Monday, April 18, 2016

Notes on a Pattern - Butterick Retro Dress 5209

I made a muslin of the bodice last spring, but failed to make the dress. Somehow I always manage to have more on the to do list than I can finish within a given season. So before I add more to the list, I decided to talk about this pattern in hopes of finishing the dress within the next few weeks..

This pattern is not new.  It was republished a few years ago. Many have made it with great success.   But, of course, we all come in many different shapes and sizes.  So I decided to go ahead with posting how I worked out the fitting adjustments for me.

The FBA was fairly straight forward. I always have to add width as well as length. At the fullest of the bust area is where I need the most length.  In the past I've added length evenly along the lower edge only to remove it later.  For this bodice I used a size 16; but could have used a 14. Using the 16 I did not make the width as wide. And I may have to shorten the neckline a bit.  I also added about 3/4 inch to the midriff in the same area. Most of the time I end up removing any excess in the side seams. It always good to have some extra just in case.


For the back, I made my usual prominent shoulder blade adjustment. This was pretty easy too. The resulting width requires me to add a dart to the shoulder seam.  So that the length of that seam matches the length of the front shoulder seam. Easing the excess in doesn't look as nice as the dart.  The same amount of width was also added to the back midriff in the same area.  A small sway back adjustment on the midriff to remove the excess fabric.

After looking at the finished bodice muslin, I decided to add an inch to the length just in case.  I almost never make the muslin for the skirt of this type of dress.  My hips are somewhat on the narrow side and my back side is on the flat side too. :-0   So there isn't much to worry about as the skirt is gathered.

Other than that I think this dress is very simple to make once all the fit areas are addressed.

More details on   

Parting shot:  I just received this beautiful Jason Wu orange, navy, tan geometric silk wool.  Isn't it beautiful?


  1. You need to just give that fabric to me!

  2. Very nice and that fabric is great!

  3. Love the pattern and love both fabrics...the floral is sew retro and anything geometric is usually fine with me but silk wool? UHM YEA!!! NIIIIICE!!!

  4. My heavens, that fabric is to die for. What an exquisite dress this will be!

  5. I have made this dress before and it is very flattering, seeing you make it has me thinking I may need to recreate the dress. I like your idea about adding the extra width and then adding the dart to make sure the seams match up. I am going to have to try that idea as I always have trouble in the area this technique remedies.

    Can't wait to see the finished garment!

  6. Well, the bodice looks like it will fit you perfectly. Yes, that fabric is beautiful! Love the color and texture of it.

  7. I like your blog, but it's a shame that does not have the option to follow you and see all your posts, that is, does not have an option for your publications reach my mail.



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