My Tweaked Dress


I had just returning to sewing clothes after many years absence. I had done a few bits and pieces but finally felt like doing something a little nicer. I had lost some weight and felt ready to try something a little more fitted.

I had bought some Butterick vintage re-issued patterns to make a dress for my sister’s wedding, but had chickened out due to lack of body confidence (which is a shame as they are the sort of dresses that suit larger ladies as well as slim so I would have carried it better than the dress I chose in the end). The poor, unopened pattern had been sitting for over a year not fulfilling its destiny. Now was its time to shine!

I had recently discovered Abakhans, found a fabulous piece of pattered crafting cotton and I was off! My pattern is Butterick 6582:


The construction was quite quick and easy. I was a bit disappointed that the crossover is fake, and also that it gathered at the shoulders when the image on the packet looks like pleats. Also, the image makes the dress look very fitted, when in fact it is semi-fitted (confirmed in the pattern description). I have since got better at interpreting these images!

I made the dress in a size 16, which is the size I am in the sizing chart.  I tried it with gathers at the shoulders, but felt that it was a little bulky so I flattened it down to pleats, trying to fan them out a bit, and this is what I got (sorry about the poor photography – we are working on that):

2014-03-10 0022014-03-10 005

I loved the dress – it made me feel pretty again and I received lots of compliments.  It was a bit loose under the arms, which I have since learned is a problem zone for me.


2014-05-20 001As I was taking it off, I noticed how nice it would look in a tunic length and had some left over curtain fabric from Ikea so gave it a go.  It is a lovely dress to wear with leggings or trousers (but I would confess that it is not as carefully constructed as most).

Winter was coming and it was still my favourite dress, but I wanted something with sleeves so I did it again with another oddment.  This time I went down a size, which was slightly too tight at the hips, but this was easily amended by reducing the seam allowances.  I added the sleeves (and sleeve holes) from my flower power dress.  I also made the crossover real, taking the underneath section to just below the bust.  Again I pleated at the shoulders.  I did do a small area of facing across the width of the front shoulder catching on the sleeve edge to stop the pleats flanging out and taking the front sleeve seam with them.  Anyway, my favourite of the three:

2014-03-09 024TA-DA!

Love this dress – very comfortable, slightly more fitted but still not clingy and just a very lovely shape.  I definitely prefer the ‘real’ crossover and would repeat that in later versions.

2014-03-09 018 2014-03-09 0032014-03-09 034