Butterick 5744 (1952?)

May 23, 2011
I got this ages ago. It’s not dated but I think it’s from 1952 (it’s at least from the early 1950’s). I cut it out and then got discouraged about how I thought it would look, regretted potentially wasting fabric I loved on a dress that wouldn’t fit, and put it away. Recently, I got to feeling guilty about my unfinished projects and vowed to get it out again and finish it, either to wear or to pass along.

It’s a cute idea, but anything that claims to fit sizes Bust 3o to Bust 38 should raise the eyebrows of any sensible seamstress. Seriously? Even Spandex doesn’t claim to cover that wide a range.

I don’t actually believe it would fit sizes 12 through 20, but I’m right in the middle (size 16/bust 34) and it fits me pretty well. I didn’t do the sweetheart neckline because I’m not that sold on sweetheart necklines, and because I thought the 800 miles of bias binding looked like enough trouble without adding extra scallops. (On the up side, I am now really, really, good at mitering corners . . . )

The buttons are not really crooked.

Verdict: There are a few things I would change if I made this again. I’d make the neck-hole smaller shorten the upper body (the waist ties sit too low. I’m 5’7″ so it’s not like this should be an issue), and possibly add darts to the back. The un-flared skirt is yardage-efficient but doesn’t make for the best fit. It does need to be worn over a tank top or an athletic bra that is decent enough to be seen (the woman in the pattern illustration has a bit of camisole or slip visible under her arm). You can’t do any energetic running or the sides will gap a bit and, well, flash your legs up to there, but it’s fine for puttering around the house.

However, it’s very comfortable and I could see myself making a couple more, with adjustments, to wear at home.

I messed up the ties. They should have been single-layer, not double, but I wasn’t sure because I’ve misplaced my instructions. Also, if you make this, make them longer, narrower, and don’t bind their edges. They’ll tie much better that way.

I’d sort of like to raise the sides and maybe have them button under the arm so I didn’t need the extra layer of tank top underneath.

I’d really love to find a copy of Advance 5722, which has a more fitted bodice and flared skirt. Maybe I can fudge it.

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