Monday, March 14, 2016

Notes on a Pattern - Butterick 5605 Ms. Paulette Bell's Dress

Good afternoon everyone,

It's been ages since I did a "Notes on a Pattern".  Today's post is on a vintage pattern that I'm using for Ms. Paulette Bell's annual dress.

The illustration clearly shows the princess seam bodice with cut on sleeves, which is different from most of the vintage pattern that I've seen with cut on sleeves.  This design element makes it easy to do a full bust adjustment.    Also, noted from the diagram is that the side front and side back are gores where the bodice is attached to the sleeve.   There may be a bit of a challenge to get all side bodices peaks the same.  Making a muslin is a great way to practice inserting the side front and back.

But with careful measuring, marking and sewing it can be achieved.   Other challenge may be the back opening.  It gapped mid-back on Ms. Paulette.  I would recommend that you make a muslin before attempting to make the dress out of your nice fashion fabric.

There was no way I would skip the muslin fitting.  Even though I've made a similar dress for her a few years ago without one.  On Saturday, Ms. Paulette came by for her muslin fitting.  There are several adjustments needed.

There are:
  • Lower the front neckline about 1/2".  This change is a matter of preference.

  • Right under arm, slight pull - may be resolved with adding  1/2" to the front underarm section.

  • Swayback adjustment 1/4" near side seam to 1/2" torwards middle of lower back.  (Note: incorrectly marked on muslin as adding 1".) 
  • Decrease back opening by 1"; gapping at top of zipper.

  • A little snug at outer shoulder and upper arm - add 1/8" to 1/2" along this area.

  • Add 1/2" back of skirt to compensate for the swayback tuck.
  • Side seam bodice, lower section add 1/8" to 1" at waist.

  • Side seam skirt, upper section add 1" to 1/8" along the side.
There was no problem with the construction process.  The markings were spot on.

Stay tuned.  More later on Ms. Pauletter's dress, but after the event.

Happy Sewing!


  1. She always looks so fantastic in everything you do for her. Can't wait to see the final dress!

  2. Doing the muslin is most definitely a great idea. I look forward to seeing the finished dress.

  3. I think this will be a gorgeous dress when you get the fit just right. Love the style of this.

  4. Her annual outfits that you make are always so impressive. This will be another lovely.

  5. That dress is going to be wonderful Cennetta!

  6. Such a pretty design. I enjoy watching her garments come to life.



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