the next day – I burnt a hole right on the front neckline – no coming back from that… so my definition of wadder in this case was – low expectation to very pleasantly surprised and excited to you idiot what were you thinking!

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