Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★

1lineartI love this pattern. It is easy to put together, and perfectly flattering. Given that, I will admit that its not perfect. I think there might have been some minor mistakes when Butterick translated from the retro original. The back skirt always ends up slightly wider than the back bodice for me, but its easy to fix with a dart tweak. I almost never use the given variations, and I find the bows horrendous.

But this pattern has become an amazing base for me to make up my own variations. You can see that it is easy to draft petal sleeves, create an interesting draped and pleated skirt structure, create a lace bodice top with sweetheart neckline, use a built in petticoat lining or separate petticoat, or anything else!

I never fail to get compliments on dresses I make with this pattern. And I’ve used it to make 7 different dresses over the years: 50’s Birthday DressScience Girl Eats50’s Mad Hatter Dress50’s SilkBridesmaid DressScience Girl is Sour

Butterick B5603 Misses’ Empire-Waist Dresses

 

Science Girl is Sour

Science Girl had the opportunity to attend a new event last week. The Museum of Life and Science had an After Hours event about the “Science of Sour.” It covered everything from fermentation, to pickling, to how your taste buds work. And of course I had to make a themed dress.

Spoonflower actually had a pickle design contest lately, so I had a lot of designs to choose from. My favorite was this design by pinky_wittingslow covered with watercolor cucumber slices, and even a hint of dill in the background. I used the cotton lawn fabric because of its soft texture and easy drape.

I used the same dress pattern you’ve seen plenty of other times on other projects. To switch things up a bit I hand drafted petal sleeves. I’ve been meaning to try them again in something more formal, and I’m so glad I did. It added an interesting element to this dress that I feel really drew attention.

I reviewed this pattern here: Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★

Because the lining would show at the edge of the sleeves I wanted something perfect that would complement the colors of the pickles. I chose this design by brainsarepretty and printed it on satin. Slippery to sew, but perfect for linings.

 

50’s Silk

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I made this dress for a wedding I attended last summer. You may recognize the pattern, I used it for the Science Girl Eats dress, and (with heavy modifications) the Fifties Alice dress, and this border print contra dance dress, and this first instance of the returning dress. And even, actually, when I made a bride’s maid dress for a friend’s wedding last june.

This dress is silk, and I took more care with it than I usually do with sewing. I even used horse-hair braid in the hem and I cut the hem unevenly (intentionally this time, I promise!) because I wanted the hem to curl and twirl with every move. It worked perfectly.

I love this pattern because it is easy to sew, it is super flattering, it is easily adaptable to whatever I need to use it for. The dress can be casual and fun or formal and yet still comfortable to wear.

I reviewed this pattern here: Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★

Hey readers, its sharing time! Do you have a pattern that you return to time and time again? Do you have a pattern that is perfect nearly every time you use it? Do you have a pattern that you’ve had to buy multiple times because you keep wearing out the tissue paper (or maybe you don’t even need the pattern anymore because you can draw it with your eyes closed)?

Bridesmaid Dress

This was a dress I did to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding last summer. And yes, you’ve seen this pattern before, its one of my favorites. Its the Retro Butterick 5630 dress.

I lined it and added some green tulle to simulate a petticoat and add a little flash of color when I twirled.

Its made out of spoonflower sateen that is hand-dyed. It was a charming and fun wedding. Each of us made our own dresses and dyed them. The bride and groom are some of my closest friends, and they know how to throw a wedding.

I reviewed this pattern here: Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★

50’s Mad Hatter Dress

A friend of mine was having an Alice in Wonderland themed party, and what else could I do but go as a 1950’s style Mad Hatter?

The dress is mostly spoonflower’s organic cotton sateen. The overdress is hand dyed, and the underskirt is printed textured checkerboard (because with Alice there must ALWAYS be a reference to chess!) The top of the bodice is purchased lace, and you can see in the back where I used the pretty edge of the lace.

dressfront

The pattern is my ever favorite Butterick Retro B5603, which if you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll notice I’ve made this dress five or six times. (I reviewed it here: Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★). However, I made some pretty substantial alterations to it, this time around. The sweetheart neckline and lace is all mine, as well as the pleats up the left side. I had a lot of fun making this dress up as I went along.

catterpillar

The final picture is my favorite from the night of the party. Alice, the birthday girl is centered, with a rave-styled Cheshire Cat on the left. We clearly had the best headgear at the party (Photo by Jayce Williams). Also pictured are my fellow Fifties Caterpillar (see the long cigarette holder? Hehe), and her Cheshire Cat (his bowtie has orange kitty faces on it!) One of the best nights I’ve had this year.

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Science Girl Eats

Right, yes, so I’ve been really really busy. Really really really really busy I mean. But here, finally, is Science Girl at the NC Museums of Life and Science’s After Hours Event: Science of Eats! Yay!

The fabric was designed by my friend and coworker Janet, but she doesn’t have anywhere for me to link to it, so I’ll have to add that later. (she also took the photos of me, and my hair.) Oh, and what’s that in my hair? Its a stick of asparagus, and some basil leaves. Because I NEVER pick a theme and only take it halfway. (And a carnation, but its February, there are no good red fruits or vegetables you can find in a grocery story at 6pm with only 5 minutes to figure out how you’re going to stick it in your hair. And I think maybe carnations are edible anyways.)

I did the embroidery myself, to add just that little touch to make the dress more like the poster for the event. I got so many compliments for this dress, and its still one of my favorite ones to wear!

The pattern is great and one I’ve used several times. I’ve reviewed it here: Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★

50’s Birthday Dress

I’ve been a little 50s dress obsessed lately. Maybe I jumped on the Mad Men wagon a bit late, or maybe its just the fun Retro patterns I got on sale. Anyways, I decided I needed a tea dress, petticoat et al. The dress is a simple cotton (not spoonflower actually, I wanted something a little softer than our quilting weight) with my favorite boat neckline, and a low back. I love this style, it is ridiculously flattering on me. This was also the first time I ever made a full petticoat. I used the sugardale tutorial, which was very well written, simple, with clear directions. It was one of the most tedious sewing projects I’ve ever done. And took longer to make than the dress itself. But it looks exactly like what I wanted, so I’m satisfied!

I wrote a review of this dress pattern here: Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★