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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Retro Yellow Dress - Butterick 5748

 I sewed Butterick 5748, a retro pattern from 1960.

I have always drooled over the fabric in the quilting sections of the store - there is so much more choice of color and patterns than in any of the apparel sections.  So I thought I would give it a try.  This fabric is a cotton quilting fabric.

The pattern called for only the bodice to be lined, but I decided to line the entire dress with a cotton muslin lining since quilting fabric tends to be thinner than apparel fabric.

 Part of the reason I chose the pattern was because it didn't look like it on the picture on the front that this is a full circle skirt.  However, it is.  I wore it to a potluck and ended up taking up more than my fair share of the room on the couch with extra material spilling out all around me.  Being in a car is also interesting, since I have to make sure the skirt won't get caught in the door when I close it.

Overall, I am happy with the way it fits and adjusted very little of the pattern.  I sewed a muslin first, then adjusted to a size smaller.  I think that if you want a snug fit in the bodice, choose a size smaller than the pattern measurements indicate.

 I made two deviations from the original pattern - on is that I sewed much more severe darts in the front.  I wanted it really  snug at the waist and then open up at the bust. 

The other is that I added a quilt binding as a trim on all of the dress edges.  It is probably breaking some kind of rule to use it, but I really like the effect.  All of the edges are very clean, which seemed good because the cotton is thin.  The edging made the dress more substantial.

I was able to use the serger to finish the edges on the zipper - which makes everything look really tidy.

I used the serger on the bottom of the lining on the inside of the dress.  I like the look of it and it was so much easier than trying to hem it.

I am really happy the way it turned out and would definitely recommend the pattern. 

I have now made a petticoat to wear under the dress.  I even posted the tutorial.  Here are the results.
Dress without petticoat.

Dress with petticoat.


  1. Oooh, I'm so jealous! A serger!

    Your sewing is fab! Also, The Bombshell Dress is something I've been working on lately, a bit, ahem... Well, a lot! Yours looks so nice. Mine is over on my blog, let me know what you think

    B x

    1. Thank you! I love your blog! I am totally jealous of your lapped zipper. I haven't tried to do one yet.

  2. Very cute, so bright and sunny. You could be in a 50's movie.

    1. So nice of you! Thank you! I am just starting to get the hang of sewing... I love your blog. I see a few dresses I'd love to give a try!

  3. stunning dress! amazing work and i love how the binding adds to it! i am jealous of your skills! i have so many commercial patterns i just need a little more confidence and a lot more time

  4. Of course you can't beat swooshyness of a circle skirt but I've been converted to half circle skirts for swishability balanced with practicality.
    How did you find the low back of the dress? I'd be tempted to raise it.

    1. It is true... getting in and out of the car with a full circle skirt plus a petticoat is a bit of work... there is so much fabric! And I would never wear the full circle skirt to work.

      I like the low back on the bodice... it hadn't occurred to me to raise it, but I bet it would look good. I'd love to see yours if you sew it.

  5. I just purchased this pattern off the McCall's website (they only just released them in Australia, and we pay at least $30 (AUD) for a pattern) for $USD3! I am so excited it turned out for you - can't wait to give it a try!

    1. I didn't know they had different release schedules. That must be frustrating. Good luck in sewing it!

  6. Did you go down a size based on the finished Bust size of the dress printed on the pattern or what Butterick claims your personal measurements should be for each size. Like size 8 is a finished bust of 34, but the butterick size chart says the person wearing a size 8 should have a bust of 31.5....ridiculous. So since I want it snug, I should make the dress at the size 8 and ignore the person measurements since they obviously intend the dress to be a lot looser? Also, since I haven't pulled out my pattern yet, are the bust darts triangle or diamond? You did a great job getting the bodice fitted to your bust. And the seam binding and little flowers gives the dress a very 'down to earth country girl look' :) Great job!


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