1950s | Vintage Sewing

Summer Whites – Butterick 5920

August 17, 2016


I was gifted with some vintage fabric this spring, so a fun project this summer was to engineer a way to squeeze a 1950s dress out of the minimal yardage! (and why are vintage fabrics soooo narrow??) I pulled out my trusty Butterick reprint 5920 and after playing a bit of pattern Tetris, I succeeded!


The finished product is perfect for sunny days- light in color so it doesn’t soak up extra heat, and covered on the neck and shoulders so I don’t have to worry about sunburn!


Stop by my blog Mode de Lis for more details and photos!


  1. Yay!! Looks fabulous – what a great fabric score – it works so well with the pattern!
    I was so excited to see this post – I picked up this pattern a few weeks ago when Butterick had a sale, and I was searching for some reviews on it. I checked We Sew Retro honestly just a few days ago to see if anyone had used it. I love the small changes you made with the sleeves and the pocket placement. I’m still very much a beginner sewist but you are giving me some ideas for when I’m brave enough to tackle this pattern 🙂 Will you make the sheer/lace version at some point?

    Great work!


    1. Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy using this pattern- it really is so underrepresented! I do love the idea of making this up in lace- we’ll see if I end up doing that. 🙂 Honestly, I usually don’t even get around to making the same pattern twice so using it three times will almost be a record! 😉

  2. Vintage fabrics are so narrow because humans were still involved in weaving. Before weaving was completely mechanized, you couldn’t weave yardage wider than the length of your arm because rocking on your pelvis to throw the shuttle farther while weaving six days a week gives you a very painful “weaver’s bottom” and you can’t sit.
    see http://www.quilthistory.com/98307.htm

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