Sunday, August 4, 2013

Butterick Retro B5748 Pattern Review

This particular dress was easy to moderate to make.  Once again, I made a muslin first and had it fitted before starting on the dress.  

Butterick Retro B5748

I loved what I saw on the pattern envelope (below, left) but once again there was a disconnect between what the illustrator drew and what the actual dress looked like on a model (below, right).

First off, it almost looks like a drop waist on the model.  Then, the front neckline is drawn lower than it is on a real person, making the whole dress look a little frumpy.

For starters, I brought the waistline up to my natural waist instead of just below it, then dropped the neckline in front.  I chose the version with the bows because it had an interesting V-shaped detail at the neckline, but I'll be darned if I slap two enormous bows on the front and back.  I pitched the bows, modified the shape of the neckline, made the shoulders a bit more narrow, and hemmed it above the knees to modernize the whole thing.  I also moved the zipper to the back, which was probably not the best idea in retrospect.  If I ever make it again, the zipper stays on the side where it was designed.

Please, please forgive the wrinkles.  It won't happen again.

The skirt is designed to be fuller than mine is because my fabric wasn't wide enough to accommodate the pattern piece.  Maybe that is why the fullness tends towards the front and back and not the sides.

When I finished with the pictures, I saw I was getting the stink-eye from Otis and figured I had better get it in gear.


  1. I think the dress is lovely, and you did a beautiful job on the neckline, getting that notch to lie flat and not pucker is a sign of a pro :)!

    The fullness falling in the center has to do with where the grainline is. Most commercial patterns place the grainline parallel to the fold to save on fabric. That will cause fullness on the sides but not the center. They never show it in the pictures but its definitely one of the flaws in commercial patterns.

    Your problem was the exact opposite so I'm guessing your side seam was parallel to or on the grainline, that causes fullness at the center but not the sides.

    For even fullness I like to do what Ralph Lauren does on his skirts, fold the skirt pattern exactly in half , matching side seams to center front or the other side seam (depending on whether your skirt is in 4 pieces or two) . That fold is the new grainline. It does however require more fabric! Bias cut skirts also fix the uneven fullness but have other problems.

    Hope I have helped, If it's confusing google "centered grainline skirt".

  2. Ooo boy I am going to have to read that a few times before it sinks in! But now I have a place to start looking for next time I make a circle skirt! Thanks!

  3. Beautiful dress- I have just purchased the pattern!
    What width would you need for a circle skirt?

  4. Hi Ange,
    The pattern itself is a circle skirt. I just didn't have wide enough fabric to fit the pattern.