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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By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at sewmanju@yahoo.co.uk

One thought on “Butterick B5808: first wadder

  1. 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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