She Sews Retro: Butterick 5214

The first time that I saw the image of this dress on the pattern envelope, I knew I had to have it because the shape of the bodice and neckline was perfect for showing off my swallow tattoos! Because this pattern is now out of print, I had to go to eBay to find it. As a new sewist, I like to check out Instagram for examples of other people’s makes of patterns that I am interested in. Typically, there are a ton of images to get my creative juices flowing, but with this dress, there were only just a few. Immediately I wondered if this pattern was actually super tricky to make or simply unflattering in the end. Either way, I really wanted to give it a whirl. I was lucky enough to have a bodice blocker already (thank you husband for helping me with this!) to compare the pattern pieces to and make a number of adjustments to the pattern based on that alone before creating a muslin. In the end, I did have to make a number of adjustments to this bodice because I have a very short and broad torso, coupled with a narrow chest and wide back. The way I am describing my torso almost makes me sound like a gargoyle or something…

I omitted the facings and opted for a fully lined bodice instead. The bodice has delightful double bust darts which I thought were very unique. The original pattern did not include pockets and so for the sake of utility as well as visual interest, I drafted some fold-over flap patch pockets and added some adorable red mid-century modern style buttons.

I am very pleased with how the dress turned out in the end but would most likely make it a tad smaller next time if I make it again. Have you tried this pattern? Care to share any success or horror stories with me??

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