Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Just in Time for This Summer (Butterick 5450)

     I bought this lovely cotton fabric last year with the intention of sewing it into a shift dress using the Rebecca pattern from Sis Boom. After sewing and altering two muslin dresses which didn't work, I gave up and tossed the pattern and fabric into my box of unfinished projects.

It's summer once more and my dream of wearing a pretty shift dress was resurrected.
Butterick 5450 got a lot of glowing reviews from those who have used it so I thought this might just work.

I made a muslin first and I was quite happy with how it fit. I used size 6 and unlike other patterns where I had to grade up to a higher size at the waist, this one was perfect and did not require any alterations. 

So onto the cutting table (actually the dining table).

In a nutshell, the dress construction involves sewing a pleated lined bodice to an unlined skirt. The bodice lining eliminates the need to use any facings or bias tape to finish the armholes and neckline. Closure is via side zipper. 

    Here are some pictures detailing the sewing process:

Pleats construction on front and back bodice pieces.

Darts construction on front and back lining pieces.

Bodice assembly.

Lining assembly.

Lining to bodice attachment, right sides together.

Understitching the lining.

Sewing the shoulders.

Here's the finished bodice.

Skirt construction.

Bodice to skirt attachment.

 First attempt at zipper attachment. I followed instructions but after the seams didn't line up and seeing how it would look with stitches showing on the right side, I decided to go with invisible zipper instead.

I thought this looked way better!

Slipstitching the lining.

Final step, hemming. I used the blind hem foot, lowered tension and used small stitches. A good pressing made the stitches almost invisible from the right side.


This was a very satisfying project. The pattern was labeled fast & easy and it was just that. 


  1. I love your dress. It is beautifully made, so flattering, and features a fun print!

    1. Thank you Audrey! It has been my favorite so far!